With the festive season fast approaching, giving back becomes front of mind for many of us. Those with children or younger family members also start to think about how to use this time of year to teach our loved ones that much joy comes from what you give and not what you receive.

A fantastic way that makes it easy to engage your children in the giving spirit this Christmas, is through initiatives such as RizeUp. You and your family can select and donate gifts for mothers and children affected by domestic violence.

However, there are many ways we can give back and involve our family or friends. Whether you want to give of your time and support your local community, honour a loved one or make a lasting impact, there are many ways you can support a charity or cause close to your heart.

What are some of the options available?

Direct Donations

Donating directly to a charity is the most common way to give. This can be simply through writing a cheque or participating in a fundraising event such as a gala dinner or fun run. Giving directly to charities works best when you know and trust the organisation you support and know what impact your donation is having. If tax effectiveness is not a priority, you can support any charity or cause of your choosing.

Open a Charitable Subfund

Many individuals and companies aren’t aware that you can establish your own perpetual charitable fund with as little as $20,000^.

Opening a subfund gives you the ability to make a donation now and then disburse funds to charities over time (usually years). This provides an effective donation vehicle for those with significant tax events or higher taxable incomes in the current year but not necessarily going forward. You can name your subfund after your family or loved one and decide who to donate to each year.

This option is great for those who want to create an enduring legacy but are happy to outsource the administration, management and investment decisions that come with having your own foundation.

Establish a Private Ancillary Fund (PAF)

Commonly referred to as a Private or Family Foundation, a PAF is a philanthropic trust structure that helps you take a more planned approach to your giving and is recommended where your donated funds are $500,000* or more.

This vehicle is generally suitable if you would like full control and are comfortable to take on the Trustee responsibilities. It also provides a perfect opportunity to engage and involve the wider family in grant-making and fosters empathy between generations and adoption of the family values. The ability to invest your donated funds in this way delivers a significant opportunity to magnify your donations over time, allowing you to donate more than your original contribution.

Create a Charitable Testamentary Trust

If the idea of leaving an enduring legacy appeals to you but you don’t have the available funds to give to charity now, setting up a charitable Testamentary Trust or leaving a charitable bequest through your Will could be an alternative.

This option provides you with the ability to create a foundation in your family name, or for a cause that lives on for many years or generations in the future.

If you would like to learn more about donating to charity and the best option for you, please contact Elston’s philanthropic specialist Susan Chenoweth, on 1300 ELSTON.

*Amounts quoted are based on industry recommendations and what is usually available in the market