This article originally appeared in the Santa Barbara Independent online on July 11, 2007. To see the PDF of the article, click here.
By Kevin Bourke
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
I’d like to support a local nonprofit organization, what are some ways I can do that?
-Willing to Give, Montecito
Dear Willing to Give,
I love to talk about nonprofits. I serve on the board of one, and support half a dozen others. More power to you.
Here are some simple ideas to ensure that your generosity counts.
1) Billpay. Pick your favorite non-profits and set them up on your list of bills to be paid automatically. This will ensure they receive their donation regularly.
2) Autodebit. If you can donate by paying with a credit or debit card, notify your nonprofit and tell them to bill you monthly for the amount you choose.
3) Sale of stock. If you have stock, especially a highly appreciated stock, gift it to the nonprofit. Let them profit by selling the stock, allowing you to avoid capital gains tax. Everybody is happy.
4) Life insurance. If you already have a life insurance policy in place, simply adjust your beneficiaries to include the nonprofit. There’s no charge to make the change, you already have the policy in place, and it may allow you to give a larger amount to the nonprofit than you otherwise could dream of giving.
I also recommend spending some time researching which nonprofit you choose to give to. Compare them to other nonprofits. Some are in desperate need, while others have lots of cash on hand. Maybe sending your money where there is a greater need will add to the satisfaction you receive from your gift.
A valuable resource is www.guidestar.org. The site offers information on the financials of nearly every nonprofit in America.