Donating $1M

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MARFEE
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Donating $1M

Post by MARFEE » Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:29 pm

I will be donating money to charity. It’ll be a large sum of money for me.

Have you donated a large sum? If so, what advice can you offer me?

To narrow your advice, I feel that I have a good attorney and accountant. I am sure I will not need the money.

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willthrill81
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by willthrill81 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:30 pm

Remember that charitable donations are only tax deductible up to the point that they represent 50% of your adjusted gross income. That threshold is lower for certain groups, like private foundations.
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sf_tech_saver
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by sf_tech_saver » Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:30 pm

Congrats -- that's a huge milestone. No advice, just #respect!
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Gill
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by Gill » Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:33 pm

If you have a good attorney and accountant you probably don't need much other advice from us. Selection of assets to give as well as timing of the gift can be significant in reducing the after tax cost to you.

Gill
Last edited by Gill on Sat Dec 28, 2019 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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stan1
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by stan1 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:35 pm

Some considerations
- Donate in multiple years so you can claim charitable contribution deduction on taxes
- Donate appreciated securities from a taxable account
- Consider a Donor Advised Fund so you can easily give grants to multiple charities, if that's your plan
- If you are over age 70.5 use Qualified Charitable Distributions from a Traditional IRA

Your attorney and tax accountant should be explaining these to you.

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Re: Donating $1M

Post by abuss368 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:37 pm

Congrats! Discussing wit your tax accountant as there are limitations to AGI and the carry forward, which is 5 years I believe.
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prudent
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by prudent » Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:39 pm

What kind of advice are you looking for beyond what your attorney and accountant have given you? Where to donate? What strings to attach to the donation, if any (what the recipient can do with the money, etc.)? Is this planning for a future gift or an immediate one?

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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:40 pm

use charity navigator, guide star, give well, etc:

https://www.charitynavigator.org/
https://www.guidestar.org/
https://www.givewell.org/

don't give to "The Human Fund":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwqWbfK9TXA
"May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live" -- Irish Blessing | "Invest we must" -- Jack Bogle

Cash
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by Cash » Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:41 pm

Conversely, I would be interested in hearing from you what happens when you donate $1m to a charity.

jsprag
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by jsprag » Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:45 pm

MARFEE wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:29 pm
If so, what advice can you offer me?
  • Know what goals or issues are important to you.
  • Research recipients thoroughly. Understand what they can/will/might spend the money on, and make sure it aligns with #1.
  • Be ready to surrender control. Once you've made the donation it's not your money anymore. Let it go. If you aren't ready to donate free of onerous stipulations and limitations then you haven't found the right cause or champion. Start over at step #1.
Congratulations, and thank you!

Jablean
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by Jablean » Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:08 pm

Discuss with the charity if they are ready - is this a transformative amount for them? Do they have what they need in place already or are you ok if they have to use some of the windfall to administer it and hire a new program manager?

What do you want them to accomplish? Go on with what they are doing? Use the money to match other gifts? (I work with a STEM education charity that has used this method to help with multiple statewide projects) Entail it a bit as in I want this to go toward purchasing this easement for recreational access on xyz project? Name the library after me? Don't name the library after me?

Congrats to both you and the charity :)

123
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by 123 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:29 pm

Caution is essential with large donations. If the donation is to a large charity (Salvation Army, Red Cross) they can handle $ 1M without batting an eyelash. If the $ 1M donation is to a small organization at one time it can be very disruptive. Some charities may see a need to ramp up their operations based on such a cash infusion to the extent that the higher level is unsustainable and costs incurred to "ramp up" might cause a significant portion of the donation to be wasted. Moderation can be a good thing.
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willthrill81
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by willthrill81 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:14 pm

123 wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:29 pm
Caution is essential with large donations. If the donation is to a large charity (Salvation Army, Red Cross) they can handle $ 1M without batting an eyelash. If the $ 1M donation is to a small organization at one time it can be very disruptive. Some charities may see a need to ramp up their operations based on such a cash infusion to the extent that the higher level is unsustainable and costs incurred to "ramp up" might cause a significant portion of the donation to be wasted. Moderation can be a good thing.
That's good advice. Making the donation to the organization via a donor advised fund can be very useful for multiple reasons (e.g. ability to donate shares directly, anonymity of the donor), not the least of which being the fact that you can spread out how much the organization gets at a time while still taking advantage of the tax deduction in one year.
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by abuss368 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:20 pm

