Charitable Giving & Your Budget

Having a giving plan for charity and friends/family will help you to say “yes” and to say “no.” It is easy to break this down into a few manageable steps.

It all starts with a plan and may you have a great year of saying yes to supporting charitable goals that touch you. 

First, how much will you be giving to friends and family? This could be cash or cash-like items such as grocery gift cards or paying a utility bill for a relative. Next, how much are you willing to give to charity this year besides family and friends? It can be either a dollar amount or a percentage of your income. For some folks it is cash, while for others it could be appreciated assets like stock.  

Next, think about where you would like your charitable dollars to go this year, whether or not it is personal or non-profit organizations. Know what purpose you want those dollars to go towards. It can be education, environment, political, social justice, health care, children, arts, or any other focus that is near and dear to your heart. Knowing what is important to you will allow you to say “yes” more often and with purpose. It will also allow you to say “no” to requests for money that are either not in your budget nor in your heart. 

To avoid being inundated with solicitations from like charities requesting money, consider giving anonymously using a donor advised fund (DAF), bundling the charitable deduction in one year while granting out over a number of years. 

Often we work with others who ask us to support their charities or raise money for their children’s school projects. It is diplomatic to say yes and to give a little, even if it is not in our giving plan. Perhaps you too can have a charity you are raising money for by participating in a bike ride or half marathon or even something less physical like Movember. Give and don’t be shy about promoting your charitable interests. 

It all starts with a plan and may you have a great year of saying “yes” to supporting charitable goals that touch you.  For more tips, information and education visit