Now that the year-end dust has settled after a busy first couple months of the new year, your organization’s attention may turn to getting serious about fundraising, and especially making sure your planned giving strategies are well underway. It is not unusual for planned giving conversations to start six months or more before a gift is inked. And, of course, the fourth quarter is when many of your donors want to wrap things up with charitable remainder trusts, large endowment gifts, and even bequests. If you do the math, that means you have to start now!

Now is also the time to start involving your board members in fundraising efforts if fundraising is part of your 2023 board engagement plan. Here’s a checklist you can share with your board of directors to help them spot situations where your organization and the community foundation can work together to secure a meaningful gift.

  • Cash

Cash is always a welcome gift to your organization, even if not the most tax-efficient. For taxpayers who itemize, dollars are deductible up to 60% of adjusted gross income and excess deductions can be carried over and deducted for five years. Related, a donor-advised fund or a designated fund at the community foundation can help a donor maximize an up-front charitable tax deduction, with the dollars flowing to your organization and other charities over a period of years.

  • Highly-appreciated stocks and other investments

Giving publicly-traded stocks and bonds is a tax-effective way for a donor to support your organization’s endowment or reserve fund at the community foundation because capital gains tax can be avoided on the appreciation and the gift is deductible at fair market value.

  • Qualified plans

Whether via a Qualified Charitable Distribution (“QCD”) by a donor who is over 70 1/2 years old, or through a bequest via a beneficiary designation, a qualified retirement plan can be an effective asset for charitable giving. Gifts of retirement plan assets through a QCD or bequest are not subject to income tax. The assets are also removed from the donor’s estate for estate tax purposes.

  • Alternative assets

Real estate, closely-held business interests, collectibles, and other nontraditional “alternative” assets frequently can deliver strong tax benefits when given to a public charity. Sometimes, a donor may use a donor-advised fund at the community foundation to ensure that the proceeds from such a sale can support several organizations, including yours. This technique can unlock gifts from donors who want to support multiple charities with the gift of a single alternative asset.

In summary, encourage your board members not to underestimate the range of property your organization can receive when you collaborate with the community foundation to accept a wide variety of gifts, administer their sale, and disburse charitable dollars toward your mission according to a donor’s wishes.