Living Your Legacy through Philanthropy
At this festive time of year, individuals and organizations are opening their checkbooks in droves in order to support those in need. A full 31% of annual giving occurs in December, as reported by Neon One, and 12% of all giving is squeezed into the final three days of the year. Philanthropy seems to be an integral part of many Americans’ financial plans; according to Giving USA, 2020 was a record-breaking philanthropic year, with $471.44 billion given to charities by year-end.
This indicates that for many Americans, charitable giving is a key part of the legacy they wish to leave, and fulfilling that legacy is particularly front-of-mind as the year draws to a close.
For us at K&B, giving back is a core part of our company culture. Philanthropy is something we believe in deeply; we collectively feel that giving is not just our responsibility, but also our privilege. It has become a part of our firm’s legacy.
Living Your Legacy with Charitable Giving
In keeping with our promise to listen and learn about the goals and priorities of each K&B client, we’ve made it part of our mission to help clients define their own legacies. For many, that includes charitable giving. Our decades of experience advising clients has endowed us with valuable insights. We share those insights and advice with clients to help them identify the causes they care about, maximize their impact, and possibly also reduce their tax burdens.
We’ve found that the personal relationships we develop with our clients over multiple years are integral in helping us help them live their legacies. Our goal is to understand our clients deeply—to know what motivates them, what causes they care about, and what they need in order to maintain their lifestyles and accomplish their near-term goals. That understanding helps us give them advice on sharing their wealth with others, because we understand how they want to use their money for good.
Helping clients navigate charitable giving is part of our financial planning service. If clients wish to donate stock shares, for example, we can guide them through the process.
Our ultimate goal is to help facilitate giving that aligns with our clients’ overarching values and goals. That means we offer insights and advice with the objective of helping the minimize the tax implications of their giving, which in turn, may also bolster the amount they have available to give.
For example, a client who has just turned 72 would be required by law to take a distribution from their IRA—and whatever income is distributed is taxed at that client’s ordinary income rate. This could result in a fairly substantial tax bill. If the client chooses, however, they can give up to $100K from their IRA to a charitable organization. We can advise clients through that process with the goal that clients benefit with both a smaller tax bill and a substantial donation for the charity of their choice.
Conversations like these are part of our approach to financial planning. We listen to clients and learn their priorities, then we help them set a strategy and enact a plan to achieve their goals.
Finding Causes You Care About
As they seek to define their legacies, we first suggest that clients find causes that are meaningful to them. The motivation to support the associated organizations can provide long-lasting joy for clients, unite families around a common purpose, and result in massive impact for the causes they champion.
At K&B, we take our own advice. As a matter of policy, we give each year from our firm’s revenue to support several organizations whose missions align with our personal values. Firm partners are also empowered to donate a certain amount of firm revenue each year. The result has been the cultivation of a culture of philanthropy and our collective support for several organizations that are meaningful in various ways to our team.
At this time of year especially, we’re proud to proclaim our support for the following organizations:
- Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center, New York City’s largest provider of high-quality, no-cost health and wellness services for young people.
- St. Joseph’s College, an on-line and in-person university whose mission is “to provide a strong academic and value-oriented education at the undergraduate and graduate levels, rooted in a liberal arts tradition that supports provision for career preparation and enhancement.”
- Sanctuary for Families, which provides support and services for survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking ,and other forms of gender violence in New York.
- East End Hospice, which provides care and comfort for terminally ill patients and their families on Long Island.
- Children’s Aid, which offers comprehensive services to help New York’s impoverished children and families succeed and thrive.
- Streets International, a culinary and hospitality training program that supports disadvantaged youth in Vietnam.
- NYC Outward Bound, which offers engaging, transformative learning experiences that focus on community and character to New York’s public school students.
- Lifeway Network, which strives to end human trafficking through education and awareness and provides safe housing for women who have been victims of trafficking.
- Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, which provides dance performances, training and education, and community programs for all people in order to unite people of all races, ages, and backgrounds.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City, which provides youth mentoring services to underserved youths in NYC.
- Hudson Valley Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, which rescues and cares for domestic animals, farm animals, and rehabilitated wildlife.
- Standardbred Retirement Foundation, which provides care and services for retired thoroughbred horses.
- New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, which offers rehabilitation, retraining, and rehoming to retired racehorses.
- Harness Racing Museum, which supports and promotes the Standardbred industry through documentation and preservation of its history.
- Bronx Children’s Museum, which offers opportunities for learning and play to children in the Bronx, New York.
- The American Farm School of Thessaloniki, Greece, an independent, nonprofit educational institution founded in 1904 to serve the needs of Greece and the surrounding Balkan areas
Let Us Help You Live Your Legacy
As you plan your end-of-year giving, we encourage you to ask yourself: what legacy do you want to leave? We’d love to help you define your overarching financial plan and determine how charitable giving fits into your goals and values. Reach out today for an initial conversation.
Note: K&B does not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.