Jewish Journal: Dan Rothblatt, “Helpful Tips to Make Year-End Charitable Giving Easier”

To view this article in the Jewish Journal, click here.

Helpful Tips to Make Year-End Charitable Giving Easier

by Dan Rothblatt, Executive Vice President

With the end of the year fast approaching, it’s the time that many begin to think about making their charitable gifts. My colleagues at the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles (The Foundation) and I created this list of eight helpful tips to make your 2023 year-end giving a little easier and smarter.

  1. Talk to your advisor. To keep up with fast-changing tax laws, reach out to your professional advisors earlier this year. Certain changes made in 2020 to address COVID continue this year. Furthermore, anticipated changes to the income tax code beginning in 2022 make the need for advance planning even more important.
  2. Give now, decide later. If you are planning for a charitable tax deduction this year but are undecided about which nonprofits to support, consider opening a donor advised fund (DAF) at The Foundation. DAFs have become an increasingly popular giving vehicle favored by many charitably minded people. You can claim a deduction for contributions made to your fund now even if recommended distributions to charities from the fund are not made until future years. With just a $5,000 minimum opening balance in cash, appreciated assets like stock, or more complex assets like real estate, a donor advised fund can be set up quickly and bring focus and efficiency to your giving.
  3. Create a giving plan. Establishing a charitable fund at The Foundation provides you access to the expertise of professionals at our Center for Designed Philanthropy who can guide you in making the greatest impact on the causes you care about most. For example, our Center team can help you create a giving plan to support your favorite charities more strategically versus making “one-off” donations. Plus, they can assist you in identifying philanthropic fields of interest that resonate with your charitable passions, and vet those causes you elect to support. And, since the Center team is highly knowledgeable in multigenerational philanthropy, they can work with you to develop a plan to involve your entire family in the giving process, creating a more meaningful philanthropic experience. Or if you have no heirs, we can help you create a meaningful plan for your legacy.
  4. Establish a fund through your estate plans to provide ongoing support to charities. We can work with you and your advisors to set up a fund through your estate that maximizes your charitable giving and minimizes your tax impact.
  5. Let The Foundation do the legwork. Working with us gives you access to our extensive knowledge of the local Jewish and general nonprofit community, as well as understanding of the broad charitable needs of our region, national causes, and programs in Israel. This way, you can stay informed about the organizations you support and the effect your giving will have on the future of our community.
  6. Plan the timing of your 2023 gift. December 31 is coming fast. A gift by check is complete when mailed (postmarked) to the charitable recipient, even if not cashed until the following year. Gifts by credit card are complete when your credit card account is charged.
  7. Consider a gift of appreciated stock. With surging stock markets over the past several years, low cost-basis, appreciated stock offers formidable currency and a popular way to fund your charitable giving. Gifts of appreciated marketable securities have the double tax benefit of avoiding capital gains tax on the appreciated value while receiving a deduction for the fair-market-value of the appreciated gift. The Foundation has managed more that 2,500 donor stock transactions totaling nearly $150 million for charity, so we know how to simplify things. Please consult your investment and tax advisors because there are deduction limits to stock donations depending on your income and specific situation, and contact us by mid-December to ensure a smooth process.
  8. Think about making a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from your IRA. Although Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) were waived in 2020 for most donors, making a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) this year will still allow itemizers and non-itemizers alike to direct up to $100,000 from their IRA to charities such as The Foundation in a tax-efficient manner. Note: The IRS does not allow IRA funds to be directed into a donor advised fund. However, donors can easily establish an endowment fund to support their favorite charities in perpetuity with their IRA distribution.

Let us help you get started today on a philanthropic journey that offers not only tangible tax benefits but brings personal fulfillment to you and your family by support causes and programs that have meaning to you, as well as lift our world. To discuss how Foundation professionals can assist you and your advisors in designing a personalized philanthropic plan, contact our Development team at 323.761.8704 or

To view this article in the Jewish Journal, click here.