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Reader Opinion: The spirit of giving

At this time, many of us make our year-end decisions for donations. This year provides us with a very unique and opportune time to give to charitable organizations.

First, the stock market has never been higher. If your charity has the ability to accept gifts of appreciated stock, you can make the gift, get the full tax deduction (if you itemize), and not pay the capital gains tax on the appreciated amount. If you really love that stock, you can buy it back with a higher cost basis, lowering future capital gains.

Second, we now know tax laws will change next year. In the new version, standard deductions will increase, making it no longer as advantageous for many to itemize and thus, deduct charitable contributions. You could set up a charitable fund at BLACF this year, and do your charitable giving from it for years to come. Regardless, please continue to support your local charities.

Finally, giving feels great! Just knowing you are making a difference and leaving your community and world a better place is fulfilling. One should never give 'til it hurts; rather, we should give 'til it feels great!

So this year, if you are thinking about our immediate community needs, you can donate to your local United Way or favorite charities. If you want to provide on-going, long term support, you can give to the Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation, our community's savings account. We provide support to donors and local charities and adapt based on the current issues we face as a community. For more info on year-end giving strategies, contact your professional advisor or me at

Happy Holidays to all!

Karl Samp

Executive Director, Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation