The holidays are a time for giving, and the American Psychological Foundation (APF) is a great resource for psychologists who want to make a meaningful gift this year. At the end of the year, all of us think about making gifts and long-term provisions for our families, loved ones and favorite charities. Generosity is the main motivation to give; however, when it comes to making charitable gifts, there are also practical reasons to consider, such as the following:

  • You have run out of creative gift ideas.

What about making a charitable contribution to APF in honor of a friend, relative, colleague or loved one? APF will send the person you honor a special notice acknowledging your gift and list your contribution in the Monitor and the APF newsletter, Giving Psychology.

  • You have property that has appreciated in value, and don't need the income.

By donating stocks, mutual funds or bonds directly to your favorite charity, you can receive the deduction for the value of the gift and won't have to pay capital gains taxes as you would if you "cashed in" the asset. The gift would enable you to save on taxes twice.

  • You want to get rid of investments that have decreased in value.

You can sell these investments and use the cash proceeds to make a charitable contribution to APF. The donation is tax-deductible, and you may be able to deduct the loss from your investments in other taxable income. The amount of your deductible loss combined with the charitable deduction may actually amount to more than the current value of the investment.

  • You itemize your taxes and want to reduce your taxable income.

A simple cash gift can make it possible to reduce income tax, sometimes significantly.

  • You want to leave a legacy to your profession.

Consider remembering APF in your estate or long-range financial plans. You have the option of giving back to psychology through your will, life insurance policy, retirement account or other planning mechanism--often in a way that need not affect your current income.

Further Reading

For more information, consult a personal financial adviser or e-mail me at Elisabeth Straus, or Elizabeth Merck at Elizabeth Merck.