123 wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:29 pm
Caution is essential with large donations. If the donation is to a large charity (Salvation Army, Red Cross) they can handle $ 1M without batting an eyelash. If the $ 1M donation is to a small organization at one time it can be very disruptive. Some charities may see a need to ramp up their operations based on such a cash infusion to the extent that the higher level is unsustainable and costs incurred to "ramp up" might cause a significant portion of the donation to be wasted. Moderation can be a good thing.
Well said. I know someone who used Vanguard DAF and was very pleased at how organized and easy it was.
John C. Bogle: Two Fund Portfolio - Total Stock & Total Bond - “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

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Christine_NM
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by Christine_NM » Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:28 pm

jsprag wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:45 pm
MARFEE wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:29 pm
If so, what advice can you offer me?
  • Know what goals or issues are important to you.
  • Research recipients thoroughly. Understand what they can/will/might spend the money on, and make sure it aligns with #1.
  • Be ready to surrender control. Once you've made the donation it's not your money anymore. Let it go. If you aren't ready to donate free of onerous stipulations and limitations then you haven't found the right cause or champion. Start over at step #1.
Congratulations, and thank you!
That's a good point about being ready to surrender control. When I first started contributions to my alma mater I used to take advantage of all the choices about how the gift could be used. These choices probably increase overall gifts. Now I have removed restrictions -- "unrestricted donation" -- because the institution is in a position to make far better decisions about how to use money than I am.
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by Zott » Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:24 pm

I can only emphasize that you should thoroughly research the organization's current activities, including newsletters, reports, general internet searches, etc. Don't assume that you know everything they do---it seems that many "charities" are moving outside their traditional activities these days.[OT/Politcal comment removed-Flyer24]

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Re: Donating $1M

Post by Flyer24 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:27 pm

Zott wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:24 pm
I can only emphasize that you should thoroughly research the organization's current activities, including newsletters, reports, general internet searches, etc. Don't assume that you know everything they do---it seems that many "charities" are moving outside their traditional activities these days. [OT/Politcal comment removed-Flyer24]

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Re: Donating $1M

Post by inbox788 » Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:33 am

MARFEE wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:29 pm
I will be donating money to charity. It’ll be a large sum of money for me.

Have you donated a large sum? If so, what advice can you offer me?

To narrow your advice, I feel that I have a good attorney and accountant. I am sure I will not need the money.
What's large for me is a pittance in comparison.

If you've got the tax and legal matters figured out, what advice are you seeking?

Do you have a specific organization in mind or a type of organization? Is this going to be the largest donation they've ever received or do they regularly receive donations on this scale? What do you hope to accomplish with the donation?

Donate directly to a charity instead of a financial, fundraising arm of a charity that's going to waste it as overhead. So avoid United Way that's going to eat up 15% administrative expenses before simply passing the donations to other agencies.

Do you want the charity to spend it in a year or some number of years, or maybe you want to establish an endowment for ongoing giving.

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btq96r
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by btq96r » Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:45 am

Depending on what/where you're thinking of making or spreading out the donation, maybe take time to put in some hours as a volunteer. If you haven't already, that should give you a firm appreciation of the culture around where the money is supposed to be ending up, and how committed to the stated goals they are.
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kcxie
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by kcxie » Sat Dec 28, 2019 1:26 am

Congratulations. Try my DAF. We can figure out the rest later. Haha. You have my total respect

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whodidntante
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by whodidntante » Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:22 am

I would spread it over several years if possible so you can deduct it.

msk
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by msk » Sat Dec 28, 2019 3:14 am

I gave an endowment a few years ago to my alma mater, to aid students in dire straits similar to what I was in my youth, from a 3rd world country. I did not have any tax deductions to chase, so I simply advised the college what my target student population was and they drew up a 2-page legal document for me to sign. I did not want any ongoing involvement from myself, e.g. in the student selection process. What I liked:

