Making a Difference: Boosting Your Charitable Giving Impact

By Brian Hires, Five Acres Animal Shelter Board Treasurer

As the treasurer on the board at Five Acres Animal Shelter and my day job as a financial advisor who helps people put their money to work in meaningful ways, I think about charitable giving a lot. Often, that leads to conversations about how to give more meaningfully–especially during tax time when people are considering how to offset their liabilities through planning for the next tax year. In the following, I’ll break down how you can enhance your charitable efforts with simple and strategic financial planning. 

Navigating the New Era of Charitable Giving

The tax landscape shifted in 2017, impacting how people approach charitable giving. With changes like an increased standard deduction and fewer deductions for state and local taxes, individuals are rethinking their approach to itemizing deductions, especially when it comes to charitable gifts. This is where the game-changing Donor Advised Funds come into play.

Getting the Most from Donor Advised Funds

Setting up a Donor Advised Fund through popular platforms like Schwab Charitable or Fidelity Charitable, or even through a local community foundation, is a savvy way to approach giving. Whether it’s cash, stocks, mutual funds, or other assets, contributing to a DAF allows you to claim a charitable deduction in the year of your gift. If your total deductions, including the DAF contribution, exceed the standard deduction, you could enjoy a valuable tax break.

Flexibility and Growth for Your Contributions

Donor Advised Funds offer more than just tax benefits; they provide flexibility. Your contributions can be invested across different assets or securely held in a money market fund, growing tax-free. Families can then distribute grants to IRS-qualified public charities at their own pace, without worrying about time limits or percentage requirements for disbursement.

Smart Giving with IRAs

For individuals aged 70 ½ and beyond, a savvy strategy involves tapping into traditional IRAs for charitable giving. Through Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs), you can make direct gifts to nonprofit organizations from your IRAs. While these gifts might not qualify for a charitable deduction, the distributions themselves remain non-taxable. Donations of up to $100,000 annually, adjusted for inflation starting in 2024, can be directed toward fulfilling the Required Minimum Distribution (RMD).


If you have a soft spot for animals and want to support Five Acres Animal Shelter’s mission, strategic charitable giving is the way to go. Combining Donor Advised Funds with smart IRA utilization can significantly boost the impact of your contributions. Take the first step – discuss your charitable goals with your financial advisor and craft a holistic financial strategy that mirrors your values and aspirations. Your contributions can truly make a difference to organizations in your community like Five Acres Animal Shelter!


If you’d like to set up charitable giving for Five Acres Animal Shelter, please contact our Development Director, Madeline Klene at