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SAPP Guide to Year-End Giving: Archana Sridhar

December 14, 2010

So the SAPP team was talking recently and we had a cool idea for a little series this month.  A few of us will be doing short posts with some personal thoughts on year-end charitable giving.  It’s less of a guide and more of a conversation.

We hope you will join us in this conversation with some thoughts on your year-end giving too.  For example, do you give throughout the year or only at the end?  What kinds of organizations do you give to?  Do you give toys or canned goods for food drives?  Do you do any volunteering?  What should people think about when they give at the end of the year? Are there any particular charities that you’re looking at this year?

I’ll start!  This year, as I think about my family’s year-end giving, I’m faced with some of the more practical questions.  First, this is our first tax year in a different country.  How much should the tax benefits of charitable giving affect our decision on where and how much to give?  On the one hand, it’s a wonderful chance to discover new charities here in Canada.  On the other hand, we don’t want to abandon the charities we’ve supported in the USA just because we don’t get as much of the tax benefit.

We’re also faced with some of the more values-based questions that we think about every year.  For example, we want to support our religious communities, but how much should we also prioritize other causes and needs that we care about – poverty, social justice, children’s health?  This article by Susan Jacoby in Big Questions Online talks about this very divide on giving between secularists and regular church- (or temple-)-goers, with religious folks giving more in general.  I really like how the author ends the story with her own personal decision to give more and to give to a cause that really touches her heart.

These are the things we’ll be talking about at our family’s annual meeting on giving.  What will you be talking about at yours?

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