What exactly is Planned Giving?

Planned Giving is the transfer of a designated portion of your assets to a charity of your choice during your lifetime or as part of an estate plan. You make it your personal plan by determining what you care about most and then deciding what you want your future charitable gifts to impact.

Planned charitable giving is something we all can do … it’s not just for the wealthy.

It doesn’t have to be difficult.

Like so many people, you’d like to know that the causes and organizations you care about today will continue to thrive in the future. And with just a little planning, you can help make that a reality.

A planned charitable gift can be simple, easy to do, and can benefit both you and the charitable organization you would like to support. It can also help ensure that your philanthropic wishes are honored and allow you to leave a lasting legacy of hope.

Planned giving doesn’t have to be difficult, you don’t have to be wealthy to do it, and there are a variety of ways to leave a meaningful legacy. Always consult your financial/legal advisor when planning.


You can leave a lasting legacy to causes that are important to you. Depending on the type and amount of your gift, it may lessen the tax burden for you and your family. And because planned gifts are so flexible, they can work to benefit both you and all chosen beneficiaries, existing side by side with other personal priorities.

Five Common Approaches to Planned Giving

Beneficiary Designations

Most retirement plans, annuities, and life insurance policies let you decide in advance how your assets will be distributed after your death. They do this by asking you to designate beneficiaries, such as your favorite charity, on a beneficiary designation form.

Donor-Advised Funds

Donor-advised funds are one of the fastest growing, easiest, and most tax-advantageous ways to give to charity. They allow donors to make a charitable contribution, receive an immediate tax deduction, and then direct grants from the fund to their favorite charity whenever they choose. And donors can contribute to the fund as frequently as they like.

Gifts from an IRA

A simple, cost-effective way to benefit a charity of your choice and receive tax benefits is to use an IRA Charitable Rollover (Qualified Charitable Distribution.) If you are 72 years old* or older, every year you can ask your IRA administrator to transfer up to $100,000 directly to a non-profit of your choice. Because your gift goes directly to a qualified charity, the IRA distribution is excluded from your adjusted gross income for income tax purposes.

Gifts of Appreciated Stock

You may be able to maximize your gift and your income tax deduction by donating long-term appreciated securities, including stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, directly to a charity. By donating appreciated stock directly to the charity, the donor avoids recognition of capital gain and eliminates any income tax resulting from the sale of the stock.

Living Trust or Will

Making a gift through your will or living trust is one of the easiest ways to give into the future. With your legal advisor’s assistance, you can include language designating family, friends, or your favorite charity as part of your estate plan. Even a small percentage can have a big impact.

“I’ve been donating to Food Share, in a small way, since its early days because it served people’s most basic need. In those days it never occurred to me that I would ever be able to contribute at a meaningful level. As it turns out, because I have been frugal, not only will I have “enough,” there will be enough to make a difference. I have chosen Food Share to receive the bulk of my estate because I trust it to make the most effective use of the money.”

Where to Begin

Leave a lasting gift to Food Share of Ventura County.
  • Determine what you want to accomplish with your charitable gift.
  • Meet with your Financial Planner/Legal Advisor to decide the best approach to achieve your goals.
  • Contact Food Share for additional information and to discuss how your wishes can make a lasting impact. Please contact: Jennifer Caldwell at

To discuss these opportunities, please contact us via the form or contact Jennifer Caldwell direction at

Leave a Lasting Legacy

To discuss these opportunities, please contact us via the form or contact Jennifer Caldwell directly at

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