-each major endowment is assigned a number of Units in their endowment fund (currently in the billions). Withdrawals (3.5% to 4.5% depending on market performance over the previous 3 years) are designed to be on the basis that the balance will maintain its value in real terms, forever.
-trivially easy to add to "your" endowment. Just wire in funds, and they tell you how many more Units you have "bought". My sister added a 5-figure sum to it last year.
-I receive an Annual Report specifying how much was disbursed last year, the worth of the remaining balance and the names of the students recipients. They are real people that I enjoyed meeting them over a meal on years when I happened to be in town.

I am glad I did it well before my demise.

fourwheelcycle
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by fourwheelcycle » Sat Dec 28, 2019 7:10 am

You have not told us anything about the recipient of your donation. If it is a large, well-endowed organization like a museum or a university, or if you are donating to a major capital project, like a town library expansion, then $1M all at once would be fine. If I is a smaller organization, like a community-based service organization, with little or no true endowment, you may want to consider retaining the principal and donating $50-60K each year to help them balance their budget, or to help support a particular new program. Then if the organization is still around, financially stable, and doing a good job serving its mission when you are older you could leave them the principal as part of your final estate plan.

Topic Author
MARFEE
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by MARFEE » Sat Dec 28, 2019 7:11 pm

Thank you for your thoughts so far. I am organizing your suggestions and questions in a way that helps me work through the matter. For now, if you have anything to offer, pile on!

One thing. I am considering two $250,000 donations to organizations and many smaller ones, ad hoc.

Topic Author
MARFEE
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by MARFEE » Sat Dec 28, 2019 7:14 pm

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:40 pm
use charity navigator, guide star, give well, etc:

https://www.charitynavigator.org/
https://www.guidestar.org/
https://www.givewell.org/

don't give to "The Human Fund":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwqWbfK9TXA
Okay. This made me pee in my pants!

Quaestner
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by Quaestner » Sat Dec 28, 2019 7:37 pm

Thank you for donating to charity!
The book by William MacAskil "Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Help Others, Do Work that Matters, and Make Smarter Choices about Giving Back" helped me think about charitable donation and making sure my donations were best used. I highly recommend the book.

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MARFEE
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by MARFEE » Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:54 pm

Hi All. Thank you for the kind words and support.

I made my way through the reading, except the books. I bought those.

I am thinking:

Upping my giving to $2M

Over 5 years

$250k to my church (good size org), no strings

$500k to orgs my pastor and I agree on, probably large chunks, no strings

$250k to historically black college, no strings

$15k gifts ad hoc, no strings, something of a part time job that my children will help with

All anonymous (might be tough with ad hoc)

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Cubicle
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by Cubicle » Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:57 pm

If it were me, I'd commit to whatever sum you had in mind, spread out to ~$100,000 per year, for x number of years, communicated to the recipients. Why?

Gives the charity time to use the funds as efficiently as possible. The won't have to hire more people to allocate 1 million dollars all at once.
Give the charity certainty as to when they can expect x number of dollars. So they can plan fundraising, expenses, grants...
Give you more tax advantages.
Possibly raises recognition so others will take notice & donate as well. "Someone has been donating $100,000 every year for 4 years, we should donate too."
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Bama12
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by Bama12 » Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:05 pm

I never give to charity, to many hands in the cookie jar.

I give to people that I know. I don't have to know all about them. Just that they seem like good people that need a little more.

Goal33
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by Goal33 » Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:14 pm

Bama12 wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:05 pm
I never give to charity, to many hands in the cookie jar.

I give to people that I know. I don't have to know all about them. Just that they seem like good people that need a little more.
Not sure that’s tax deductible
A man with one watch always knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never sure.

Bama12
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by Bama12 » Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:15 pm

Goal33 wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:14 pm
Bama12 wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:05 pm
I never give to charity, to many hands in the cookie jar.

I give to people that I know. I don't have to know all about them. Just that they seem like good people that need a little more.
Not sure that’s tax deductible
I don't care about the tax. I care about helping people that really need it.

EHEngineer
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by EHEngineer » Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:20 pm

MARFEE wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:54 pm
Hi All. Thank you for the kind words and support.

I made my way through the reading, except the books. I bought those.

I am thinking:

Upping my giving to $2M
You already have a multi-year effort to give $1M. I suggest you learn and reflect on the first million before doubling down.
MARFEE wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:54 pm
All anonymous (might be tough with ad hoc)
I use and recommend a Fidelity Donor Advised Fund. They make it very easy to be anonymous, just check the box and they remove your info. Their customer service is great. They have every single charity I could think to search (even tiny local ones near me), and they make approve grants quickly (usually same day).
MARFEE wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:54 pm
$250k to my church (good size org), no strings

$500k to orgs my pastor and I agree on, probably large chunks, no strings
edit to state the obvious: As both a recipient and an advisor, your pastor has a conflict of interest. Consider getting the advise of an unassociated ethical advisor who will not receive any of your funds either directly or indirectly.

good luck.
Last edited by EHEngineer on Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Or, you can ... decline to let me, a stranger on the Internet, egg you on to an exercise in time-wasting, and you could say "I'm probably OK and I don't care about it that much." -Nisiprius

Goal33
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by Goal33 » Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:21 pm

Bama12 wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:15 pm
Goal33 wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:14 pm
Bama12 wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:05 pm
I never give to charity, to many hands in the cookie jar.

I give to people that I know. I don't have to know all about them. Just that they seem like good people that need a little more.
Not sure that’s tax deductible
I don't care about the tax. I care about helping people that really need it.
If you’re giving / donating more than a small amount you might want to start your own non-profit or still give to an official charity. I know lots of hands in the cookie jar but with a deduction you can probably afford to give much more.
A man with one watch always knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never sure.

surfstar
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by surfstar » Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:26 pm

Bama12 wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:05 pm
I never give to charity, to many hands in the cookie jar.

I give to people that I know. I don't have to know all about them. Just that they seem like good people that need a little more.
May I introduce myself?


;) :P :twisted:

Bama12
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by Bama12 » Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:28 pm

surfstar wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:26 pm
Bama12 wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:05 pm
I never give to charity, to many hands in the cookie jar.

I give to people that I know. I don't have to know all about them. Just that they seem like good people that need a little more.
May I introduce myself?


;) :P :twisted:
LOL

stochastic
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by stochastic » Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:55 pm

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:40 pm
use charity navigator, guide star, give well, etc:

https://www.charitynavigator.org/
https://www.guidestar.org/
https://www.givewell.org/

don't give to "The Human Fund":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwqWbfK9TXA
+1 for GiveWell. If the boglehead approach is to optimize the return on your investment, givewell very carefully and rigorously analyses the evidence of impact of different charities in terms of lives saved and health improved if that's a metric that is important to you. The top results are for malaria prevention in the developing world where the cost of saving a life (mostly under 5) works out to about $3000-$5000. You could literally save a couple of hundred lives of small children. It's much more expensive to have a similar impact domestically because of better public health systems.

I'd really suggest looking carefully at what the results are for the money. The difference between the impact per dollar of different charities is huge, it dwarfs the effect of choosing a mutual fund with a front load and a big ER.

SpaceCowboy
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by SpaceCowboy » Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:15 am

EHEngineer wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:20 pm
MARFEE wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:54 pm
Hi All. Thank you for the kind words and support.

I made my way through the reading, except the books. I bought those.

I am thinking:

Upping my giving to $2M
You already have a multi-year effort to give $1M. I suggest you learn and reflect on the first million before doubling down.
MARFEE wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:54 pm
All anonymous (might be tough with ad hoc)
I use and recommend a Fidelity Donor Advised Fund. They make it very easy to be anonymous, just check the box and they remove your info. Their customer service is great. They have every single charity I could think to search (even tiny local ones near me), and they make approve grants quickly (usually same day).
+1 on using Fidelity DAF. They will even lower their fees for a giving account of this size.
For any organization that you are considering a $100k or more gift, I suggest you speak directly with the Executive Director. You can discuss your reasons for giving and the impact you’d like to make. You can also discuss what structure works well for them in the gift.
Make sure to also review the 990 to make sure you are comfortable with the % going to Program Services and the salaries of the employees. I personally won’t give to non-profits that pay excessive comp, because they kind of are profitable for some people.

