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December 13, 2010

“Tis the Season to Be Stupid”

This article discusses some financial mistakes that are made when giving to charities. 
I have observed that those who annually make their contributions make fewer mistakes.  There are advantages of doing this in November.  This allows time to make sure they are made by December 31.  This is particularly true for those who contribute appreciated securities.  If you do use appreciated securities, check with the charity to see that the account information you have for the charity is still active.  If you have to use securities to fund your contributions that have not appreciated, sell them and contribute the proceeds.  This preserves the deductibility of the loss.
Another advantage of this approach is that it minimizes the chance that more is given than intended.  Many people contribute when they receive a solicitation.  This could result in making multiple contributions, each for the amount you planned to give for the year.

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