How to make year-end giving count for you and your community in light of COVID-19

Food bank passing out food

As South Carolina continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s expected that our relief efforts will continue to be needed by nonprofits and residents. As we enter what is traditionally known as giving season, we wanted to offer some advice on how to make a meaningful impact for the many in our community facing hardship this year.   

How to make a difference

The Riley Center for Livable Communities at the College of Charleston recently surveyed South Carolina nonprofits, and their findings revealed that more than two-thirds have seen a decrease in funding since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Revenue streams from events and fees for services have plummeted, making many nonprofits more reliant on direct donations. In this difficult time, we recommend donors consider the following ways to lend that extra support.

  • Give general operating support, especially now. The landscape continues to shift with all the uncertainty of the pandemic, and general operating support is the lifeblood of nonprofits.
  • Offer multi-year support. A gift today is wonderful, but a gift that will come for 2, 3 or more years, offers some cash flow stability and the opportunity to look ahead and plan for resiliency.
  • Offer other forms of support. You can share information in your networks, stand up and advocate for a cause, or volunteer—even virtually—in a myriad of ways.
  • Give again. If it’s feasible for you, we encourage you to consider making additional gifts to nonprofits outside of the giving season over the next 12 months, as their financial challenges amid the pandemic persist.

Take advantage of incentives

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, provides incentives that encourage charitable giving prior to December 31.

In most years, individuals who itemize on their taxes are only able to deduct up to 60 percent of their adjusted gross income for cash gifts to tax-exempt, charitable organizations. For 2020, this ceiling has been removed and donors may deduct up to 100 percent of their adjusted gross income for cash gifts to charity (except for donor-advised funds). If you want to make a cash gift to your donor-advised fund, the 60% rule still applies.

Donors may also take advantage of the stock market and make larger gifts to nonprofits or donor-advised funds by gifting appreciated assets. Many nonprofits are being stretched extremely thin during the pandemic and for those donors who have donor-advised funds, this provides a great opportunity to “bunch” charitable gifts to cover the next 2-3 years of your charitable giving budget.

Deadlines for CCF Fundholders to keep in mind

Year-end contributions must be postmarked by December 31st, and gifts made through a credit card as well as gifts of stock must reach CCF’s account by December 31st.

Our deadline for guaranteed processing of grant recommendations for this calendar year is Monday, December 14 at noon. You can submit your requests by email or online. Because year-end grantmaking is our busiest time of year, we recommend submitting your requests sooner rather than later, and that you share your grantmaking list with us by the end of November.

Regardless of your giving budget, any amount of generosity will help our local nonprofits respond to the most pressing needs in our region as we get through this challenging time.

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