Thursday, May 19, 2022
May 19, 2022

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Cash not the only way to give to animal charities

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Looking for ways to contribute to your favorite animal charity, beyond making a cash donation? Here are some generous alternatives to consider when you want to support a nonprofit cause you love.

Bequests for wills or trusts

Bequests are simple to implement and easy to change. You maintain the use, benefit, enjoyment, and control of your assets for as long as you need them, for as long as you live.

You can include a bequest provision in your will or living trust that specifies an amount or percentage of your estate that you wish for a charity to receive. Here are some benefits:

  • You can make adjustments to your will or trust if circumstances change.
  • It does not affect you financially during your lifetime.
  • Loved ones will not be overlooked — you can specify the amount given to each party.
  • Both are deductible for federal estate tax purposes. There is no limit on the deduction your estate can claim, and the gift may be exempt from state inheritance taxes.

Stock gifts

Donating appreciated stock is one of the easiest ways to give more to causes you care about. Giving stock often results in a larger donation to the organization, as the gift is tax-deductible and there are no capital gains taxes to pay.

Life insurance policy donation

You may also consider naming a charity as a beneficiary in your current life insurance policy. Alternatively, you can donate your paid-up policy directly to the charity, or you can even start a new policy naming your charity as the owner and beneficiary. Some benefits:

  • There could be potential income tax deductions if you transfer the policy to your charity.
  • It does not affect you financially during your lifetime.
  • Estate taxes can be reduced if a charity is named as a beneficiary.

Employer match program

Ask your employer if they would consider creating a donation match program and including your chosen nonprofit. When an employee makes a donation to a nonprofit, they can request that their employer “matches” their donation.

Retirement plan gifts

You can name your favorite nonprofit as a beneficiary of your IRA, 401K, or other qualified retirement plan. There are multiple benefits:

  • Avoids income tax and estate tax levied on the residue left in your retirement account by leaving it to the nonprofit.
  • Preserve the value of your retirement account by giving the most-taxed asset in your estate to your charity, and leave more favorably taxed property to heirs.
  • Continue withdrawals during your lifetime.
  • You have the ability to change the beneficiary if your circumstances change.

Wish lists

Many animal welfare organizations have a “wishlist” for their needs. Often they’ll share weblinks to items on their wish lists so you can purchase exactly what they need through an online retailer such as Amazon or Chewy. Common donation requests include items like towels, blankets, newspaper, collars, leashes, food and water bowls, unopened treats or pet food, toys, litter boxes, scoopers, beds and more.

Participate in a charity walk/run

How about fueling your passion for a cause and getting a workout in at the same time? You can sign up for a charity walk/run event to support your favorite nonprofit.

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