Choosing Real Estate Donations as a Profitable Form of Charity

Choosing Real Estate Donations as a Profitable Form of CharityNine years ago, The New York Times shared the story of Sidney and Elisabeth Garvis, a couple who shared a lifetime together, with memories of their lives filling their small 4.5 acre cottage located on Block Island, Rhode Island. When they purchased the home in 1965, it cost them just $20,000, and it was primarily used as a vacation home and a destination for entertaining weekend guests.

When they decided they wanted to move in 2004 because the upkeep became overwhelming, they realized they had no one to pass the property along to. Also, they recognized that selling the home, would mean they’d be responsible for a costly capital-tax. The couple had no children, just a niece and nephew who were indifferent to the home, so decided they would give the home to a charitable foundation. In doing so, they learned that it paid to good deeds. After property sold for $1.1 million, the couple, now dwelling in a senior community in Bloomfield, Connecticut, began lifetime annuity received on a monthly basis, as well as significant tax savings. When they chose to make the charitable donation, they were merely content knowing that donation could benefit causes important to their heart, such as health care reform.

Any type of real estate asset, whether that be warehouse or townhouse, can qualify as a charitable donation and given to organization. The gifts can be structured by estate planners, who can help to educate interested parties about tax benefits and income. While some nonprofits shy away from real estate donation, others recognize that property values continue to soar. If the Garvaises’ home was sold in 2016, it would have sold for far more, winning a fortunate charity even more financial support. Established foundations and planned-giving departments are now working with consultants to help with these transactions. Donations of this kind tends to spike at the end of the year.

Real estate is considered to be a great untapped source for donations, according to philanthropic experts. Baby boomers with secondary or inherited homes, as well as homeowners who are interested in stable incomes may want to consider donation. As a donor, they can convert their donation into an income stream. Developing a charitable remainder trust is one way one can give, so they can receive a lifetime annuity and tax deductions equal to the value of the property. Also, they can avoid federal capital-gains tax. When donors die, remaining assets in are transferred to the charity. The trust can be based on the annual valuation of assets, and charitable remainder trusts can be set that only ten percent of the present value goes to charity. Additionally, real estate investors can be used for donations to offset gains in other properties they might sell.

Those interested in donating their homes should seek out the advice of individuals educated in philanthropy law. Many, like the Garvaises, find it better to donate their entire property and get a large annuity, allowing to pay living expenses. Donors often transfer titles to a charity, taking the full appraised value of the property. This eliminates brokerage fees and capital gains.

It should be kept in mind that not all organizations are equipped to handle estate transaction, and charities can be picky. Some may decline properties with debt or environmental problems. It’s estimated that charities reject 80 percent of all non-cash assets offered.

4 Incredible Websites for Researching Charitable Organizations’ Credibility

2377016484_2c6f359c50_zUnmistakably, non-profit charitable giving has a protracted history in America. In 2014, alone, Americans gave an estimated $358.38 billion to charity, which even surpassed what was seen prior to the Great Recession.  The benchmark year of 2007 saw charitable intake of an estimated inflation-adjusted total of $355.17 billion. As a philanthropist or a donor, it’s important to give to a credible organization.

There are numerous ways to give and countless organization to contribute to. Prior to offering your money to one of the hundreds or thousands of U.S.-based organizations, confirm that organization is legitimate and you’re actually putting your money toward a good cause. There are numerous organizations you can look to, which will over you a clear understanding of charities’ interests and it helps charitable givers/ social investors can make intelligent giving decisions.

Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities , was founded in 2001. The organization’s professional team of analysts have examined thousands of non-profit financial documents. That knowledge has helped to developed objective, unbiased, numbers-based rating system for assessing over 8,000 American charities. They look at a charity’s performance, accountability and transparency, and they find top-rated charities in every field. The charities boosted by the organization have received four-star ratings for consecutive years.

The Better Business Bureau is a nonprofit that’s more than a century old. It consists of 112 independently incorporated local BBB organizations in the U.S. and Canada. Members of the public can search the Better Business Bureau’s website to research domestic and international charities, learning which charities are accredited by the organization.

Charity Watch began as the American Institute of Philanthropy more than 20 years ago. CharityWatch is considered America’s most assertive and independent charity watchdog, helping to demonstrates to the Americans how efficiently a charity will use donations to fund notable programs. They also expose nonprofit abuses and draws in interested advocates. The organization is the site of the American Philanthropic Institute allows anyone to search for info on hundreds of charities.

