With Thanksgiving just days away, we wanted to take a moment and offer some quick ideas on how to maximize the spirit of generosity that often flourishes during the holiday season.
The Ebola epidemic is still raging in Africa, even though its presence in the U.S. has all but disappeared. (For current information on the outbreak click here.)
There are many charities working to provide aid to those affected by this deadly virus. However, the organization making the biggest impact is Doctors Without Borders (also know by their French name Medecins Sans Frontiers).
Doctors Without Borders is on the front lines of this crisis operating six Ebola case management centers with approximately 600 beds. They provide doctors, support staff, supplies, and expertise. Their efforts often eclipse those of the local health organizations that are ill equipped to deal with such intense medical and humanitarian emergencies.
Most impressive is the fact that many of the doctors and staff dealing directly with Ebola patients are volunteers from around the world. Join me in supporting this organization. Donations can be made here.
GoodShop - is an easy to use shopping site that lets you shop at your favorite online stores while allocating a small portion of your spending to the charity or school of your choice. There is a great selection of stores – over 2800 - and the process is easy. Just select your charity, click through to the retailer’s site and shop. GoodShop takes care of the donation. Not every charity participates, but if you have holiday shopping to do online, this is a great way to put your efforts to good work. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Amazon - offers a similar service through Amazon Smile. By logging into Amazon through the Smile portal and specifying the charity of your choice, you can proceed with your Amazon shopping and the charity will receive 0.5% of the value of items purchased.
Donor advised funds - make giving to charity as easy as online banking. Once an account is funded; log in, select the charity, specify the amount, click submit, and you’re finished before your coffee gets cold. Donor advised funds exists in a variety of forms – local community foundations (Memphis has three: Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, Hope Christian Community Foundation, and Jewish Foundation of Memphis), or funds offered through Fidelity, Charles Schwab, Vanguard and others. The video below does a good job of describing the benefits of using a donor advised fund for family giving.
Donating appreciated securities – with the US stock market reaching new highs the opportunity to donate appreciated securities is once again worth considering. There are significant tax advantages to donating appreciated property instead of cash. Using a donor advised fund as a conduit can provide even more flexibility. If you’d like to know more, please give us a call.
Hoping you and your family have a great Thanksgiving!