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Sheryl Sandberg, the Facebook COO, and SurveyMonkey board member signed the Giving Pledge.

While philanthropy should not be defined by how much you give, you have to admit that ‘the Giving Pledge”, which a commitment by the “world wealthiest individuals and  families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to giving back is pretty impressive.  As an average joe, you can’t match the dollars but the intent can be matched so it might not be a bad idea to match the manner of Sheryl Sandberg’s plan, i.e., donor advised funds as well. In fact, Sandberg has already donated Facebook shares to charity through a donor-advised fund.

Additionally Sandberg and her husband plan to establish the Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation with plans to donate all of her shares in SurveyMonkey.  The wealthy can and do establish private foundations as part of their giving strategy. That’s because, given the prohibitive cost of running a foundation,  this is not an attractive strategy to anyone but the uber wealthy.  In fact, for families with lots of wealth, the foundation provides a larger degree of control.  The only thing they do give up is their privacy as foundations are considered a public charity.

While there is great satisfaction is giving to a charity especially making gifts to charities that share your life goals, it can represent good financial planning as well. Giving highly appreciated investments to a charity is a wise tax strategy. As with every good plan however, there are some things to consider before you do this.

The tax savings from charitable giving can be significant, but remember, you’ll still be giving more that you get with tax relief.  A donor-advised fund  can be a useful tool if you plan to give money away to charity on a regular basis.

Because all donations are in one fund prior to their distribution, a donor-advised fund allows you to carefully monitor your charitable donations. Plus, the IRS allows you take a tax deduction in the year you give to your donor-advised fund; that means that you can let is sit in that account until you are ready to make the donation. Donor-advised funds allow for anonymity as well.

ReferenceCNBC (October 4, 2018) “What you can learn from Sheryl Sandberg’s plans to donate her SurveyMonkey shares”

 

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