Google is an extremely visible American multinational technology company that specializes in internet-related services and products. Google is a fundamental tool for searching the web for news, but it’s also instrumental for finding reviews on charities. When using Google, always consider the sources and make sure that everything is backed by factual evidence.

Interested in learning more about charity, giving, and philanthropy visit David Mantek on Twitter

Charleston-Based Supplier of Software for Nonprofits Builds New Headquarters

blackbaud-siliconharbor-featureBlackbaud, the Charleston-based supplier of software and services specifically designed for nonprofit organizations, will build a new headquarter on the Daniel Island’s campus. The forthcoming development is a $150 million exploration plan, and it will add more than 300 jobs. The software company already employs nearly 3,100.

Over the next five years, Blackbaud plans to invest in payroll and new offices, and its new corporate home in Charleston will act as a centralized location for what CEO Michael Gianoni has deemed a “generational investment.” The new office complex will be 360,000-square-feet, and the first phase of construction is expected to begin by 2018. Blackbaud has yet to announce the timeline for the second phase of the building project. The first phase of construction will begin at the intersection of Fairchild and Central Island streets. The second phase is expected to take place at Fairchild and River Landing Drive.

The software company has outgrown it’s existing building, located on Daniel Island Drive, as the company has added individuals to its workforce over the past few years. This prompted the company to lease space to deal with the overflow. Upon realizing that the lease on their main building would run out in 2024, they began a search for a new place to house their global headquarters.  Ultimately, Blackbaud decided they wanted to remain on Daniel Island. They chose to move just one mile down the road so that it continued its residency in Charleston as it has for the past 30 years, after relocating from New York.

Atlanta-based Holder Properties will develop the new headquarters, which will be equipped with a fitness center, game rooms, hiking trails, and a cafeteria that’s stocked with locally sourced food. Additionally, the office will include space to “incubate emerging nonprofits” and flesh out its Camp Blackbaud program, where they teach local elementary school students to design and teach.

The office complex is among a number or developments planned for Fairchild Street. Apartment complexes, offices, and a gas station are soon to be in development, according to city records. If the incentive package from the County Council still needs final approval, the Blackbaud property tax breaks over the next 30 years as long as it invests a minimum of $150 million by 2029. Additionally, Blackbaud will receive financial incentives from the S.C. Commerce Department in return for investment. The expansion will be the biggest economic development deal in the county since 2015 when the $500 million automobile factory was announced.

According to Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt, the tech company will be able to claim tax credits because they’ve promised to create 300 jobs over the next five years. Also tasked to hit minimum pay requirements, the salaries are expected to be “pretty good.

Since 1989, the company has grown exponentially, bringing on countless individuals from the Lowcountry’s tech community. According to securities filings, Blackbaud added 1,000 worldwide employees to its payroll over the past five years, and the company plans to continue that level of growth. The company provides services and builds software for the philanthropic industry, growing the market valuation more to more than$2.7 billion. Consequently, Blackbaud is South Carolina’s third-largest publicly traded company.

Apple’s Philanthropic History

apple-tim-cook-steve-jobs-david-mantekApple has done quite a bit of corporate giving in recent years. Most recently, Apple launched an initiative surrounding Earth Day that would help raise money for the World Wildlife Fund. When users made purchases within specific apps, they could help raise money for the World Wildlife Fund. This product was called Apps for Earth, and it lasted 10 days during which the World Wildlife Fund received 100% of the proceeds from participating apps.

Apple has clearly made efforts in terms of going green. But the company also cares about giving back to a number of different causes. Apple has donated a lot over the past few years but the company was not always known for giving. When Steve Jobs was the CEO, he believed in contributing to society with the revolutionary products his company made more than through donations to causes. But this changed when Tim Cook became Apple’s CEO.

When Cook first took the lead in April 2011, he quickly implemented a program to match employee donations. Apple even extended its matching program to include employee volunteer time in 2015. Some of Apple’s notable donations include $50 million to Stanford University’s new hospital buildings in 2012, $100 million donated to Project Red, rock star Bono’s organization to help combat HIV/AIDS.

Apple also knows the importance of molding the minds of the future. The company works hard to give educational opportunities to young people throughout the country. Apple has also given $100 million in Apple products and cash grants to ConnectED, a program that gives underprivileged students access to technology in school. Apple has also given $500,000 to a Bay Area antipoverty organization called SF Gives.

