Smart disaster giving can offer predictability to the unpredictable

Disasters such as the Maui fires and Hurricane Idalia are both unpredictable and yet, sadly, predictable. Multi-billion-dollar damage events occur annually and both natural disasters and humanitarian tragedies consistently attract much-needed philanthropic support. 

Understandably, most of the charitable dollars following a disaster flow toward essential and immediate relief efforts. Your clients might be interested to know dollars for efforts related to rebuilding and future mitigation are also critically important. Affected communities need both immediate philanthropic support for people affected by a disaster and long-term support to address ongoing ramifications. Ongoing support, for example, is needed not only for rebuilding after a fire or hurricane, but also to fund preparedness to blunt the effects of the next fire, hurricane or pandemic.  

Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) is happy to work with you and your charitable clients to explore ways to address future humanitarian disasters. Many people use their donor advised funds at a community foundation to support disaster relief efforts. And with rebuilds and recoveries often occurring long-term, a bunching strategy could help clients support disaster relief efforts through their donor advised funds for several years. This allows clients to plan to provide support, while also being smart about the tax advantages in the year of the transfer to their donor advised fund. 

Encourage your clients to consider endowments, field-of-interest funds, designated funds and other perpetual structures established through GCF to ensure that the community we love is protected for generations to come. Field-of-interest or designated funds can be especially attractive because, for those who’ve reached the age of 70 ½, these funds are eligible recipients of QCDs (Qualified Charitable Distributions) from IRAs. Creating a field-of-interest or designated fund allows a client to make charitable gifts in advance of disasters so that GCF can deploy resources immediately when urgent needs occur. 

For any clients interested in supporting our neighbors in Hawai’i, please consider a donation to the Hawai’i Community Foundation’s “The Maui Strong Fund,” which is providing financial resources to support the immediate and long-term recovery needs for the people and places affected by the devastating Maui wildfires. If your client is a GCF fundholder, please contact your client’s Philanthropic Advisor to assist with a transfer directly from their GCF fund.

The Maui Strong Fund