Planning to give back this holiday season? You’re in good company—with great ways to make every gift count.

If your morning cup of coffee is already paid for when you reach the register this holiday season, you can thank the person in front of you—and a year-end boost in random acts of kindness.

New data released by Fidelity Charitable shows that nearly 3 out of 5 people plan to participate in charitable activities this year-end, with a noted increase in volunteerism, faith-based community activities, and acts of kindness. This is similar in proportion to 2021, a year in which the GDP grew faster than the economy had in any year since 1984.1

Explore the full data brief in Outlook 2023: Perspectives on End-of-Year Giving.

Among those planning to support charities financially, 87% plan to give the same amount or more than last year. Many may reach for old faithful: the checkbook. Make sure you give the right asset at the right time in the right way to potentially increase your tax benefits and your support. If you’re looking to give back in person, the holidays are a great time of year to rally your full network for a great cause—and the greatest impact.

Here are some tips to maximize how you give back this year-end:

  • Don’t Hesitate
    Financial donations must be made by December 31 to be eligible for a 2023 income tax deduction. In-person charitable activities, such as giving trees, toy drives, and letters to seniors, start earlier in the month so gifts and mail are ready for delivery on a specific holiday. Mark your calendar with important giving dates.
  • Search for a Company Match and Drives
    Check your company’s employee engagement calendar to see if any giving drives or volunteer days are on deck. Many employers and charities alike also sponsor charitable gift matching programs or campaigns, which can increase your impact with no additional out-of-pocket costs.
  • Choose the Best Asset
    By donating an asset such as long-term appreciated stock (i.e., held for greater than one year) to a charity, you may improve your charitable tax deduction and end up with a larger gift than if you sold the securities and contributed the after-tax proceeds. Also, you’ll generally be eligible to take a tax deduction for the fair market value of the investment contribution. Keep in mind that non-cash assets could take additional time to process; so, don’t wait to get started.
  • Consider a Donor-Advised Fund
    Help avoid the scramble and simplify the end-of-year giving process by opening a donor-advised fund. You can make a single donation of cash, stock, or many other assets to be eligible for an immediate tax deduction. By recommending grants, the funds can then be used to support charities over time—and invested for the potential of tax-free growth while you decide.
  • Make a Family Plan
    Think about which organizations align with your children’s interests, and encourage your kids to add a charity to their wish list. Make the gift together, either online or in-person, walking them through what can one day become a treasured family tradition. When prepping for a holiday gathering, add a charity to the to-do list. Ask each of your family members to bring a donation to the table, and make a date to deliver the packages together. You may also consider honoring a loved one who is no longer present at celebrations by making a collective, family gift in his or her memory.  
  • Rally Your Peers
    Once you’ve made a donation of time or treasure, tag the charity on your favorite social network and invite your friends to give back, too. Challenge each other to provide recurring support—maybe even setting a date for next year to visit the organization together. Research shows social behavior encourages more participation, with a quarter of donors reporting making a donation after hearing about the cause on social media.3 Share your support. It works!

Charitable giving is one of the enduring pillars of American holiday traditions, with so many effective ways to make more of a difference. Among the financial givers surveyed for Outlook 2023, 30% said they plan to give more this year than last. For those interested in participating in a host of in-person charitable activities at year-end, from fun runs to volunteering at shelters, interest has certainly gone up this year—perhaps signaling a return to our pre-pandemic holiday way of life. But no matter how you choose to give, or when, generosity is always in season.

New Data Show that Economic Growth Was Broadly Shared in 2021, 2022, the White House.

2A New Mindset Changes Donors’ Relationship with Philanthropy, 2021, Fidelity Charitable.

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Since 1991, we have been a leader in charitable planning and giving solutions, helping donors like you support their favorite charities in smart ways.

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