Despite the many challenges of 2020, Americans are pausing this week to give things. The period of Thanksgiving through the new year traditionally sees the highest giving levels among individuals of all demographic levels. But in a year of firsts, perhaps this is also a time to rethink how generous giving can impact our families and communities.
Bill High, CEO of The Signatory, challenges Christians to give generously during the holiday season.
“May I issue you a challenge?” he asked. “Make a commitment to text or email five people per day through Friday a specific reason why you are grateful for them.”
High offered these tips for engaging the entire family in charitable giving:
- Field trip — Take a field trip to visit three or four ministries. Discuss what you saw and heard and make gifts accordingly.
- Random generosity day. Give everyone $100 (or whatever amount works in your budget) and make a giveaway either on a single day or between Thanksgiving and Christmas to someone in need. Share the stories when you are together.
- Make a gift to a needy family. Find a family in need, shop for groceries or buy them Christmas presents. For larger items, consider using Helping Hands, at hhmin.org.
- Serve together. Whether it’s being a bell ringer, serving meals at the rescue mission or offering to shop for groceries for the elderly, take the time to serve together.
- Write letters to distant relatives or friends. Share with them the story of how you’ve grown in your faith and how they’ve encouraged you as well.
In addition, the 2020 CARES Act provides a one-time giving opportunity at the end of the year with several benefits:
- Required minimum distributions are waived for 2020. The net impact, if someone chooses to waive the RMD, will be less taxable income and therefore the opportunity for a greater deduction.
- One hundred percent of AGI income tax deduction. Under the 2017 tax law, 60 percent of AGI was already allowed as a charitable contribution. For 2020, an addition 40 percent is available, or up to 100 percent of AGI, although the extra 40 percent must go directly to a charity.
- $300 charitable deduction for every individual regardless of the ability to itemize. This feature gives everyone a tax benefit for giving.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice