As the Director of Development for the Jewish Federation and the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation, I like to think that it takes a lot to surprise me, and yet recently I received a call that was totally unexpected.
It was a long-time donor who began the conversation by explaining that although they had just made a pledge for the 2018 campaign, they hoped that I wouldn’t mind if they made significantly increased gifts for the next three annual campaigns!
While I am never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I couldn’t help but ask what prompted this incredible generosity. It turns out that he had a stock that was doing particularly well and rather than pay a big tax bill on those gains, he chose to transfer that increase to us and get a big tax receipt.
It was a pleasure talking to him, as he was almost giddy with the thought of how he could make a gift far beyond what he could normally afford, all the while paying less tax. Imagine being able to fulfil your philanthropic goals AND save on taxes!
Even though I am the professional, it served as a nice reminder to me and I ended up calling my broker. We found a stock that had done particularly well that he wanted to sell anyway, and I was able to pay off my pledge immediately.
The experience got me thinking about whether there were other strategies I should consider, and so I reached out to Jeff Miller at GGFL, who prepared a short document on creative giving strategies to allow people to maximize their philanthropy while reducing their out-of-pocket costs. This includes very simple strategies, from gifts of securities or gifts in wills and life insurance products, all the way up to more complicated financial products such as charitable remainder trusts and flow through shares.
Every person’s financial situation is unique, however, it is often valuable to take a moment and see if there are mechanisms that can help you and your family with your goals. Please reach out to me if you would like to discuss your own philanthropic strategy. If you would like a copy of the document, you can find it on the Federation and Foundation webpages or I am happy to share it with you. I can be reached at email@example.com or 613-798-4696, ext. 270.
Micah Garten is the Director of Development for the Jewish Federation of Ottawa and the Ottawa Jewish Community Foundation.