How to Incorporate Tithing and Charitable Giving Into Your Financial Plan

How to Incorporate Tithing and Charitable Giving Into Your Financial Plan

Your financial plan is more than just numbers; it’s a reflection of what truly matters to you. By including tithing and charitable giving in your financial strategy, you not only account for meaningful cash-flow items but also experience personal fulfillment, create a lasting legacy, and enjoy potential tax benefits.

When you integrate charitable giving into your financial planning, you align your monetary goals with your deepest values. At Deerfield Financial Advisors, we have a special name for this process of connecting your resources to your priorities: WealthwhileSM.

In this article, I want to share the many benefits of weaving tithing and charitable giving into your financial plan and offer practical advice on how to make it a seamless part of your financial journey.

Why Add Tithing and Charitable Giving to Your Financial Plan?

If tithing in church or donating to charities and causes close to your heart is important to you, consider making it a regular part of your monthly or yearly cash-flow. By doing so, you’ll seamlessly integrate giving into the ongoing management of your wealth.

Here are three compelling reasons to include charitable giving in your financial plan:

  • Personal Fulfillment: Giving can provide a deep sense of purpose and make you feel more fulfilled in your life.
  • Legacy Building: Beyond just financial wealth, your contributions can leave a lasting impact and inspire others to give as well.
  • Tax Advantages: Charitable donations are often tax-deductible, which can help reduce your taxable income.

Aligning your financial goals with your values allows you to give back in a way that is both meaningful and sustainable.

How to Add Tithing and Charitable Giving to Your Financial Plan

Integrating your tithing and charitable giving into your financial plan can express the importance of your morals, values, and religious beliefs. Consider the following ways of strengthening your financial plan by incorporating tithing and charitable giving.

Donate Appreciated Assets

Donating stocks, mutual funds, or real estate—rather than selling them and donating the after-tax assets—can go a long way in maximizing your giving while minimizing your tax bill. You also can take a tax deduction for the fair market value.

Consider a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD)

You can donate through a QCD if you have an IRA and are over age 70½. You won’t have to pay any federal taxes on it if you pay the distribution directly from the IRA to an eligible charity.

Donate Stocks and Bonds

Donating the investment product to a charity allows you to avoid any capital gains tax, and you can deduct from your taxes the full market value of the stock when you itemize.

Use a Donor-Advised Fund

Using a donor-advised fund allows you to donate an amount to the fund when it benefits you. You can control it in most cases and then distribute money to charities and the causes of your choice over time.

Donate to a Community Foundation

Indiana is home to 94 community foundations with at least one community foundation based in every county. These foundations, which are tax-exempt and publicly supported, aim to broadly benefit local residents. You have the option to contribute to the Foundation’s Community Endowment Fund, which addresses urgent community needs, or to a specific named fund managed by the Foundation.

Working with a financial professional can help you determine which method or combination of methods might work best for you.

How My Family’s Tithing and Charitable Giving Works

In our home, we’ve created an accountability pie chart that reflects the causes that matter most to our family. These categories include our faith in Christianity, education, community involvement, youth activities, and a miscellaneous section that covers things like clean water, animal welfare, arts and culture, and health. Each slice of the pie represents a percentage of our contributions, and we manage these donations through a donor-advised fund.

My husband and I periodically sit down together to review this pie chart. We discuss if we’re supporting the organizations that resonate with us and if the amounts we’re giving feel right. It’s important to us that our donations align with our core values.

As life changes, so do the organizations we support. We believe that when we invest our hearts, time, and talents into something, our financial resources should follow. This ensures that our contributions have the greatest impact on the causes we care about most.

Find a Financial Professional

Are you considering adding charitable giving to your financial plan? The Deerfield Financial Advisors wealth management team believes in people making a difference in the lives of others.

I myself have an unwavering commitment to the principle of “To whom much is given, much will be required,” which serves as the driving force behind my dedication, diligence, and empathy as a wealth manager. I treat each client as an extension of my own family as I help them navigate the present with an acute awareness of the lasting consequences of their decisions. Can I do the same for you?

To learn more about how I can help you live your WealthwhileSM, call (317) 469-2455, email, or use my online calendar to schedule an introductory appointment. See what my clients have to say about working with me here. I look forward to speaking with you!

About Susie

Susie Steel is COO, Wealth Manager, and Senior Shareholder at Deerfield Financial Advisors, a fee-only financial advisory and wealth management firm with offices in Indianapolis and Chicago. With over three decades of experience in financial planning, Susie’s approach has always been rooted in a spirit of service, treating each client as an extension of her own family. She simplifies the complex for clients, with the goal of creating a calm, trusting, and nurturing environment. Her unwavering commitment to the principle of “To whom much is given, much will be required” serves as the driving force behind her dedication, diligence, and empathy. 

Susie obtained a business management degree from Ball State University, holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation, and held the Accredited Estate Planner (AEP®) designation from the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC) from 2013 to 2018. Susie is actively involved with an extensive list of professional organizations, including NAPFA (The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors), a premier association of fee-only financial advisors, and has served on multiple boards, committees, and councils. Her consistent recognition as one of Indianapolis Monthly’s “Five Star Wealth Managers” for the past decade attests to her outstanding accomplishments (2009-2023).

Outside the professional realm, Susie has contributed to her community through numerous efforts including her involvement in the Financial Center First Credit Union (FCFCU), the Indianapolis Children’s Museum Planned Giving Council, the Kiwanis Club of Northwest Indianapolis, and Junior Achievement. She mentors women through the CFP® Board’s “WIN-to-WIN” program, embodies the spirit of Rotary Club of Carmel, advocates for Indiana Canine Assistant Network (ICAN), and actively serves on the board of the Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center (MRNC).

Susie and her husband, Kevin, reside in Carmel, Indiana, where they raised their three children. Outside the office, her focus centers around family, spirituality, and fostering meaningful connections. Embracing the concept of the body as a temple, her personal growth is nurtured through practices like strength training, yoga, and meditation. In her leisure time, she enjoys strolls with her dog, Lulu, and indulges in movies, podcasts, books, and the theater. To learn more about Susie, connect with her on LinkedIn.


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