In this season of giving, donating time and money to cherished organizations can be a tremendous source of joy.  

And for those who create a philanthropic plan, the joy can be multiplied.  

That’s because a philanthropic plan can help individuals and families clarify values and amplify impact—making giving even more meaningful.   

What is a Philanthropic Plan?

A philanthropic plan is a written document which brings focus and clarity to one’s philanthropy, aligning charitable values and causes into a meaningful philanthropic strategy. A philanthropic plan can also specify how donations will be facilitated and over what time frame.   

Why Have a Philanthropic Plan?

A written philanthropic plan can assist donors in becoming effective philanthropists by engaging in intentional, sustained, and significant support for organizations aligned with their values.  

Intentional and planned giving can be more personally meaningful and create more lasting social impact, as well. A clearly written philanthropic plan is the foundation to being an effective philanthropist. 

How Do I Get Started?

  • Clarify motivations and values. Explore your short- and long-term giving goals. Reflect on your values and how those could align with your charitable giving. Think about what you’d like to see changed in the world.  
  • Narrow your focus to prioritize your resources. Reflect on the causes that are most important to you. What is it about those causes that make them your focus? 
  • Determine your giving budget. How much can you give without jeopardizing your long-term financial plan? Should your budget include room for reactionary giving, such as supporting a friend’s cause or responding to a global crisis? Planning for flexibility can make your plan more resilient. 
  • Select the best giving vehicle. While writing a check may be simplest, transferring appreciated stock is often more tax-savvy. Certain individuals may benefit from utilizing Qualified Charitable Distributions from retirement accounts, for example, or from funding a Donor Advised Fund. 
  • Involve family in your philanthropy. Identify if, and how, you would like to involve your family in your giving. Which organizations are important to your loved ones?
  • Find organizations that match your values. Seek recommendations from your networks or do online research to find organizations aligned with your goals. Websites such as Charity Navigator and Guidestar can be a good place to start. 

Fulfill Your Philanthropic Goals

Philanthropic giving is a wonderful way to assign meaning and purpose to wealth. Having a philanthropic plan in place can help you be more intentional with your giving and provide a roadmap to follow over time.  

We’ve outlined several ways folks can get started on their plan. Sure, developing a philanthropic strategy requires time and discipline, but the results can be well worth the effort.   

Remember, there is no “right” way to be a philanthropist, but purposeful planning can increase the clarity and impact of your giving.  

To learn more about effective giving and crafting your own philanthropic plan, contact your Lead Advisor. We’re here to help.