Though often unappreciated, the annual passage of tax season has benefits.

It offers some finality to the prior year by deciphering if owe or are due a refund. For example, for the 2021 tax year, the IRS processed 88 million refunds averaging $3,039 each. Simultaneously, filing a 2022 tax return often comes with finalizing quarterly tax estimates for 2023, which many people use to build a framework for current-year spending. Fortunately, charitable giving ranks high in most “how to use your refund” advice. Whether you are expecting a refund or are planning for upcoming tax obligations, giving intentionally and strategically always helps gifts go further.

Unfortunately, strategic and intentional giving may get lost when gifts to charity are made through a quickly mailed check or by phone/television solicitation. Kalamazoo Community Foundation (KZCF) offers remedies for this!

Lean into intentionality

Many donors give to the same causes annually. Causes tied to faith, health and community, rank highly among charitable giving trends. Recently, gifts involving food, home insecurity, natural disasters and international conflicts have become increasingly popular. In the past three years, KZCF’s Love Where You Live Fund has seen spikes in early learning, civil rights, human services and basic needs.

Despite these trends, what is most important is to give to causes that are near and dear to you and for which you can see the ways your giving is contributing to meaningful, positive change in the lives of people in our community.

KZCF is a knowledgeable source of ideas, best practices and data-driven approaches to helping you measure your impact. Our team can be especially helpful if you have a cause in mind but may not immediately have an organization or local chapter to support. Our team has vetted and even prequalified many worthy organizations, and as a bonus, offers security against sending gifts to scammers or bad actors.

Level up your strategy

Now that you have identified budget targets for your charitable giving and have a strong sense of the causes you’d like to support, structuring your gift for maximum impact and tax savings should be a top priority.

If you already have a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) at KZCF, you know that this vehicle has many benefits, including:

  • Access to our staff of experts
  • Ability to support your favorite causes from the comfort of your computer
  • Ability to maximize a gift with accompanying tax benefits
  • Opportunities to schedule gifts that coincide with the occasional matching campaign hosted by a favorite charity.

With full tax deductibility in the year of the contribution, DAFs are an ideal way to “mentally offset” current year tax estimates that become known in April. If you do not yet have a DAF at KZCF but are considering it, this may be the perfect time to jump in.

With these tips in mind, and with the help of KZCF, you can better plan for the tax year ahead.