Year-end giving tips for donors

December 14th, 2018

Many of our donors have asked how to better plan your charitable giving after the 2017 Tax Reform Act. The increase in the standard deduction to $24,000 for a married couple and $12,000 per individual means that many donors will not meet the new standard deduction threshold.

A smart strategy to reach the standard deduction threshold is to combine two or three years of charitable contributions (sometimes called bundling) into a single tax year and take the standard deduction in off-years. Although you will not take the itemized charitable deduction annually when bundling your gifts into a single tax year, you can still support your favorite charities in “off-years” by using your donor-advised fund established at the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis.

The assets in your donor-advised fund will be available to you so you can make grant distributions to nonprofits of your choosing, even in the years when you don’t contribute to the fund. Funds that are not distributed as grants will continue to be invested in one of the seven Community Foundation investment pool options, so your charitable dollars can grow tax-free

Maximize your deductions and your impact on the causes you care about with judicious charitable planning and your donor-advised fund.

Dates and deadlines to know

The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis is poised to assist you with your year-end giving. You must have your Community Foundation fund established and open prior to submitting your contributions. Please allow time to open the account prior to making your contribution.

So that we can provide the best possible service and ensure your charitable gifts qualify for a charitable income tax deduction in the 2018 tax year, please keep these important dates in mind:

  • Gifts of appreciated stock should be made by 4:00 p.m. on December 31, 2018. Please notify stockgifts [at] cfgm [dot] org of the transfer as soon as possible.
  • Checks sent via the U.S. Postal Service must be postmarked on or before December 31, 2018.
  • Checks sent via carriers such as FedEx, UPS and DHL must be physically received at 1900 Union Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104, on or before December 31, 2018.
  • Wire transfers of cash must be initiated no later than December 31, 2018.
  • Credit card gifts made by phone or online may be made until December 31, 2018.

Email(adudley [at] cfgm [dot] org) Donor Services Officer Amy Beth Dudley or call her at (901) 722-0038 for assistance.

Year-end grant recommendations

Donor-advised fund holders may wish to recommend grants as part of year-end campaigns or holiday contributions. In order for nonprofit recipients to receive grant checks in 2018*, recommendations should be made by noon on Friday, December 21. Donor advised grant recommendations should be made online through our secure donor portal.

*The timing of donor advised grants has no effect on your 2018 charitable income tax donations since your charitable contribution was made when you contributed it to your donor-advised fund.

Year-end office hours

The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis is ready to help you complete your year-end charitable giving, with our staff available to provide answers and process transactions until the last day of the year. Our offices will be closed on Monday, December 24, and Tuesday, December 25, but will be open for business weekdays, Wednesday, December 26, through Monday, December 31, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

2018 contribution satements

Contribution statements for all gifts donoated to your fund for 2018 will be available by January 15 on the Donor Dashboard homepage in the Donor Login section of You can easily sign up to be notified by email when your statement is available online. 

If you would like to receive exclusively electronic statements, check the "Go Green" byx on the Donor Dashboard to go paperless and to stop receiving statement sin the U.S. Mail.

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