In March of 2015, Apple announced a $40 million gift to promote training in technology for women and minorities. This donation was made after Johnny Taylor, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund president, reached out to Apple. In 2014, he met with the human-resources chief of Apple, Denise Young Smith, who was a graduate of historically black college. Mr. Taylor expressed that making a gift would not only be a charitable enterprise but also a “talent proposition” for Apple.

More than $40 million of the donation went to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund in order to support technology training at historically black colleges and universities. The remainder of the money went to the National Center for Women and Information Technology. When this initiative was created, Apple hoped that these donations would lead to the success of many women and minority technology workers who could one day fill careers in the company’s Cupertino, California headquarters.

From caring for the planet to contributing to education, Apple has donated to a number of causes. Apple is making a difference through not only its inventions but its philanthropy, and this is largely thanks to CEO Tim Cook.


5 Ways to Ensure You Give Effectively

donate-654328When it comes to making donations, it’s easy to sign a check and call it day. But if you want your donation to make a real impact, there are measures you can take to ensure your gift is as effective as possible. In fact, there are researchers working on evidence-based approaches to philanthropy, and charities are beginning to measure their own results. This combination will lead to a more thorough understanding and application of charitable gifts. Before all of these findings are shared with us, below are some steps you can take to make your gift more valuable.

1) Find a cause you’re passionate about, and research it.

If you’re looking an organization to donate to, you can brainstorm at sites like GiveWell and Focusing Philanthropy. Both of these sites verify that the nonprofits they list are doing the most with their donations. Once you select an organization, you can search the web for ratings and evaluations of their work.

2) Give more to fewer organizations.

Giving to a select number of organizations benefits you and the organizations you select more effectively. Instead of making smaller donations to a variety of nonprofits, give larger donations to a smaller number of organizations. Your gift will be more impactful, you’re also more likely to understand their work and develop a long-term relationship with the organization.

3) Seek out quantifiable impact.

Select an organization that can provide you with hard data about the number of people they help. Think in broader terms when you research their impact; if there isn’t research by scholars or critiques from journalists, you should be skeptical of the lofty promises the organization makes.

4) Be actively involved.

It’s easy to send a check away and forget about taking any more action, but it’s possible that your cause needs your skill set to accomplish more. There are platforms like VolunteerMatch, Catchafire, and MovingWorlds connecting nonprofits to individuals with the skills to help them accomplish their goals.

5) Make a gift in someone’s name.

Many people are more than happy to support a donation in lieu of a gift. This donation extends your goodwill to the giftee, and to the organization that eventually receives it. Ask the giftee if they have a charity of choice, and you can make a donation to a cause your loved one is passionate about. There is research suggesting that giving is beneficial, it can improve your health and happiness. All signs show that giving is a win-win for all!

To learn more about effectively donating to your cause, please see Forbes.


Little Helpers: Little-known charities

Davkd MantekGiving to a charity is a powerful feeling. All at once you’re flooded with positivity, knowing that somewhere, someone is smiling because you took a few precious moments to think about them. We’re all aware of the biggest mega-charities, serving the world’s ills with arms in countries all around the world, but what about the little guy? Smaller charities are always appreciative for your consideration, and below are some small charities that are looking to make a big difference.

Arcadia: An interesting take on the traditional non-for-profit, Arcadia’s approach is one that benefits us all. Researching clean, renewable forms of energy, this small company in Rockport, Maine, has big dreams. With the right amount of help, we could help make the world better for our children, and their children’s children.

Pediatric Cancer Foundation: Children are the best of us. Innocently unaware of the world, youth affords an ignorance of hardship, but sadly not everyone is able to enjoy it. The Pediatric Cancer Foundation raises money for children battling cancer. Funds are used to help afford the best doctors and their flights to the children, ensuring they get the very best care.

Alpha House Tampa: A brilliant charity offering aid to women at their most vulnerable, Alpha House has several programs to help women who are expecting. Whether finding affordable medical care or vocational programs to help them get back on their feet, Alpha House wants to do everything they can for the next generation of mothers.

No matter who you choose to support, contributing to a charity brings its own set of returns. The feeling of giving without expectation of return, aiming to improve someone’s life, is a gift all on its own. So when choosing which charity is deserving of your hard-earned money, consider the little charities. A dollar given for a better world is a dollar for us all.

Skydive for Charity

Life is an adventure, and few of us ever have the courage to take it for what it is. Fleeting, precious, and gone too soon, it’s our jobs to savor every sweet second we have while we can, and an 84-year-old great-grandmother found her inspiration to live life to the fullest when things couldn’t get much darker.