AlphaLess
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by AlphaLess » Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:31 am

MARFEE wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:29 pm
I will be donating money to charity. It’ll be a large sum of money for me.

Have you donated a large sum? If so, what advice can you offer me?

To narrow your advice, I feel that I have a good attorney and accountant. I am sure I will not need the money.
1. Really research the topic to understand tax implications,
2. Donate appreciated securities, if possible,
3. Setup a Donor Advised Fund, if preferable to you.

Always consult an accountant.

Also, consider other intangibles:
- ask to be on the border of the charity,
- if donating even larger sums, ask to be memorialized. E.g., I think if you donate circa $50M, it is possible that a university will name a building in your name.
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White Coat Investor
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by White Coat Investor » Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:35 am

MARFEE wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:29 pm
I will be donating money to charity. It’ll be a large sum of money for me.

Have you donated a large sum? If so, what advice can you offer me?

To narrow your advice, I feel that I have a good attorney and accountant. I am sure I will not need the money.
I donate a large sum every year. One nice benefit of giving through a DAF is you don't get mailing, phone calls, and emails from dozens of charities after you give. You can hide your contact information from the charities and still get the tax deduction. So all my charitable giving now runs through a DAF. It's easily funded with appreciated securities.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

anonenigma
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by anonenigma » Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:55 am

MARFEE wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:54 pm
Hi All. Thank you for the kind words and support.

I made my way through the reading, except the books. I bought those.

I am thinking:

Upping my giving to $2M

Over 5 years

$250k to my church (good size org), no strings

$500k to orgs my pastor and I agree on, probably large chunks, no strings

$250k to historically black college, no strings

$15k gifts ad hoc, no strings, something of a part time job that my children will help with

All anonymous (might be tough with ad hoc)
My wife runs a nonprofit and happened to be at the front desk when the letter carrier arrived. She opened an envelope which contained a $250,000 check from a donor-advised fund. Nice surprise.

msk
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by msk » Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:56 am

$2 million is very easy to waste, hence, personally, I would give it in small chunks. Invested in ETFs it's good for between $70k and $90k per annum. Forever! See my earlier post regarding my endowment. Unfortunately anyone of us can die tomorrow so you need an ongoing, trustworthy trust to hand it to for your beyond-the-grave handouts. As for "people I know" I simply give them monthly checks. If I die today, too bad, no more checks.

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Re: Donating $1M

Post by gmc4h232 » Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:03 am

stan1 wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:35 pm
- Donate appreciated securities from a taxable account
If you are donating appreciated securities from a taxable account, make sure you donate securities with long term gains and not short term gains if you want to maximize your tax deduction.

RobLyons
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by RobLyons » Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:32 am

Family and friends? And fellow BHs? :D
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yukonjack
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by yukonjack » Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:50 am

stochastic wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 11:55 pm
arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:40 pm
use charity navigator, guide star, give well, etc:

https://www.charitynavigator.org/
https://www.guidestar.org/
https://www.givewell.org/

don't give to "The Human Fund":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwqWbfK9TXA
+1 for GiveWell. If the boglehead approach is to optimize the return on your investment, givewell very carefully and rigorously analyses the evidence of impact of different charities in terms of lives saved and health improved if that's a metric that is important to you. The top results are for malaria prevention in the developing world where the cost of saving a life (mostly under 5) works out to about $3000-$5000. You could literally save a couple of hundred lives of small children. It's much more expensive to have a similar impact domestically because of better public health systems.

I'd really suggest looking carefully at what the results are for the money. The difference between the impact per dollar of different charities is huge, it dwarfs the effect of choosing a mutual fund with a front load and a big ER.
+1. I would recommend taking a strong look at Givewell. If you are a believer in the boglehead way I think you will appreciate how these people operate. A quick google search will provide you with solid background on Givewell.

