Year-End Charitable Planning

As we approach this Thanksgiving, I want to personally thank you for trusting Trinity to guide you in your financial endeavors and helping you pursue your financial goals.  We are grateful for the opportunity to be working with each of you.

This is the time when many individuals start to consider end-of-year giving. Each year, many of you turn to us for guidance to help invest in what matters most to you. As a result of our ongoing commitment to responsible philanthropy, we believe it is important to understand how financially responsible each organization is and how they manage what is entrusted to them.

When evaluating organizations from a financial responsibility perspective, there are a number of questions you might want to consider before giving. For example:

  • What percent of the contributions received go towards the programs they offer versus for fundraising or administrative expenses? Organizations where 85 percent or more of funds received go towards actual program expenses are typically well-run organizations. If only 50 percent goes towards the organizations programs, that would give me pause.
  • What is the CEOs compensation, does it appear reasonable given the size and scope of the organization?
  • Have they filed all of their respective financial documents with the IRS in a timely manner (FORM 990 for a charity)?
  • Are their financial statements and tax returns filed by a reputable public accounting firm?

Many organizations will post their annual report (IRS Form 990) on their website, which will answer some of these questions.  However, if financial information is not directly available from the charity, GuideStar and Charity Navigator rate non-profit organizations on various financial metrics and can serve as a portal to identify organizations that align with your interests.

Should you want to talk through different gifting options, please know that we are happy to have those conversations. Please note that all year-end gifting paperwork must be submitted to Charles Schwab by Friday, December 15th.  If you have any questions about this process, please don't hesitate to let us know.

Again, thank you for affording all of us at Trinity the opportunity to serve you. May you be blessed as you spend time with family and friends this Thanksgiving holiday.