We’re in the midst of Thanksgiving preparations this week, but in the blink of an eye, it will be time to set New Years’ resolutions. It’s a busy time of year, so before the December 31st arrives, here are three generosity to-do’s that will maximize the power of a generous life.
1. With the stock market at an all time high, give appreciated stock before you sell it.
While it’s so easy to give by check or cash at year-end, don’t miss out on a better way to give: donating stock.
The benefits of giving shares of stock are huge! First, when you give appreciated publicly traded stock that you’ve owned for at least a year, you receive a fair market value deduction on your tax return, even though you purchased the stock for less. Secondly, you avoid capital gains tax when the stock is sold.
Depending upon your tax situation, you maybe able to give twice as much. Just transfer the stock to the charity (or your donor advised fund) and have more to give!
2. Amp up your giving—and your joy—by getting others involved.
Often, year-end activities add more burdens than joys. This year, make an intentional change you won’t regret: Invite your family and friends to join you in a day of service.
The day of service allows everyone to work and give together. Make donations together instead of buying gifts for one another. Share the joy and be an influence for generosity.
3. Clear out!
Our excess is often someone else’s necessity. Before December 31st, clear out your closets. Set a goal to give away a percentage of items in your home that someone could use now. Those extra coats, shoes, or boots will be a wonderful blessing to others.
Now is a great time to set a date for an annual planning retreat that will help you start the year with wisdom, clarity, and purpose. We’ve created a guide that will help you reflect on the previous year and seek God’s direction for the one to come.