Times Chronicle & Public Spirit
THINK LOCAL DURING THIS SEASON OF CHARITABLE GIVING
Held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, GivingTuesday serves as a day of generosity to encourage people to do good by thinking about the causes they care about most and considering a donation to help sustain them. However, it’s only the beginning of this season of giving, so it’s not too late to help make a difference.
You don’t have to look far to make an impact given we have many local nonprofits in need of support. Whether you are passionate about land conservation, animal rescue or your local church, there are limitless opportunities to make a difference right in your backyard. One of the benefits to giving locally is that you can actually witness the positive impact your charitable dollars are making.
As many consider which of their favorite charities to focus their attention on, some might benefit from professional help with a financial advisor in determining how to take advantage of the tax benefits associated with charitable giving. While people can give at any level to help make a difference, there are different tax benefits to consider, particularly if you are in the senior bracket.
“If they are age 72 and over, they can consider making a Qualified Charitable Distribution from a tax deferred account like a traditional IRA,” said Cheryl D. Dorko, financial advisor with Dorko Wealth and Estate Planning, Wyomissing, that was founded by Dorko and her husband, attorney Jeffrey F. Dorko, in 1993.
“They are required to take a minimum distribution out every year and people who don’t need the extra money can earmark that and make sure their distribution is paid to a charity instead of them. Typically that distribution is taxable, but if it’s paid directly to a charity of your choice, it’s tax free up to $100,000 annually.”
Dorko said it’s important not
to give beyond your means.
“If you don’t have extra spending money at the end of the month and you don’t have a good cushion in the bank for emergencies, you don’t want to be making charitable donations,” she said. “It depends on the person but I like to see someone have a cushion in the bank between $20,000 and $100,000.”
Since leaving a legacy of which one feels proud is important to many, Dorko has a solution for charitable giving in cases where you aren’t in a good financial position to make a donation this year.
“A lot of times if they don’t have enough of a cushion, one of the big ways is to put a charity in their will or trust through an estate attorney,” she said. “The charity is so grateful and surprised.”
In most cases, people choose charities that feel personal because they have a connection to it for one reason or the other.
“They like to give to their church if they are a church person or to charities that support veterans,” she said. “Animals are also popular, such as places like a local SPCA.”
National causes are typically of interest to her clients when there is a state of emergency.
“Some might feel compelled to give to causes that benefit Ukraine, for example, or hurricane relief somewhere,” Dorko said.
However, when it comes to emergencies, Dorko also sees mistakes made from time to time that are important to look