Notable Strategies for Year-End Giving Creating Happiness: Experiencing Joy [part two of a three-part series]

As we approach the year-end, consider ways that you can create happiness for others through creative, generous philanthropy.”

You have probably heard the phrase, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  The blessing in the quote attributed to Jesus Himself by the Apostle Paul may seem obvious in that in order to be able to give, you first need to have something in which to give.  However, I believe it goes beyond the material possession.  I think the blessing also refers to the tremendous joy you experience by creating happiness for someone.

The joy you experience is reflected in seeing the expression on the face of a child after receiving a gift on Christmas morning; or being given a handful of gummy bears to eat; or the warm expression on the face of a wife after unexpectedly receiving a bouquet of flowers from her husband. 

I cannot imagine the look on the faces of the 2,000 full-time employees of the yogurt company Chobani when they were handed an ownership stake that could make some of them millionaires. 

According to the 4/27/2016 New York Times article, “Hamdi Ulukaya, the Turkish immigrant who founded Chobani in 2005, told workers at the company’s plant in upstate New York that he would be giving them shares worth up to 10 percent of the company when it goes public or is sold.

“The goal, he said, is to pass along the wealth that they have helped build in the decade since the company started.  Chobani is now widely considered to be worth several billion dollars.

“I’ve built something I never thought would be such a success, but I cannot think of Chobani being built without all these people,” Mr. Ulukaya said in an interview in his Manhattan office.  “Now they’ll be working to build the company even more and building their future at the same time,” he said.

“At a $3 billion valuation, the average employee payout would be $150,000.  The earliest employees, though, will most likely be given many more shares, possibly worth over $1 million.”

What Mr. Ulukaya did was a wonderful expression of philanthropy.  He was certainly looking out for the well-being of his employees who helped build the popular yogurt company.

As we approach the year-end, consider ways that you can create happiness for others through creative, generous philanthropy. 

For example, consider gifting appreciated securities instead of cash thus avoiding the capital gains tax while providing more dollars in the pockets of your favorite charities.

Or, if you are 70 or older consider giving a portion of the minimum required distribution from your IRA directly to a charity.  You will not pay tax on the withdrawal and it will count toward the required distribution.

And if you have significant income this year and are looking for additional charitable tax deductions but are not sure which charity you desire to benefit, consider creating a donor advised fund.  You can then recommend grants to your favorite charities over the next year or so while initially receiving the tax benefits you desire. 

If you cannot afford to make larger charitable contributions because you need the income, you might consider creating a life-income gift.  Such a gift will pay you (and another person) income for life after which the remaining funds are used for the charitable purposes of the organization that you made the gift.

By looking out for the welfare of others through creative, generous gifting at this year-end, like Mr. Ulukaya at Chobani, you may be able to see similar smiles on the faces of those your favorite charities serve. 

Your gifts may allow the charitable organizations that you support provide unexpected food, heat, clothing, an educational scholarship, a cultural experience, or a needed piece of health equipment to make someone’s quality of life better. 

It is more blessed to give than to receive.  Through your charitable contributions and creating happiness for those person’s the charitable organizations you deeply care about serve, you will experience the tremendous inner joy and satisfaction that comes from making people happy.

For more thoughts on generosity pick up a copy of the enjoyable book, “An Unexpected Legacy: Strategies of Generosity.”    Click here to place your order.