News & Event
Cincinnati Business Courier
By Phillip Lanham
Nov 30, 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed many things, but it hasn’t changed the spirit of generosity. As we head into what is typically considered the giving season, you may be planning your year-end giving. However, after months of unparalleled uncertainty and market volatility, you also may be wondering how to get started.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which addresses the far-reaching effects of the pandemic, includes new rules and incentives for charitable giving in 2020. As part of Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s mission to connect people with purpose, we highlight these opportunities to help you maximize your support of the nonprofits that provide critical services to our neighbors.
Charitable giving deduction for non-itemizers
If you take the standard deduction (i.e. you don’t itemize), you may reduce your taxable income by $300 per filing unit for your charitable contributions starting in 2020. The process is simple. Keep your receipts after you make a cash contribution (check, credit card, etc.) to a 501(c)(3) public charity and then report the gift when you file. Contributions to donor advised funds (DAFs) or supporting organizations are not eligible for this deduction.
Write-offs for charitable giving ordinarily are restricted to those who itemize. This “above-the-line” deduction is a considerable incentive for the vast majority who take the standard deduction and is a major win for countless nonprofits that are reeling from the pandemic’s devastating financial blows.
Offset up to 100% of your income
For the 2020 tax year only, you may deduct cash contributions to most public charities to offset up to 100% of your income. Ordinarily, the income tax charitable deduction for cash gifts is limited to 60% of your income. With the 100% limit in place, particularly generous donors can drastically reduce their 2020 federal income tax. You can contribute to those charities in multiple ways, even by setting up a fund or establishing an endowment. Once again, however, contributions to private foundations, DAFs or supporting organizations are not eligible for this deduction. Community foundations, including GCF, have several options besides DAFs that may be a tax-wise vehicle to maximize this unique opportunity.
Your ability to deduct up to 100% of your income with cash gifts is reduced by your gifts of appreciated assets such as publicly traded securities and real estate. That means your charitable deductions in 2020 cannot exceed 100% of your income, but you can carry unused cash contribution deductions for up to five years.
Bunching remains a viable strategy
By “bunching” or grouping two or three years of your regular giving amounts into the first year — along with other itemized deductions — you can accrue a total that is higher than the standard $24,800 deduction (for couples) or $12,400 (for single taxpayers). Through a DAF, you can distribute the charitable donations over multiple years, but you obtain the charitable tax deduction in year one. In year two (and three, if applicable), you then take the standard deduction.
Bunching maximizes the power of your giving to the causes that are important to you.
Each taxpayer’s situation is different. We encourage you to seek tax advice from your financial adviser to determine which options would work best for you before you prepare your giving plan.
The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the hardships for our struggling neighbors and further strained the resources of the nonprofits that serve them. By leveraging these tax-wise strategies, you can make your generosity go further.
Read the article at Cincinnati Business Courier.
As you plan your holiday and year-end giving, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation is proud to assist and be your philanthropic partner.
Your new fund can be established quickly. Call to discuss your charitable goals with a member of GCF’s Giving Strategies Group and decide which type of fund is best for you and your family. The date of the gift transfer to GCF is most important - it will determine whether your gift qualifies for a 2017 tax deduction.
To ensure your grants are received by the charitable organizations you support before December 31, please submit your recommendations to GCF before Tuesday, December 26, 2017. Find out more about how to add assets to your fund.
GCF will be working throughout the holiday season to facilitate your charitable giving. Our office is open from 8:30
a.m.-5:00 p.m. on weekdays with the exception of December 25, 2017, and January 1, 2018.
To talk about arrangements for your year-end giving and grantmaking, please call our Giving Strategies Group at
One of the nation’s leading community foundations, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation helps people make the most of their giving to build a better community. We believe in the power of philanthropy to change the lives of people and communities. As a community foundation, GCF creates a prosperous Greater Cincinnati by investing in thriving people and vibrant places. An effective steward of the community’s charitable resources since 1963, the Foundation inspires philanthropy in eight counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. At the end of 2016, GCF had net assets of $563 million.
Updated Nov. 17, 2017
The end of the year brings holiday celebrations, gatherings with families and friends and … tax planning. Before you get caught up in the seasonal whirlwind, it’s a good idea to take a look at your end-of-year giving strategies.
As your community foundation, Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) is a partner you can count on to understand and respond to your unique needs. GCF’s team of experienced professionals, well versed in a region-wide perspective and effective nonprofit organizations, are on-hand for consultation to ensure your generosity has the largest possible impact. GCF also offers personalized service and flexible giving options.
As 2019 comes to a close, you may want to consider these charitable tax strategies:
If you’re considering creating a charitable fund, contact our team at 513-241-2880 before year-end to discuss your goals and strategies.
If you already have a donor advised fund at GCF, to ensure grants from your fund are received in 2019, we recommend that you make your grant suggestions:
Gifts of publicly traded stock and hand-delivered checks must be received in our office by 5 p.m. Dec. 31. Checks received by mail must be postmarked by Dec. 31 to qualify as a 2019 tax deduction.
Our office is open 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays, except for Dec. 24-25 and Jan. 1. To discuss arrangements for year-end giving and grantmaking, contact our team at 513-241-2880.