Jimmy Lustig is an active philanthropist. He and his wife created the Lustig Family Foundation.

Tag: Tax

Five Great Books About Philanthropy In 2020

Five Great Books About Philanthropy in 2020

With so many options out there, how – and why – should people consider giving? The five books below provide many answers to these and other questions, making for fascinating reading, both inspirational and impactful.

One of the best guides to the giving process is the traditional Inspired Philanthropy: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Giving Plan and Leaving a Legacy, by Tracy Gary. Efficient covers everything from the basics of plan making, working with advisors, the right questions to ask non-profits, and much more. The inclusion of worksheets, resource lists, and descriptions of planning tools is beneficial.

The Promise of a Pencil, by Adam Braun, tells the story of how one man’s actions impacted thousands of lives globally. After encountering a begging child and starting with only $25, Braun built an organization that has helped build over 250 schools worldwide. Inspirational and uplifting, if ever there was an argument for the power of giving, this is it.

In The Soul of Money: Reclaiming the Wealth of Our Inner Resources, Lynne Twist offers positive proof that changing our attitudes towards earning and spending money can make our lives more meaningful and fulfilling. Challenging everyday assumptions about society’s views of money, the author illustrates her journey from conspicuous consumer to non-profit activist in an honest, no-punches-pulled way.

Sharna Goldseker and Michael Moody bring a fresh perspective in Generation Impact: How Next Gen Donors Are Revolutionizing Giving. Moving between first-hand accounts and analysis of a new class of doner’s work, the book shows the impact of young rising stars of philanthropy in disrupting traditional giving models and creating entirely fresh approaches to the field.

Another disruptive approach to giving is Impact Investing: Transforming How We Make Money While Making a Difference by Antony Bugg-Levine and Jed Emerson. The new field of impact investing is thoroughly explained, showing how it’s possible to “blend” investment success with positive change.

This year, perhaps more than in most, it’s essential to consider how a charitable contribution can positively impact peoples’ lives. The wisdom and practical advice that abound in the five volumes discussed will hopefully inspire and energize in equal measure.

Tax Benefits Of Philanthropy James Lustig

The Tax Benefits of Philanthropy

Volunteering in a charitable organization that is important to you can provide many altruistic benefits, like a feeling of selflessness and compassion. Those benefits alone are typically enough for individuals who are heavily involved in philanthropy and serve as a motivating factor to continue to contribute. However, as an added bonus, philanthropic contributions can also provide financial benefits to volunteers as well in terms of their taxes. While tax deductions are not typically the driving factor behind most philanthropic engagement, it is still helpful for volunteers to know about the fiscal benefits of their hard work and dedication.  


Cash Donations

Donating money to a charitable organization provides them the opportunity to choose what they use your contribution for. In most cases, monetary donations are used by philanthropic organizations and nonprofits to cover expenses. Since nonprofits do not receive revenue profit, as the name alludes to, all expenses that they face are covered by donations or pro bono contributions. This can go towards amenities and necessities like supplies, research, events, and employee compensation. So long as you save your receipts and any documentation of monetary donations, you can claim a tax deduction for the fiscal year in which it was made.  


As with any governmental involvement, there are limitations on these tax deductions. However, for most individuals, the ceiling of how much you can donate is not usually an issue. A percentage of your gross income is able to be match from your contribution to your tax deduction. It is recommended to consult with a local tax professional if you plan to make a bigger donation to be sure that you are educated on your tax deduction limitations.  


Non-cash Donations

Non-cash donations offer an endless amount of ways that individuals can get involved in philanthropic endeavors. Many people think that they are not fit for philanthropic involvement due to a lack of funds but this is not the case. Volunteering your time is a great way to help a charitable cause while remaining financially sound. Since most charities run as non-profit entities, they are always welcoming volunteers to assist their employees in their missions. You can itemize a list of the resources that you used to volunteer for tax deduction benefits, like time, mileage, parking expenses, etc.


Donating items like clothing, glasses, shoes, furniture, and technology are another way that people can be involved in bettering society through philanthropic contributions while also ridding themselves of items that they no longer need. As always, saving the receipt for these donations will make them tax deductible. 


There are also a number of very generous individuals who donate high value items like cars, houses, and land. There is a fair amount of paperwork involved in these donations as the items carry a higher appraisal value than others. This is when it is especially important to consult with a tax professional to be sure that all areas are being covered when making a large donation like this if you intend to declare it on your next tax deduction. 


No matter the donation, large or small, monetary or not, any charitable contribution is making a positive impact on an organization and helps them take the necessary steps towards accomplishing their mission. Just be sure to retain all paperwork and proof if you intend to reap the fiscal benefits in addition to the altruistic ones. 


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