Why do people give?

A recently-released report identified the primary tenets of generosity according to Americans: how they define it; what it means to them; where their generosity comes from; its importance to society and their expectations. The report also identifies different donor types and how generosity is reported on in traditional media and social media channels.

More big donors

The most recent “Who’s Who” additions to the Giving Pledge, where wealthy donors pledge the majority of their assets to charity, was released in June. Many of the additions to the list are from the tech sector, including the twin sister of a donor who took the pledge in 2022. In a rare reversal, another recent group member was removed from the illustrious list.

Qualified Charitable Distributions

Remember, if you have reached age 70 1/2, you may be eligible to make annual distributions from your IRAs up to $100,000 per spouse directly to a designated, unrestricted, or field-of-interest fund at the community foundation or other qualifying public charity. Called Qualified Charitable Distributions, or “QCDs,” these transfers count toward your Required Minimum Distributions (if you are subject to those rules) and avoid the income tax on those funds. Plus, those assets are no longer part of your estate at death, which avoids estate taxes, too.


Keep in mind the benefits of deploying a “bunching” strategy to activate your present and future charitable intentions. By making gifts to your donor-advised fund at the Winona Community Foundation, you can combine, or “bunch,” years of contributions up front into one giving year for contribution-year tax deductibility purposes, and then activate gifts year by year in the future to your favorite charities. This can be especially advantageous in high-income years and to exceed standard deduction thresholds.