Happy New Year to all! May 2015 be a very blessed and prosperous year for you and your family.
We just came through a season that is known for giving. The people of the United States are the most giving people in all the world. In fact, according to the National Philanthropic Trust, charitable giving in 2013 increased by 4.4% over 2012 and reached the astonishing level of $335.17 Billion dollars.
We are a giving people. The same study showed that 95.4% of households give an average of $2,974 per year.
We give because we believe in charity. The word charity originally meant love. Giving shows the love you have toward your fellow man, toward those who are less fortunate. It means that you believe in causes that are bigger than yourself. It means that you believe that you should give back a portion of what God has blessed you with.
Studies have shown that those who give generously are able to give even more generously. It’s one of those true contradictions in life like “…the greatest among you shall be your servant….” Matthew 23:11.
This same study mentioned above shows that over the last 40 years charitable giving has risen every year except 2007-2009 and then has risen each year since.
One of the tools that we encourage our clients to consider is giving through their own private foundation. According to the study, foundation giving increased 5.7% to $50.28 billion.
The wealthiest of the world have used private foundations to protect the wealth that they have reserved for charitable giving for years. Indeed, the largest private foundation in the world is the Bill Melinda Gates Private Foundation. That foundation is worth over $37 billion. By contrast, the Lilly Endowment, a very popular foundation in Indiana, is worth “only” $7.7 billion. (See foundationcenter.org).
The Eldridge Group has been very successful at forming private foundations for our clients despite the “bad press” that the IRS has been getting regarding non-profit organizations. (The problematic non-profits have primarily been 501(c) (4) organizations, NOT 501(c) (3) organizations which do have a different purpose). It has taken a bit longer but we have not had any declined.
Running your own private foundation has many advantages but additional responsibilities also. If you have significant year income or wealth, you should consider the many advantages that these organizations can provide for you.
We can teach you how to set-up and run these organizations.
Be responsible for the income you earn and the wealth you generate. Be a giving person. Be wise with your giving and maximize the ability you have to support the causes that you endorse strongly. Consider a private foundation.
Give us a call.