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Cubicle
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by Cubicle » Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:13 am

gmc4h232 wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:03 am
If you are donating appreciated securities from a taxable account, make sure you donate securities with long term gains and not short term gains if you want to maximize your tax deduction.
Admittedly I have never donated appreciated stock. But I always thought it was the opposite so I just read 2 articles about this. Excellent point!
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seymore92
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by seymore92 » Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:17 am

gmc4h232 wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:03 am
stan1 wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:35 pm
- Donate appreciated securities from a taxable account
If you are donating appreciated securities from a taxable account, make sure you donate securities with long term gains and not short term gains if you want to maximize your tax deduction.
Why is that?

gd
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by gd » Thu Jan 09, 2020 8:29 am

AlphaLess wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:31 am
- ask to be on the border of the charity,
- if donating even larger sums, ask to be memorialized. E.g., I think if you donate circa $50M, it is possible that a university will name a building in your name.
Not an answerable question, of course, but where does the charity end and transaction begin once you expect something in return?

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lthenderson
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by lthenderson » Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:30 am

White Coat Investor wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:35 am
One nice benefit of giving through a DAF is you don't get mailing, phone calls, and emails from dozens of charities after you give.
+1

I made the mistake once of writing a sizable check to a charity that came and spoke at our church one evening. For the next three or four years, I probably got two to three mailers every WEEK from them asking for more money. I couldn't help but think of all that money I gave them going to printing and mailing costs and not where I had intended. Since then, I have always given anonymously.

msk
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by msk » Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:47 am

Just food for thought for those donating very large amounts. A friend of mine is the grand nephew of the largest charitable foundation in Europe, something akin to the Ford Foundation. He was the last direct blood link to the founder and he was ousted from the Board of Directors for reasons I am not familiar with, but he told me, I paraphrase, "If you ever set up a foundation, specify that a member of your family is always on the Board, otherwise decades from now the bunch of strangers who then run the Foundation will no longer feel obligated to follow your dying wishes." At the time I just smiled, since I was a mere salaryman engineer and foundations seemed like in a galaxy far, far away.

inbox788
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Re: Donating $1M

Post by inbox788 » Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:32 pm

msk wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:47 am
"If you ever set up a foundation, specify that a member of your family is always on the Board, otherwise decades from now the bunch of strangers who then run the Foundation will no longer feel obligated to follow your dying wishes."
Doing that will only ensure that a blood relative is no the board. I'm not sure a distant blood relative or a stranger would be better at following your dying wishes. Maybe the relative was ousted because his wishes weren't what the board thought the deceased wanted. Hard to figure out things that far in the future with so little control.
lthenderson wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:30 am
I made the mistake once of writing a sizable check to a charity that came and spoke at our church one evening. For the next three or four years, I probably got two to three mailers every WEEK from them asking for more money. I couldn't help but think of all that money I gave them going to printing and mailing costs and not where I had intended. Since then, I have always given anonymously.
Only 3 or 4 years? I'm still getting solicitations from charities that I haven't contacted in over a decade, big and small, and some of them well known ones too. Like merchant mailing lists, they never go away as long as they can be monetized.

OT, but I tried an an app over 3 years ago, and didn't' hear a word from the company, but out of the blue, they started spamming me again. And I've had similar wake from the dead type solicitations where I haven't made a purchase for 5 years or more, and they want to welcome me back. I expect my children will be tossing these away for many years after I'm gone.

I've learned to ignore these solicitations and any now go out of my way to blacklist these charities because of their wasteful practices, but it must generate revenue or they wouldn't be doing it. Unfortunately, a charity must compete and survive first like any other company, so often they adopt strategies that are in poor taste and inefficient, but to me that's a sign that maybe the charity shouldn't exist.

Anyway, if you donate $1M this year, don't be surprised if you get a post card next year (or next decade) with boxes to check asking if you'd commit to $1M, 2M, 3M and 5M or other. They're programmed to use your highest donation and go up from there.

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