We have one with vanguard charitable, which was easy to set-up and fund (minimum $25k, IIRC), but there’s several good alternatives.
- Super easy donation process - log in, search for the nonprofit you want to give to, click a couple buttons and you're done. Even lower friction than going to the nonprofit's website and entering credit card info.
- If you don't already itemize your tax deductions every year, you can "bunch" several years of charitable giving into one year by contributing in advance for future years. For example, if you plan to donate $5k per year, you can contribute $15k to your DAF this year, but grant $5k out of the fund each year. You can itemize the contribution in the first year, while taking the standard deduction in the 2nd and 3rd years.
- Fewer things to track and list when you do your taxes. You only need to report your contributions into the DAF (often 1 or fewer per year), so you no longer have to scour your records and record each individual charitable donation you made.
[not an accountant nor a lawyer, not tax or investing advice]
Vanguard, Schwab, and Fidelity all have low-cost DAF options that you can set up online in a couple minutes. Annual fees, minimum contributions, and minimum grants vary by provider so it's worth doing a little bit of research.
Another practical benefit is that it allows you to make small donations to tens of nonprofits without fearing you'll be drowning later in fundraising letters, by virtue of not passing your home address along.
Less of an advantage with the new tax law, since so many people would still fall under the standard deduction.
Just give directly to the charity. If you're concerned about the fees, just cover them yourself. Industry standard is 2.9% + $0.30.
Here's a breakdown of our processing fees:
* Facebook: None. They cover the credit card fee. If you're interested to see what data nonprofits get from Facebook, here's exactly what I see for our 2018 fundraisers: https://i.imgur.com/lsCFqJh.png. Facebook has not taken noticeably longer to disburse funds than foundations we've worked with.
* Stripe donations: 2.2% + $0.30 for Visa / Mastercard, 3.5% for American Express (this is the nonprofit rate)
* Receiving checks: $25/check. We outsource receiving checks to a vendor to make sure they don't get lost and that we aways have scans on file.
* Benevity / electronic transfers / wires: None (our bank charges no wire fee)
On top of that, it's important to note that checks and manual ACH / wire transfers take the most processing time for me, as for each check I need to work with our accountants to ensure donor information is properly on file and the donor received any needed tax documentation. We're small enough where I'm still doing this myself for each check, which probably takes me 20-30 minutes for each donation. Up to an hour if the donor didn't include all their tax information with the check.
I can recognise, from the links in this blog and other posts on the same blog like , that the author is giving a double-digit percentage of their income to charity. Maybe as much as 50%.
A person earning $100,000 and giving $50,000 to charity who paid a 2.9% card fee would be giving $1450 to a credit card processor - money that could have gone to the charity had they simply done a bank transfer instead.
Of course, for many charity donors paying by credit card is fine - better a moderately efficient donation that happens than a highly efficient donation that doesn't happen because of the inconvenience barrier!
wait, facebook does something to help me maintain my privacy? i hate giving some place $25 and then getting monthly mail for the next 10 years.
Charities send mail because it helps them raise money, and it's one place that direct mail still works, and it works well. You can call the org and have them take you off their mailing list. I would just ask that if you do, also set up a recurring donation. One time donations are nice, recurring donations are better.
But if you're more comfortable giving Facebook more data about you (donations contain a lot of information) but not giving that data to the charity, why are you donating to them in the first place?
not every activity that helps you raise money is something you should do, even if you're a charity.
if they'd confine themselves to pestering donors who'd given them >$500, or even donated more than once, it'd be one thing.
> You can call the org and have them take you off their mailing list.
been there, tried that. less effective than you'd like me to believe! (and then they've got my phone number, too.)
> But if you're more comfortable giving Facebook more data about you (donations contain a lot of information) but not giving that data to the charity, why are you donating to them in the first place?
i don't care if the charity knows who i am; i don't care if anyone (facebook or otherwise) knows about my donations.
i care that the charities will pester me for YEARS because i gave them less money than they'll spend printing out the wads of full color mail they'll send me.
I just want to help out a non profit. My recurring donation is that they don’t need to waste money to spam me anymore.
I’m looking you you, blood banks.
As a donor, I've found myself giving more often through Facebook to keep my contact information more private. I tend to unsubscribe from mailing lists and set up Gmail filters, so perhaps I'm more sensitive to unsolicited mail than average.
In my experience, most of the charities and institutions I've donated to directly (e.g. Red Cross, National Park Foundation, my university) send mail for years after a donation. Some of them like the National Park Foundation share your information with other charities so you get even more unsolicited mail.
In contrast, as far as I can tell, I haven't received any physical mail nor email after donating through Facebook. The privacy, for lack of a better word, is compelling enough I'd prefer to look up a charity on Facebook rather than going to their website directly.
Can’t speak to the payment timelines, but the fact that fb gives me more control is nice.
Also, from their documentation, it looks like nonprofits do see my name. The opt in is for sharing my email.
Most banks have some form of P2P transfer such as Zelle or Popmoney. If you want to pay a business, they push you toward a bill pay service that often mails a physical check.
My guess is that ACH cuts into fees earned from wire transfers. Additionally, giving everyone the ability to send funds to any other random account increases the bad outcomes of a login being compromised, or someone inputting the wrong account number.
Edit: Some customers have had access since last year: https://www.jpmorgan.com/country/US/en/detail/1320572715530.
Many banks only allow you to add ACH accounts for which you are the account holder.
My employer's bank recently mistakenly did the DD 3 times and pulled back two of them.
ACH doesn't come with two-factor auth or any sort of real safeguards, I would be very careful who I give access to.
> As a 30-year old woman, Facebook gave me a list of suggestions that included a Pap test and an HPV test. It also suggested that I get a cholesterol screening, a blood pressure test, and a flu shot. For my male counterparts, Facebook only suggests the last three.
A stablecoin like DAI is perfect for this on the large, and later the charities themselves could issue their own tokens and estimulate local economies