For a lot of people, January is the start of new resolutions, many that stick and many more that putter out after a month or two. We believe that making the decision to be more generous is one that everyone and anyone can, and should, adopt. Developing (and adhering!) to a giving plan is easier than you might think.
Why make a plan to give?
A written strategy turns good intentions into an achievable goal that will work for you and your financial plan. Creating a tangible goal you can go back to not only helps to remind you and keep you on track, it provides a level of personal accountability.
Don’t make a giving plan alone.
The advice of an experienced financial planner, tax advisor or giving experts at a community foundation can help you create a realistic plan that works with your budget, lifestyle and charitable interests. Forming your giving goals with your spouse creates shared accountability, making it even easier to stick to your goals.
Set your giving goals.
Using a set of guidelines can help you set achievable objectives. The P’s of Giving are four principles we’ve adopted that can help any family meet their giving goals and move from an attitude of scarcity to a life of generosity. What are your priorities? What percentage of your wealth can you afford to give? How much can we increase our giving each year? Answering these questions can provide an effective pathway toward generosity.
Considering going deeper with fewer.
It’s understandable to want to help as many people as you can. But spreading your resources can create less of an impact than you intended. $10,000 donated to two charities can help in a much deeper way than $1,000 given to twenty.
Make a specific and measurable goal.
Ambiguous targets are harder to hit. Exact and quantifiable goals provide clarity and direction, making it much easier to plan for and achieve them. For example: “In 2020, I/we will give ____% of my income and ____% of my assets to _________. I will fund my gifts with (cash/stock/IRA/other assets).” By defining exact numbers and where your giving will come from, you create an easy plan to follow.
Here’s to a generous new year.