Donating outside of your wallet

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The holidays often are spent reflecting on the last 12 months and looking toward a new year and a fresh start. We also use this time as an opportunity to spread our wealth and love to support initiatives important to us.

Guiding Light’s rigorous drug and alcohol recovery and re-engagement programs help lead individuals to renewed faith, steady employment and a safe, affordable place to live. We can continue to do this important work and grow because of our supporters.

Nonprofits like Guiding Light rely on traditional financial donations, but there are many ways you can support us outside of what is in your wallet.

Perhaps you are an investor, farmer, real estate investor or business owner. You may be able to increase your potential impact and reduce your taxes by donating noncash assets, such as stock, real estate, business interests or commodities.

By donating an asset, you can receive a tax deduction for the fair market value of your gift and avoid the tax liability. Consider giving assets you no longer need or care to manage. Increase your “generosity quotient” by giving from your excess resources without restricting cash flow. You can reduce potential taxes or complications for your loved ones by giving complex or burdensome assets rather than leaving them in your estate.

Becoming an advocate is another way to support Guiding Light and other nonprofits beyond your wallet. By promoting on social media or subscribing to the organization’s newsletter, you can share stories and upcoming events with friends and family to help spread the word.

Finances often are spread thin during the hectic holiday season and can be difficult to allocate. Give your wallet a break and consider these alternatives when choosing how to give back to your community and initiatives important to you.

Stuart Ray is executive director for Guiding Light.

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