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Why We Give—Thoughts on Year End Giving from a CPA

How do we count our blessings at year end?           
As Certified Public Accountant and founder of MinistryCPA, I challenge us with lessons in counting our blessings at year end that I find I must revisit each December. The missions of more than 100 MinistryCPA charity clients constantly serve to re-center my thinking. Thankfully, early in my career I started a year end pattern of looking back on the past 12 months and looking forward to the next. In addition to the natural reflections you might expect, charitable giving is on my mind. It wasn’t until I was well into my 40s that my vision for giving was expanded beyond simply giving because of a sense of duty. Now I’m much more careful to check and recheck my motivations.
1.       We give because we care about the impact of charities
      Giving Tuesday, each Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the U.S., is past. But our favorite charity is still counting on us and others to give this December. The leaders, staff and volunteers of the organizations that MinistryCPA people serve challenge us with their devotion to myriad influential causes—churches, schools, youth camps, pregnancy counseling centers, inner city ministries rebuilding broken lives, foreign missions, counselors to ministry leaders and many others.
     Surely, we care about one or more of these or other worthy causes and those people who carry the weight of them. Worthy people make these charitable causes work. Their sacrificial spirits motivate us to support their just causes.
2.       We give because we can give
      How do we count our blessings at year end? Does the activity lead to action? If we truly think about it, I believe we’ll come to the conclusion that every good thing we have experienced in the past year was made possible by others. This includes God who gave us the talents and opportunities we used to earn a living. Perhaps we are learning that it is more blessed to give, than to receive. We give because we can give.
3.       We give and we gain
      I’d like to think that we give regardless of personal gain. Of course, as a CPA and tax professional, I recognize that we Americans enjoy tax benefits for charitable contributions. As a steward of our wealth, we are privileged to choose how and where the fruits of our labors are invested for good.
      I truly hope that you have enjoyed financial prosperity this past year. Many of our clients have. While we serve them in the stewardship of their family wealth, reducing income taxes is part of it. While recent tax law changes have altered the landscape for donors, there remains significant gains for generous taxpayers.
      For strategies our clients are using to enhance their stewardship through giving, please visit our blog post, Insurmountable Wall for Charitable Contributions?

As you gather with your family and friends this Christmas, don’t forget the impact you can have by giving yet this year.


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