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Thinking with Your Heart: A Guide to Giving – Part 2

A special series to help you navigate the best ways to help right now | Part 1

“There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.” Khalil Gibran 

For me, giving is always joyful. It feels great to be part of work I care about without even having to put on shoes.

But it’s also great when there are more concrete benefits to giving! Here are a few ways to transfer more resources directly to community needs while also saving yourself money in the end: 

Community Investment Tax Credits 

Blue Water Baltimore has tax credits (like a voucher for money off your tax bill) available this year! Any donor giving $1,000 or more is eligible for a 50% credit that can be applied as needed for up to six years. This is a great way to double your usual gift without effectively spending any more, and is amazingly flexible. Our supply is limited, and we expect to allocate them all by mid-summer. Contact me to get started and claim yours!

CARES Act Changes

This year, the government is encouraging us all to be as charitable as we can, including a $300 “above-the-line” deduction. This means even if you don’t itemize and take the simple standard deduction, you can still get a break for up to $300 of charitable donations.   

If you do itemize, you’re now eligible for deductions up to 100% of your adjusted gross income. (For corporate giving, the eligibility cap has been raised to 25% of taxable income.) That’s a hefty potential savings on taxes.  


Did you know that gifts of stock can give your family a big tax benefit even in a down market? You can donate stock and reduce capital gains you would pay when the market rebounds without changing your portfolio. Here’s how:  

  • Donate the stock.  
  • Immediately buy the same stock with cash.  
  • These gifts can reduce the capital gains you might pay when the market rebounds, without changing your portfolio.  

One stock donor last week shared with me, “With the S&P 500 now down only 9% YTD, it’s still a very good time to gift stock given we are not very far from an all-time market high (basically back to September 2019 levels).  Couple that with the added uncertainty in the market going forward, why not just gift now!” 

On a final note, while the CARES act eliminated the required minimum distribution from your IRA, a qualified charitable donation from an IRA can still be more beneficial than cash, as it saves on future taxes. And because bonds have been more stable than stocks, you might have more to give there.  

However you choose to give this year, I’m here to help! Please reach out anytime via email ([email protected]) or phone (410-254-1577 x100).

– Leanna 


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