Pick the issue you’re passionate about your heart and pick how to achieve the greatest impact with your head.
I heard something similar to this yesterday from a webinar hosted by Stanford Social Innovation Review and resonated with me. For some reason many treat charitable giving or philanthropy as more of an impulse buy than an investment. Choose issue using your heart and charity with your brain strikes a perfect balance to me.
Heart. There are many issues to care about and many reasons to care. It could be a loved one suffered or benefited from a condition or a service. It could be that you’ve ‘been there’. It could be that you imagine the help you would want for your own children if they were in these circumstances. There are many fronds to fan the flame of passion. Find what stokes your fire. If you’re not sure, the United Way can help you think through issues that affect local people and help you find a passion.
Brain. There are also many donation tools at your disposal, with varying degrees of financial benefit to yourself and the charity. One of the most tax efficient ways to donate, yet vastly underutilized; donation of securities, especially those with significant capital gains. For example, if I donate securities (shares, stocks) that I bought for $1000 which have increased in value to $2000. I get a $2000 tax receipt ($532 tax credit) and the charity receives the full $2000. On the other hand, if I cashed the securities, I would have to pay capital gains on $1000. If I made a $1000 donation, my tax benefit credit would only be $262. Same money spent, very different results for you and the charity. Contact your financial advisor for more information.