February check-in: How to achieve your charitable New Year's resolutions with a donor-advised fund

Jan 31, 2023

Every New Year’s resolution starts out robust and strong on January 1st. However, it’s not enough to just start off strong. Now that we’re one month into 2023, where do your charitable resolutions stand? It's worth checking in to ensure you're on track. 


Resolutions for more charitable giving require endurance in 2023. Philanthropy must be sustainable to create long-term change. Luckily, sticking to your New Year’s charitable resolutions is simple with a donor-advised fund (DAF). 


In addition to its many tax advantages, a DAF is perhaps the most flexible vehicle in terms of both short- and long-term giving. Learn more about how giving with a Vanguard Charitable DAF will ensure you’re sustaining your generosity throughout this new year. 


1. Leverage your donor-advised fund for immediate charitable responses 


Some crises hit without warning. Disasters, conflict, and emergencies require urgent action and direct support. Philanthropists should be prepared to help when they want to support communities that find themselves in sudden need.


A donor-advised fund allows you the freedom to make immediate grant recommendations, bolstering those charities doing the important work on the ground. If your 2023 New Year’s resolution is about generosity, being prepared to respond to immediate needs in the future is an excellent way to align your actions with your goals.


With Vanguard Charitable, you can also support trusted nonprofits whose values align with yours with the added value of an unrestricted gift. Nonprofits are clear: Unrestricted gifts are the most nimble and beneficial donations, particularly in times of crisis.


If responding to problems in the world as they arise is important to you, then having a charitable fund that’s always ready is crucial. With a donor-advised fund, you can contribute complex assets, which many charities may not be able to accept directly, and then use the charitable proceeds to give to multiple nonprofits over time. 


2. Prepare you charitable giving account for long-term impact 


Any resolution intended to effect change needs to be a sustainable resolution.


Resolving to improve one’s fitness, for example, certainly involves incorporating the gym into a morning or evening routine. But that resolution will only come to fruition with long-term, sustained action. Charitable giving must be approached with a similar mindset. The best New Year’s resolutions aren’t made with only January in mind—they’re sustainable enough for the long haul. That’s why a donor-advised fund is so valuable when preparing for long-term giving. So, if you want to sustain your generosity in a commitment to more charitable giving in 2023, a DAF is particularly helpful. 


Not only can you establish a long-term plan as part of your legacy-planning, but your account's assets also have the potential to grow while you address a range of other immediate needs. This way, you're prepared to make an impact in the future. 


Just like a resolution to go to the gym only yields results with long-term effort, giving can be maximized by focusing on a longer timeline for one’s philanthropic efforts. 


3. Establish a legacy planning strategy with expert guidance 


It’s never too early to start thinking about your legacy, and your current goals and resolutions can help shape this future consideration. A donor-advised fund can set the stage for charitable giving for years to come; it also offers the opportunity for younger generations to learn about the value of philanthropy.


You can establish succession plans for your fund, name additional account advisors, and donate to a variety of different causes and charities. Legacy planning doesn’t just happen at the end of a lifetime…much like reaching the goal of a resolution, it takes a thoughtful strategy in the long-term. After all, to set an example takes habitual, sustained behavior, and a donor-advised fund is tailor-made to engage family members in charitable giving with this philosophy in mind. 


Stick to your goals in 2023 with a donor-advised fund


Whether it’s pressing needs like disaster relief or legacy planning for generations to come, a DAF is ready to support your philanthropic resolutions. If your charitable resolutions have already started to falter or you’re just looking for a way to make the rest of the year even easier when it comes to enhancing your charitable giving, click below to open a DAF today. 

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