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  • Writer's pictureKitsap Community Foundation

Fourth quarter jitters: Charitable giving tips to reduce your stress


Photo by Tim Gouw - man stressed laptop

You are not alone if you begin to feel a little anxious when October rolls around. Many people experience year-end stress, whether because of looming deadlines at work, tax-related estate planning cut-off dates, anticipating a busy holiday season of travel and social engagements, or simply the realization that another year is coming to a close and there’s not a lot of time left to check off items on the 2023 punch list.


To top it all off, many families do a lot of their charitable giving at year end, too. But that’s one area that does not need to be stressful. Your giving can be more easily accomplished than sending invitations, herding family members, guessing colors or sizes, and remembering who to include–or not!


Here are four tips for alleviating fourth-quarter stress and still be able to hit your charitable goals for 2023.

  1. Using your donor-advised fund at the community foundation makes giving very convenient. Through the foundation’s online portal, you can easily view a list of all of the organizations you’ve supported so far this year, make note of the ones you missed or want to add, and then finish the annual task.

  2. Your late-year timing could actually be useful for the organizations you care about, given the pronounced need for support during the gift-giving time of year, whether that’s to an organization seeking to achieve its own year-end goals or an organization that provides food or utility bill relief during the cold winter months. According to National Giving Month, 31% of charitable giving occurs in December; 12% of giving typically occurs between December 29 and 31; and 28% of nonprofits raise as much as 50% of their funding in December.

  3. Charitable needs are heightened during the fourth quarter because it is especially stressful for people experiencing financial challenges. For 52% of respondents surveyed in a 2023 study, money was the most cited factor that negatively affects their mental health, a level 25% higher than a year ago. The organizations supporting these people are in high gear during the fourth quarter and holiday season.

  4. By the end of the year, you will likely have a better idea of your financial situation, ideal target amount for charitable tax deductions, and the performance of stock in your portfolio. This will allow you to make gifts to your donor-advised fund of highly-appreciated stock, avoid capital gains, and reduce your taxable estate. And, of course, the proceeds of that stock will hit your donor-advised fund tax free, so the full amount of the sale price is available to support your charitable giving priorities.


Completing your 2023 charitable giving can reinforce philanthropy’s win-win value proposition: You can check a task off your list by supporting causes and organizations that are important to you and receive key tax benefits, and those in need will appreciate your generosity while feeling a greater sense of the season’s spirit.


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