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.

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:


7 Signs The Charity isn’t Legit

When natural disasters strike, people are quick to open their hearts as well as their wallets to help out those in need. But it is always important to remain vigilant of individuals or groups that are ouDavid Mantekt there to steal your well-intended donations.

With the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal earlier this month, the outpour of support around the world has been incredibly and very welcomed. But it is during times like this that donors can become careless in an effort to help as quickly as possible. Understandably, time is of the essence when it comes to situations like those currently faced by the people of Nepal but the best and speedier help can come from well-established charitable organization.

If a person wants to help out the thousands displaced by the earthquake, H. Art Taylor, president and CEO of the Wise Giving Alliance of the Better Business Bureau, recommends giving to established organizations that already maintain a presence in the affected area.

Along with that, the Wise Giving Alliance has some signs that donors should look out for to discern legit charities from those that may have ill-intentions:

1. Only accepting cash donations or wire transfers

2. Can’t breakdown how donations will be used

3. Can’t verify their nonprofit status

  • It is important to note that legitimate nonprofit organizations, in order to maintain their status, have to make public a wealth of information regarding their operations, assets, employee salaries, and security. This information is easily accessible through organizations that track charities.

4. The name sounds like the name of an already established org.

5. Puts pressure on donating immediately

6. Requests donations over the phone

7. Little to no proven track record



Tab For Cause

tab For cause david mantek

What if I Told you theres a charity out there donating money every time their users “open a new tab”. No, seriously… A web app called Tab For A Cause will transform your browser’s blank canvases and turn them into a convenient way to donate to your favorite charity. Every time you open a “new tab”  in Chrome or Firefox, the app populates the page with blogs about causes like education and poverty, oh yeah – can’t forget the advertisements.

Giving over the rights to your browser tabs now allows you to help empower communities and establish local language for kids. Some charities that are receiving donations via Tab For A Cause are,, Room to Read, Human Rights Watch, Conservation International, International Peace Institute and Save the Children.

“Created by Silicon Valley residents Alex Groth and Kevin Jennison, Tab For a Cause donates one-tenth to one-fifth of a cent each time a user opens a new tab, the Los Angeles Times reports.”

Alex Groth, 22, told the la times that his sole motive was to try and make giving easier. Groth graduated this year from Pomona College in California, He states “In college it doesn’t seem like any donation I can give to a charity is going to be very impactful,” he said. “And I kind of wanted to create a way where everyone can be giving to charity regardless of your monetary worth at that time.”