Posted by on December 23, 2015
By Ryan Lynch, Product Manager at fi360
If you provide financial planning services, chances are that the dwindling days of 2015 have prompted plenty of tax-planning questions from your clients. From a strictly dollars and cents standpoint, charitable contributions are an effective way to reduce one’s tax liability. This time of year is so important to 501(c)(3)s that Q4 has been dubbed “the Giving Season” in the nonprofit community. And while sharing one’s treasure is both fiscally prudent and commendable, there are other means available to each and every soul that should not be overlooked in one’s year-end giving.
The first is time. We all have it, and unlike financial resources, I would argue we each have the exact same amount. By that, I mean we each operate within the constraints of a twenty four hour day and none of us is promised another tomorrow (or even another moment). So how have you advised your clients to give this holiday season? If giving time has not been part of the discussion, I would ask that you consider it. For so many, the self-reflection inherent in the closing of the year is an impetus to make adjustments and prepare for a brighter future. No need to wait until January 1 to shine your light though. The waning days of December are rife with opportunities to add ‘time’ to one’s gift-giving list.
The second is talent. The great thing about talent is that it is subjective. It cannot be measured in an absolute sense, so like time, each one of us possesses it equally. Sharing one’s talents goes hand-in-hand with giving one’s time. However, unlike time – which is finite – talent can be poured out indefinitely with no risk of running out. The surest way to establish a sustainable practice of talent-giving is to find something you do already – or better still, enjoy doing – and start doing it for the benefit of others.
If you have the opportunity this holiday season, encourage your clients to give of their time and talents. Make it part of your holiday email, include a note in the cookie tins you order, or simply call up your favorite client and invite him/her down to the local soup kitchen (refer to the list below for ten alternatives to the soup kitchen).
Remember, financial offerings are just one way to give this holiday season.
- Animal shelter
- Blood donation center
- Title 1 school
- Nursing home
- VA hospital
- Free clinic
- Homeless shelter
- Salvation Army
- Adopt A Highway
Happy holidays from all of us at fi360!