We all want to make a difference with our giving.  This course explores ways to ensure your giving makes a difference.  I’ll show you ways to give that provide more dollars to your favorite organizations and may save you money on taxes. 

This course will provide valuable resources on giving. You’ll develop a giving plan that supports what you value most while potentially saving taxes or taking care of your family. Tax discussions in this course focus on United State income and estate taxes.

To be honest, this course is a labor of love and is not directly tied to the mission of CFO Perspective. I was talking to someone 12 years ago about ways to give to save taxes when giving and they said I should do a talk on it. I scratched out an outline for a workshop and then filed away my notes. I was recently on a committee that decided to put on a workshop on giving, so I created this course for that committee and for anyone else who wants to learn how their giving could be more effective.

The course is divided into four sections that each ask an important question about giving.


Who should I give to? 

You’ll clarify the values and causes most important to you. Knowing your values helps you pick organizations that support those values. I show you how to find organizations and how to evaluate how good they are at fulfilling their mission.


What should I give?

I’ll explain the pros and cons of giving cash, donated goods, and investments. Giving isn’t limited to money or assets. You can also volunteer at organizations and buy from for-profit companies that support your values.


How should I give?

You have many options besides giving directly to charities. These options may give you tax savings. One very popular option that’s growing quickly is donor advised funds. Other options discussed in this course include foundations, charitable trusts, charitable gift annuities, and pooled income funds.


I’ll also discuss the pros and cons of designating your funds or leaving them undesignated so the organization can choose the best use of the funds. 


When should I give?

I show you how batching donations could increase your tax deductions. You may be able to save taxes by donating your IRA funds. Wills and life insurance are two ways to provide significant gifts to leave a legacy to your favorite charities.


The goal of this course is not to encourage you to give more or change who you’re giving to. This course is a labor of love to help people make better giving decisions.  Better giving allows you to increase the impact of your giving and make our world a better place.   

Course curriculum

  • 1

    New Chapter

    • Introduction

  • 2

    Who Should I Give To?

    • Activity explanation: Assess your values

    • Activity - Your values

    • Find organizations that match your values

    • Assessing organizations

    • Activity: Charitable Organization Information Websites

    • Activity: Giving Plan

  • 3

    What Should I Give?

    • Cash and donated goods

    • Stocks, bonds, real estate, and other investments

    • Volunteering

    • Buying from for-profit companies that support your values

    • Activity explanation: What to give

    • IRS tax resources for charitable giving

  • 4

    How Should I Give?

    • Direct donation to an organization

    • Donor advised funds and foundations

    • Mixtures of giving and receiving

    • Designated, undesignated, and endowment giving

    • Activity explanation: How to give

  • 5

    When Should I Give?

    • Developing a giving plan

    • Periodic giving

    • Batching donations

    • IRA donations

    • Wills and life insurance

    • Activity explanation: When to give

  • 6

    Next Steps

    • Congratulations! You have a giving plan.

    • Activity: Action steps