A Guide To Charitable Giving
Written by Ron Kruszewski, Chairman and CEO of Stifel Financial Corp.
Charities serve an important role in our society. Their work enriches our communities in so many ways. They provide crucial services to those in need, fund scientific breakthroughs, support the arts, and much more. You probably have at least one cause you hold dear. It might be the fight against a disease that afflicted a loved one. Maybe it’s the college that helped you launch a successful career. Or a group that’s having a positive impact on your neighborhood.
As you plan for the future, it’s natural to get caught up in accumulating wealth. After all, achieving financial security and independence are top priorities for any investor. You’re likely saving for retirement or your children’s college education. You might also be focused on building your career or family business. As you work toward these important goals, have you also thought about how your wealth can help others?
When you contribute to your favorite charity, you get the proverbial “warm glow” that comes from helping others. But, though it may seem counterintuitive, giving your money away can help you improve your financial situation as well.
Many people think of charitable giving in terms of making cash donations or leaving money in their wills. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Have you benefited from the strong recent performance of the stock market? If so, you may choose to gift appreciated stock or donate required minimum distributions from your individual retirement account. And, depending on your situation, you might also consider such options as donor-advised funds, pooled income funds, charitable remainder trusts, and private foundations. Although they all provide both income tax and estate tax benefits, each of these strategies is unique.
Your financial situation is unique as well. Determining which charitable giving strategies are appropriate for your needs can be difficult. There are many factors to consider. What works for your neighbor may not necessarily be appropriate for you. Given the complex nature of charitable giving and the important role it can play in your financial picture, it’s a good idea to work with a financial advisor.
Since 1890, Stifel helped investors like you by delivering personal service and a commitment to providing sound investment advice. Recommending charitable giving strategies is a major component of the services we provide. A Stifel advisor can help you develop a deliberate, well-planned approach to giving. Your advisor will work with you to help you determine how – and how much – to give, integrating your philanthropic objectives into your overall investment plan.
As a company, Stifel gives back to the St. Louis community in a number of ways. As our firm has grown into one of the nation’s leading full-service wealth management and investment banking firms, so too has our involvement in charitable organizations both here in St. Louis and nationally. We support such organizations as the Mathews-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club, Nurses for Newborns, Boys Hope Girls Hope, and Habitat for Humanity. Individually, our associates give back in ways large and small to charities throughout the region.
Giving back is an incredibly rewarding experience. If you’re looking to maximize the benefit of your charitable donations, both for you and the charities you support, reach out to a financial advisor for help. And should you choose to work with a Stifel advisor through one of our 11 offices in the St. Louis metropolitan area, you’ll know that you’re supporting a firm that is committed to making our hometown a great place to live.