Talking about giving as a family

Posted on December 01, 2020

By Cathy Shouse

Have you wondered how to create a family legacy of giving or why 2020 is the year to start? Members of the Library Foundation’s Planned Giving Advisory Committee offered their insights.

Angels Among Us: Writing Your Charitable Story 
Thoughts by Gary J. Reiter, a senior trust administrator

In 38 years as a Trust Officer, I’ve experienced many families setting a course for charitable giving that includes many routes. One of the biggest impacts I have seen from these family discussions is the open family dialogue. It is not simply about the act of giving money. It is the accomplishment of giving back to the community with the intention that your family will continue the tradition you established. 

Often times there is a connection between establishing a family culture of giving back and the charitable recipient.  For example, I can connect my love of reading from an early age to an improved quality of life. My daughter once asked me why I was involved in the community with volunteer and charitable giving. I was glad she asked. I said I was actively involved as a gift for her. I am demonstrating the responsibility to give back. I expected her to “inherit” our family philosophy of giving as a family culture and to then leave the same legacy of giving to her children. I wanted her to know my charitable interests and to establish her own. 

I would encourage donors to discuss their legacy with their family and perhaps even write down the legacy story to inspire future generations. We are all storytellers at heart. What better way to tell your story of giving to the Library but to write it down for others to read?

‘Tis the season: Discuss reasons to donate now
Thoughts from Michele Thomas Dole, M.S., CFP

Around this time of year, many people are contemplating their gratitude. It is also a time when donors start thinking about year-end tax planning. The CARES Act added a limited above-the-line deduction for cash charitable gifts for this year only (2020). This is great for some who are no longer itemizing due to the substantial change in the standard deduction a couple of years ago.
Others are considering direct gifts of long-term appreciated stock to the Foundation. Stock gifts offer an itemized deduction of the average price on the date it is received by the Foundation and generally, avoid capital gain taxes as well—a double tax benefit. 
While IRAs (individual retirement plans) do not have required minimum distributions during 2020 due to the CARES Act, many are taking advantage of direct rollovers of their IRAs up to $100,000 per person per year to charities. IRA rollovers avoid taxable income to the owner and reduce the owner’s taxable estate, but do not offer an income tax deduction.

In summary, this is a great year to consider giving to the Library Foundation, as we are keenly aware of how access to learning, information, and technology can bridge the gap for people of all ages.

With any gift planning techniques, consult with your own tax, financial, and legal advisors.