AL: DON'T GIVE A DIME OF THIS BLESSING AWAY......UNTIL YOU CONSIDER THIS.
When it comes to Giving and Tithing, PLEASE move slow and give this some thought.
Some folks on the calls have had questions regarding giving to churches, organizations and others while remaining anonymous and not exposing themselves.
What I plan to do is set up an entity within an entity, to give a couple of levels of cover and only deliver these donations through whatever law firm I will build a relationship with. The law firm will have to sign an NDA with me not to divulge where the funds came from.The entity will still have to account for it tax return but your can remain anonymous to the recipient.
This may seem extreme but it is the mechanism that will be set up for generations to give to whomever we please without being exposed.
I know many are excited to just fix every problem they see but realistically that is not possible. Even churches or other good organizations can be subject to the Lottery mentality if they were to get great sums all at once.
Take a step back and take careful plans to park your tithe (or however much your want to give) somewhere where it can keep giving for a long time. You will have the ability to help or destroy a person or an organization if they are overwhelmed with an enormous gift.
The responsibility lays with YOU the ones who right now have that time to strategically plan the distribution of these funds.
By setting up an entity and mechanism that can distribute these funds for you does a couple things
1. Keeps you anonymous – we never want to draw attention to ourselves as wealthy people. We need to protect ourselves and our families.
2. Gives you options as to where your can disburse the funds
3. If you give a lot to your church your can target specific needs or mission rather than letting a board of directors fumble around with what to do with the money.
Here is an excerpt from a Forbes article about anonymous giving. These are just a few ideas. When the rubber meets the road you will have to strategies with your lawyer and wealth manager the best way for you to go.
Set up a private foundation. This giving vehicle gives you a lot of control over investments and grant making, but it’s difficult to remain anonymous. Federal law requires private foundations to report the names of their significant contributors—those who give $5,000 or more during a taxable year—on their annual tax returns. Those names, submitted on Schedule B of Form 990-PF, are a matter of public record, which helps deter abuses.
Make direct gifts to public charities. Like private foundations, they must report the names of their significant contributors on Form 990, and reveal to anyone who wants to know, the value and type of property donated worth $5,000 or more. That can be a clue to who is gifting it. For example, if a charity received a large block of stock from a particular company, and a certain executive there is known to be divesting, it’s possible to draw a link between the two.
Form 990s are now accessible through GuideStar, a national database of not-for-profits. For public charities (in contrast to private foundations) the Internal Revenue Service is supposed to remove Schedule B or obscure the names listed on it before it makes a Form 990 available to the public, but foul-ups have occurred, so there’s always a slight risk that there will be a disclosure fumble by the IRS.
Nor can you completely control loose lips within the organization. Without any request for privacy, you should assume your gift won’t be kept confidential. If you wish to remain anonymous, negotiate privacy terms, including who within the charity can be aware of the gift, directly with the recipient organization. Just remember that all it takes is one slip-up, whether it’s an overheard cell-phone conversation or an e-mail message sent to the wrong person, and you’ve lost the cause you’re trying to protect.
Use an advisor as intermediary. Although advisors can’t guarantee anonymity, they can help protect clients’ identities. With this strategy you channel the funds through the advisor—such as a law firm, bank, or trusted adviser—which issues a check to the charity and gets the tax receipt for you. Ask both the charity and the advisor–say it’s a law firm–to document that the gift was made by the firm as agent for an undisclosed principal. The receipt from the charity might read, “Thank you for your gift of $100,000 you made as agent for an anonymous donor.” The law firm in turn could pass along the receipt to the client with a letter that says, “We made a gift anonymously, as you directed. Here is the receipt that corresponds to the contribution.”
Create an entity. With this arrangement the donor remains anonymous because the check to charity comes from the entity, not from the individuals. One possibility is to use a revocable trust to make the gift. The trust gets the income tax deduction, but if it’s set up as a grantor trust—so named because the creator retains certain powers and the tax liability—then the deduction will flow through to the donor.
Another option is a single-member limited liability company or LLC, which also protects the owner from personal liability. For federal tax purposes, however, the limited liability company is treated as what’s called a disregarded entity, meaning the tax liability flows through to the members as if they were one and the same. Therefore, the donor gets the benefit of any tax deduction the LLC receives for the gift.
One caveat: In some jurisdictions the organizing documents for limited liability companies are public records and may have the name of the manager on them. Therefore, you want to name an accountant or lawyer the manager rather than an adult child or close business associate, who could be linked to you.
Set up a donor-advised fund. This is a public charity through which individuals and groups can make grants to not-for-profits. You can set up a donor-advised fund account at a community foundation (you can find one in your community here), religious organization, or university, or at one of the commercial gift funds like those operated by Fidelity, Charles Schwab and Vanguard.
The trade-off is that once the money has been donated to the fund, you no longer have absolute control over it. You can recommend grants to charities approved by the IRS, and most often those suggestions will be honored, but you cannot legally require payouts to a particular organization.
A key selling point of donor-advised funds, however, is that they offer donors anonymity if they want it. If privacy is a priority, make that clear to the sponsor, and give the fund a name that won’t be linked to you. Checks sent to charities can simply use this fund name or indicate that the grant is made at the suggestion of an anonymous donor. Your name is typically known to the organization that operates the fund. For an extra layer of protection, you can have a law firm or advisor set up the fund on your behalf.
Donate online. You can make a gift through a website that serves as a clearinghouse for charitable donations. One example is Network for Good, a not-for-profit that functions much like a donor-advised fund, except that it processes donations through the donor’s credit card. You can choose whether to remain anonymous or be identified to the recipient charity. Either way, you get a tax receipt from Network for Good.
To some extent the choice of an anonymous-giving vehicle will depend on your privacy goals and plans for future gifts.