Kingston, a brave blue-haired daredevil, took to the skies upon receiving news that she had very little time left. After being diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer, Kingston decided to make everyDavid Mantek second count. With her prognosis leaving her with only a month to live, she made a resolution to do something she’s always wanted.

Participating in a charity event to raise money for London’s Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, Kingston took to the air in her first skydiving session. Free from her prognosis and morbidity, Kingston’s smile was enough to show that her spirit was stronger than any disease. Since her dive in October 14th, her inspirational story has touched the hearts of many.

Since participating in the charity, Kingston, and her story has raised over £7,000 for ovarian cancer research. “The Royal Marsden,” Kingston says, “extended my life by two years. In that time, I have experienced much joy including seeing my grandson get married.” Paying forward the gift of life, Kingston’s selfless act of raising funds and awareness with the time she has left, can only make us appreciate the time we have.

Run For Charity

A marathon demands everything of the runner. A test of stamina and strength, runners train all year for races. Many marathons prohibit entry for any younger than 18, afraid of the damage such a strenuous activity can have on a developing frame. But a determined girl from Bettendorf looks to change hearts and minds by doing what no one her age has ever attempted.

Amber Thomsen is a 13-year-old with big goals and an even bigger heart A cross-country runner in her high school, Amber took to the sport of professional running with a drive and determination that outmatched her unaDavid Mantekssuming age. Joining the Quad Cities Marathon, this young competitor looks to not only go the distance but raise awareness for a good cause.

Every year, over 1,400 people die due to unsafe drinking water. Young Amber Thomsen is driven not by a desire to be the youngest runner to ever cross the Quad Cities’ finish line, but to raise money for the Moline charity Wells 4 Wellness. An organization dedicated to building wells in impoverished areas of the world, Wells 4 Wellness has done some amazing work, and with AMber’s help, will continue to do more.

Aware of this horrible problem for some time even at such a young age, Amber is running to raise awareness, and maybe raise enough money to dig some wells of her own. With the cost of building a fresh well averaging only $1000, the awareness brought to Wells 4 Wellness by this brave 8th grader can bring about some serious change.

Partnered with her ultra-marathoning father, Amber plans to tackle the 26-mile course with youthful vigor. An avid trainer, Amber has been training for her run while keeping up with Dad’s grueling training regimen. Bored with competitions for her age group, this will be Amber’s fifth marathon, and the young lady is eager as ever. A born philanthropist, Amber has raised money for multiple charities in the past and continues to work toward her goal of $3,000 for Wells 4 Wellness.


In the recent years donating to a charity became seamlessly cooler than well almost anything. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge ripped through the digital space allowing various online users from different age groups to either raise money for ALS research or dump an ice-cold bucket of water of their head in order to raise awareness. The campaign went viral and ended up raising over 115 million dollars toward the ALS association. Now think about it… what if donating to that cause were as easy as simply  sending a tweet?

good world logoThe start up, GoodWorld envisions the world as everything being a tweet away. GoodWorld launched last year and has raised 1.65 million in seed funding. Over 200 startups have signed up for GoodWorld’s service – including UNICEL, the American Red Cross, No Kid Hungry, and, the ALS Association – receiving donations has become easier, swifter and much more social thanks to GoodWorld.

Those who use GoodWorld over 4,000+ only have to register their credit card information with the startup once. After that, donating becomes easier AKA a few finger tips away.

Facebook users contribute by using a hashtag #donate on participating non-profits Facebook page, followed by a specific amount that they’d like to give. Twitter users will trigger a donation when they tweet at a non profit with the hashtag #donate and the desired amount. Example:  tweet: @[my favorite charity] #donate $100.)

“GoodWorld takes a 4.8 percent cut of every donation thats made through social media, and an additional 2.2 percent of the contribution goes to the participant’s credit card company. But in an interview with the Washington Post, a number of non-profit heads reported that the small fees were well worth it.”

Research has proven that GoodWorlds services is particularly useful when it comes to rapid response situations, like disastaer relief. “GoodWorld says its next step is to make giving more like a game. If users were, say, competing to see whose friend network could raise more, the real winner would be the cause itself.”

How Crowdfunding Helped Non-Profits!

Although the industry is named non-profit, organizations still require money to stay a float, spread awareness and get the job done. That’s where crowdfunding comes in. According to this infographic provided by MobileCause (a fundraising platform). Crowdfunding has also helped nonprofits reach new audiences and find committed donors.




Thank you and Mobilecause for this great infographic: