Charitable Giving – Guide for Donating Money


By Dr. Jim Dahle, WCI Founder

Giving money away can be an important part of the financial life of high earners like white coat investors. It can help the recipient and the giver, and we’re not just talking about the tax benefits! This post will cover everything about giving, charity, and the tax benefits available to givers.



Table of Contents

The 5 Money Activities to Master

Where to Give


When to Give to Charity

Why Charitable Giving Is Important

Responding to Critics of Charitable Giving


A Motivational Plea

How to Choose a Charity

How Much to Give to Charity

Giving During Life vs. at Death

Ways to Give to Charity

Qualified Charitable Distributions

Leave IRAs and HSAs to Charity

Tax Benefits of Giving to Charity

Does Giving to a Church Count as Charitable Giving?

White Coat Investor Charitable Giving and Initiatives


The 5 Money Activities to Master 

There are five money activities worth mastering. Most people will be naturally good at one or two of them and OK at one or two of them. But it will require significant effort to master the other one or two. Becoming good at all five is well worth the effort. These activities include:

  1. Earning
  2. Saving
  3. Investing
  4. Spending
  5. Giving

While this post will only cover the last of these money activities, it can, in many ways, be the most important.


Where to Give 

There are three broad categories of recipients worth considering when it comes to giving away money. The first is a nonprofit organization, generally referred to as a charity. While there is massive variation in the size and mission of these organizations, they are all generally classified as 501(c)(3)s by the IRS, and donations are tax-deductible to those who itemize their deductions. This category includes most educational institutions.

The second type of recipient is a political organization, such as a Political Action Committee (PAC) or a candidate’s campaign. These sorts of donations may influence who gets elected and what types of legislation are passed, but they generally are not tax-deductible.

Finally, one can give directly to individuals, whether family, friends, or strangers. These donations can do a lot of good—especially for people you care about—and eliminate the overhead and inefficiencies inherent in any organization. However, these gifts are not deductible either.


When to Give to Charity 

Giving can be done either during your life or after your death, via your will, a trust, a foundation, or a Donor Advised Fund (DAF). The benefits of giving during your lifetime include:

  1. The money gets put to work right away
  2. You get to see the good your donation is doing
  3. If given to a registered charity, the tax deduction can be very useful to offset income taxes

The benefits of giving after death include:

  1. You don’t have to worry about needing money you have already given away
  2. Assuming you invest well, you can often give away much more money
  3. You can wait until recipients are prepared before they receive the money

Many givers will seek to do both of these in a combination that makes sense to them personally.


Why Charitable Giving Is Important 

Charitable giving benefits both the recipient and the giver.


Charity Helps Those Who Receive

There are more than 1.8 million charities in the US alone and 8-10 times that many across the world. They do a massive amount of good for thousands of different causes. Our family’s giving is guided by a Scripture that says

” …. Ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye shall seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and afflicted.”

We focus our giving on four different causes:

  1. Providing clothing and shelter
  2. Providing food
  3. Freeing the captive (such as trafficked individuals)
  4. Providing healthcare

However, there are a myriad of other great causes that charities can help with including:

  1. Environmental
  2. Health
  3. Education
  4. Social or public welfare
  5. Religion
  6. Culture
  7. Reconciliation/Mutual Respect/Tolerance
  8. Animals
  9. Housing
  10. Recreation

Just a little bit of money can go a very long way, especially when applied in a developing country among people with very little money. For example, the Against Malaria Foundation distributes mosquito bed nets to prevent malaria. Each net (two people) costs $2, and the estimate is that every 600 nets prevent 500-1,000 cases of malaria and one child’s death. Spending $1,200 to save a life is incredibly cost-effective healthcare.


Charity Helps Those Who Give

I think that when I give to charity, it does me at least as much good as the charity. It helps me to avoid being miserly. It helps me avoid a visit from the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. It helps me to fight off that subconscious voice saying:

“You don’t have enough

You need more

What if . . .

You’ll never have enough.”

I think giving a significant amount of money away sends messages to those subconscious voices, and those messages are:

“If I can give this much I must be well off

I have enough and to spare.”

Giving makes me less selfish and less greedy. It makes me worry about money less. It makes me feel richer. It helps me stay connected to those less fortunate than myself. It provides perspective. Instead of worrying about whether a 3.7% safe withdrawal rate or a 3.5% SWR is best, I focus on those who are hungry, ill, and inadequately clothed. Want to know if you have “enough?” Give away some money. You’ll be amazed at what that does to keep your “enough” number from skyrocketing.

In addition, giving money away makes sure you’re not working more than you actually want. Let me explain. When you’re giving away a big chunk of money, you know that a big chunk of the work you do is not actually for you. So, if you don’t really want to do it, you’ll stop and go do something you want to do. It combines with your self-interest to muzzle your workaholism.


An American Tradition

giving to charity

Philanthropy and volunteerism are somewhat unique to Americans, and it’s one of the things I love about this country. We may be greedy capitalists, but the most capitalistic among us have set some pretty impressive examples of philanthropy.

Andrew Carnegie isn’t remembered so much for his steel empire as for the >2,000 libraries he founded. He gave away over 90% of his wealth before he died. He said, “The man who dies rich dies disgraced.” Will Bill Gates be remembered more for Microsoft or for the Gates Foundation and the work it does? Warren Buffett, who has given away more than $50 billion since 2006 (more than he was worth in 2006) said, “If you’re in the luckiest 1% of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99%.” Guess what? Just about every reader of this forum is in the luckiest 1% of humanity. Even the relatively young Mark Zuckerberg has committed to giving away 99% of his Facebook shares during his lifetime. Given these examples, it’s kind of pathetic that the US isn’t even in the top 10 countries by percentage of people who have given to charity in the last month!


Responding to Critics of Charitable Giving 

Some people don’t think giving to charities is a good idea at all. Author Phil DeMuth expounds on the arguments well:

“I love charity, but taxes aside, we get our charity feel-good afterglow buzz on too cheaply. It’s safest to assume that any charity is a well-meaning scam until your own research proves otherwise. Of course, the people running the charity don’t think of it as a scam. They think they are Mahatma Gandhi. All that proves is that they are experts at rationalizing their self-interested behavior, just like the rest of us . . . Here’s an instant screen I copied from Nassim Taleb: does the charity have any salaried officers? If so, look elsewhere . . . The next question to ask is whether they do more harm than good. I count wasted money as a positive evil. The same money could have been left in a tip jar at Starbucks, where it would have gone to hardworking young people starting out in life. As Milton Friedman says, the most efficient operation is where you have people spending their own money on their own behalf. The least efficient operation is where you have a group of people spending other people’s money on behalf of yet a third group of people (which is how charities and governments operate). If a charity has a cost-benefit analysis of all the good they are doing per dollar spent, bring it on. In the absence of such evidence (which they would certainly be motivated to supply if it existed), it is safe to assume the money was wasted.”

Others say that people only give to impress others, feel better about themselves, or get a tax deduction. They even argue that there should be no charitable tax deductions.

My response to those arguments is four-fold:


#1 Spend Your Money on Whatever You Like

If someone else wants to “waste” their money by giving it away, that’s their problem. Some people feel better when they spend their money on cigarettes and booze. Surely this is healthier than that! While a given charity might not be “efficient,” I find it hard to believe that a typical charity does more harm than good. If you’d rather give to others (as tips or whatever) directly instead of a charity, knock yourself out!


#2 Almost Every Charity Does at Least 50% as Much Good as the Government

Some people have a problem with the tax break given for charitable giving, as they feel everyone shouldn’t be forced to “subsidize” it. To that, I would point out that the tax break is, at most, about 50% of what was given. There are plenty of inefficient charities out there, lots of charities whose mission I disagree with, and a few outright scams. But overall, I think we, as a society, are getting a bargain for what is done by charities. We basically get a “100%+ match” on the dollars we subsidize. Thanks to the standard deduction at the low end, the fact that even middle-class folks who itemize have a relatively low marginal tax rate, and the phaseout of itemized deductions at the high end, we as a society are probably only subsidizing something like 10%-20% on charitable donations.


#3 We Forget the Benefits to the Giver

When running a cost-benefit analysis as advocated by DeMuth, we are neglecting the benefit of the giving on the giver, and I’m not talking about the tax deduction or getting your name on the university building. I’m talking about the positive effect it has on your ability to keep money in its proper place in life. Since we are mortal, all of our money is only ours temporarily. We are merely stewards of it. Whether you believe you are the steward for God, your heirs, charity, or the government, the fact remains that we only get to use it for a few short decades.


#4 You Can (and Should) Give Anonymously

Sure, you won’t get your name on that university building or a scholarship endowment if you stay anonymous, but you also won’t be hounded by that or other charities for additional donations. Maybe it is a more “pure” way to give as well. Consider what Matthew recorded from the Sermon on the Mount:

“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.”


A Motivational Plea 

I don’t care what the cause is or who you give to: charity, your family, a political party. Whatever. I don’t care how much you give. But give some money away this year to a cause or person you care about. It will do you good. Done well, it will do them good. Try to adopt a “steward” mentality. Imagine this isn’t your money. You’re just managing it for a few decades on behalf of the world. Manage it well and perhaps you’ll be given more to manage.

2017 was the first year we gave away more money than we spent. Don’t worry, we still spend plenty and saved plenty, and the IRS knows we paid plenty of taxes. So far, we’ve given away more than we spent every year since.

More information on why charitable giving is important:


How to Choose a Charity 

There are two steps to choosing a charity. The first step is to figure out what causes you want to support. There are literally thousands of different causes out there. Surely you feel more strongly about some than about others. Perhaps they are causes close to home or across the planet. Maybe they help people you know or those who are most in need. Or maybe they don’t help people at all. They support animals or the environment or ideas. Whatever you feel strongly about. Choose those causes first.

The second step is to determine which charity most advances that cause. It might be the most well-known charity in that area, or it might be the most “efficient” charity, the one that puts the highest percentage of a donated dollar to good use. You can learn more about charities using charity rating websites such as:

Each of these websites has its strengths and minuses. It is worth looking up a charity you are considering on several of them. You’re mostly looking for efficiency, i.e. what percentage of your dollars is going to the charitable cause rather than administrative or marketing costs. More than 90% is good; below 80% is terrible. Above 98% is very efficient.


How Much to Give to Charity 

It can be difficult to decide how much to give to charity. Some people simply give a percentage of their income, such as 10% (a “tithe”). Others give a flat amount each year. Others just try to give more than they gave last year. You might try “giving until it hurts” (i.e., feels like a real sacrifice). Surprisingly few people have giving goals, but there’s no reason not to set a goal for your giving, just as you would for your savings rate or desired retirement nest egg. Live your life intentionally, including how you give your money away.

You may have other competing giving goals, such as giving money to your children or grandchildren or giving directly to people in need without involving a charity, that you will have to weigh.

Once you have decided how much total to give, you will also have to decide how much to give to a particular charity. You are likely to give more to charities whose cause you care more about, but you should also consider the charity’s ability to use your contribution. A large, established charity can handle a large contribution without much effect, but a new or smaller charity might not have the ability to put a large contribution to work effectively. If a charity only raises $100,000 per year, it probably can’t handle your $50,000 contribution effectively. Perhaps you should only give that charity $5,000 and find others working toward the same goal for the other $45,000. Most charities also prefer an ongoing revenue stream instead of a lump sum. They really want repeat contributions, as they have ongoing expenses/needs (and not lump sum needs).


Giving During Life vs. at Death 

Some people leave part or all of their estate to charity at death. This has a huge advantage over giving during your life. If you ever happen to need that money, you still have it. If you change your mind about a charity (or even an heir), you can change your will or trust accordingly. However, it also has major disadvantages. The advantages of giving during your life include:

  1. Tax deductions,
  2. Enjoy recognition for your generosity (if you’re into that),
  3. The charity (or heir) gets the money earlier and can do more good with it, and, perhaps most importantly,
  4. You get to see your money doing good during your life.

Most generous people find that a mix of giving during life and at death is right for them.


Ways to Give to Charity 

As a general rule, you can support charity with your time and effort, or you can support charity with your money and assets. Some people do both. In fact, cynics might tell you that the main reason wealthy people are asked to sit on the board of a charity is not for their expertise, but for likely future donations. At any rate, even those without material means can support charities simply by working in them. Without volunteers, the charity must spend its limited money on hiring employees, and as any business owner will tell you, employees are a major expense. Between a liveable wage, health insurance, retirement benefits, and reimbursable expenses, you can eat up a lot of money that could otherwise go toward the charitable cause. The charity doesn’t pay any of that for its volunteers, so all of its money can go toward the cause.


Donating Unwanted Stuff

Goodwill and similar charitable stores want your used stuff. While lots of it ends up in the dumpster, what remains can be sold at a very low price. That can support those who work there, those who shop there, and whoever else the charity is trying to help. You can also donate things like an old unwanted car to many charities. Note that your tax deduction for that donation is not what you think the car is worth, but the price at which they actually sell your car (often to a scrapyard).


Buying Things for Others

One of the more interesting methods of charity is exemplified by the Light the World campaign, sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The campaign has “giving machines” (that look like vending machines in person but are also available virtually). You can buy a poor family books, a meal, or even a goat. It’s a great method of touching individual lives and teaching your children about giving.


Appreciated Investments

One of the best ways for a taxable investor to donate to charity is to donate appreciated shares (of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, cryptocurrency, real estate, or anything else) that have been held for at least a year. When these shares are donated to charity, the donor qualifies for the full charitable donation deduction (assuming itemized deductions) for the value of the investment at the time of the donation. The donor does NOT have to pay capital gains taxes on the investment. Neither does the charity. The IRS gets nothing, and the charity gets the full value of the investment—minus the costs of selling (usually $0 for publicly traded investments). When combined with tax-loss harvesting, this can be a very powerful method of tax-efficient investing in a taxable account.

Our taxable account has relatively high basis and large amounts of carried-forward tax losses because we are continually flushing out low-basis shares from our portfolio with our charitable giving.


Donor Advised Funds

The use of a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) can make giving appreciated shares (or even cash) even easier. Rather than having to keep track of receipts from each of the charities to which you donate, you only have to keep track of when the money is moved into the DAF (and the DAF maintains those records). You don’t even have to put money in the DAF every year. You could put a large amount in and then distribute it to your favorite charities over the next five or 10 years. The DAF increases convenience and, perhaps even more importantly, allows total anonymity so your mailbox won’t be filled with those glossy, expensive-looking pamphlets from dozens of charities (including those you didn’t even donate to) that I refer to as “charity porn.”

There are many DAFs out there to consider. Many people simply use the DAF associated with the brokerage firm where their taxable account resides, such as Vanguard, Fidelity, or Schwab. DAF funds can be invested or left in cash. There are fees charged on the money, often in the form of an AUM fee. The money grows in a tax-protected manner, which helps offset the AUM fee. Each DAF has minimum initial investment amounts, minimum additional investment amounts, and minimum grants to charities.

While Vanguard’s investment fees tend to be lower than Fidelity’s (the AUM fees are the same starting at 0.6%), its minimums are also much higher ($25,000/$5,000/$500 vs. $0/$0/$50). Another alternative is Daffy. While not a household name, Daffy does not charge AUM fees, and its flat fees can be as low as $36 per year but no more than $240 per year [as of 2023]. However, its cash investment option until recently was a simple non-interest paying checking account at Wells Fargo. It’s upgrading to a money market fund, but it does not pay as much as the Vanguard money market fund. If you’re invested in cash in the DAF, you still come out ahead at Vanguard, even while paying the AUM fee. There is also no reason you cannot use more than one DAF. You can even make grants from one DAF to another as they are all considered registered charities.


Charitable Foundation

A non-operating charitable foundation is another great option, particularly for those who are wealthy and generous. While it may not make financial sense to establish a foundation with less than seven or even eight figures, it does have some advantages over a DAF. First, a non-operating foundation can give money to individuals, not just registered charities. Second, a foundation can pay a salary to its officers (such as you or your children). Third, a foundation is easier to keep going for many years. A DAF rarely lasts more than a generation or two. Fourth, you can manage the investments for a foundation yourself without paying anyone an AUM fee, so it is possible to save plenty in investment costs.

The downsides of a foundation are not insignificant, however. It has to file its own tax return and keep careful records. You cannot deduct the value of shares of a private company when you give them to a foundation. The foundation has to pay a tax of 1%-2% of its income each year. You can also get a bigger deduction for large donations to a DAF (60% of your income for cash and 30% for securities) than a foundation (30% for cash and 20% for securities). You also lose privacy as the foundation must report its grants publicly. Successor advisors can be named for a DAF, but if there is more than one. the DAF is split between them. That’s not the case for a foundation.


Charitable Trusts

Another option for giving to charity is via a charitable trust. These are generally “split-interest” gifts, where the charity gets something and you or your heirs or someone you designate gets something. You receive a charitable deduction for the part that goes to charity but not the part that does not. There are basically four types:

  • Charitable Remainder Unitrust (CRUT)
  • Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust (CRAT)
  • Charitable Lead Unitrust (CLUT)
  • Charitable Lead Annuity Trust (CLAT)

With a remainder trust, you (or the person you designate) get something for a while and then the charity gets what is left after a certain period of time. In essence, the charity gets the principal. With a lead trust, the charity gets the interest for a certain period of time and you or your heir gets the principal. With a unitrust, the payments vary by how well the investments in the trust are doing. With an annuity trust, the payments are fixed. In times of high interest rates, the remainder trusts are better for the giver since they get paid a higher rate. In times of low-interest rates, the lead trusts are better for the giver’s heirs, since the charity gets paid at a lower rate.


Charitable Annuities

A charitable annuity works similarly to a CRAT but tends to be more cost-effective for smaller amounts. The charity tends to get a little more money with the annuity than a CRAT and, thus, your deduction tends to be a little larger.


Charitable Land Conservation Easements

This “advanced” tax reduction technique involves buying a piece of land and then donating it to charity. Obviously, it doesn’t make sense to pay $100,000 for something that will only reduce your taxes by $30,000-$40,000. Those who do this argue that the property is worth much more than they paid for it. These days, this abusive practice frequently attracts the attention of the IRS. While not all land conservation easement schemes are abusive, many (most?) are. Tread carefully.


Other Options for Donating to Charity

There are several other unique options for donating to charity. A pooled income fund is like a charitable annuity except the payments to the donor are variable and lower. However, the charity gets more and you get a higher charitable donation deduction.

Charitable life insurance is another option. With this, you give an annual donation to a charity which uses the donation to pay the premium on a permanent life insurance policy on you. Each year, you get to write off this donation and feel good about your giving (and maybe even get a building named after you). When you keel over, the charity gets a large sum of money that can be used to build a building, endow a chair, or whatever.

You can even combine a charitable gift with a spendthrift trust. Upon your death, your money goes into a charitable trust. The money is out of the estate (avoiding estate taxes) and a certain amount of it (depending on the age of the spendthrift and current interest rates) is a deduction on the estate’s income taxes that year. The spendthrift gets an annuity payment every year for the rest of their life. You can even set it up so the spendthrift heir gets to pick the charity.


Qualified Charitable Distributions 

Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) are the best way for the elderly to give to charity. You simply designate money to go directly from your tax-deferred account (such as a traditional or rollover IRA) to the charity. You don’t pay tax on the money and neither does the IRS, and you don’t need to itemize your taxes to do this. The QCD also counts toward any required Required Minimum Distribution (RMD). QCDs can be taken as early as age 70, even if RMDs don’t have to be taken until ages 73-75. QCDs are limited to $100,000 per year, but that number will be indexed to inflation beginning in 2024.


Leave IRAs and HSAs to Charity 

You can leave your RMDs to charity using QCDs (as long as they’re less than $100,000), but you can leave your entire IRA to charity when you die, too. In fact, IRAs and HSAs are probably the best assets to leave to charity. Nobody ever pays taxes on that money from the time it is earned by the donor until the time it is spent by the charity.



Here’s more information on ways to give to charity:


Tax Benefits of Giving to Charity 

When giving to charity, if the donation can be deductible, that means you can give on a pre-tax basis. Depending on your perspective, that means either that the gift costs you less than the gift is worth to the charity or that you can give more to the charity for the same price.


How Much Charitable Giving Is Tax-Deductible?

While giving directly to individuals in need is generally not eligible for any tax deductions, giving to an IRS-registered charity generally is. However, there are some limitations. The main one is that you must itemize your deductions rather than taking the standard deduction. If you do itemize, the entire value of your donation is generally deductible on a federal basis and possibly on a state basis. In reality, however, only the amount above and beyond the standard deduction, minus any other itemized deductions you may have like mortgage interest and up to $10,000 in taxes, is really deductible.


Schedule A Charity Itemized Deduction


There used to be an exception. In 2020 and 2021, one could deduct $300 ($600 married) of charitable donations without itemizing.


2021 Charitable Contribution Deduction


I’d like to see it come back, but it doesn’t currently exist. If you do not itemize, you cannot deduct any donations to charity, except for QCDs (not really a deduction, it just never becomes taxable income).

If you donate more than $250 total to a given charity and get audited, you must have proof of the donation from the charity—generally a receipt that says you didn’t receive anything for your donation—or you will lose the deduction. If you did receive something (like a dinner), you must subtract that value of the item received from your deduction. If you donate anything besides cash and publicly traded securities that is worth more than $500, you must fill out an additional form, IRS Form 8283.


IRS Form 8283


If you donate an item of more than $5,000, you are supposed to pay for and keep a written appraisal of the value of the item.


Avoiding Capital Gains Taxes

When you donate securities or other non-cash items that have appreciated in value that you have owned for at least one year, you do not have to pay capital gains taxes on those items. Neither does the charity. This is why it often makes sense to donate appreciated shares rather than cash whenever possible.


Avoiding Estate Taxes

Gifts to individuals above the exemption amount [$18,000 in 2024] reduce your estate tax exemption. However, gifts to charity do not count toward that exemption limit, whether given during life or at death. Giving to charity is a great way to reduce your estate tax bill.


Avoid Required Minimum Distributions

For those 70+, Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) of up to $100,000 per year can be sent directly from your tax-deferred IRA to a charity (although not a DAF). While you do not get an additional tax deduction for this gift, you do not have to pay taxes on the IRA withdrawals and the QCD counts toward any Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) you may have.

Here’s more information on the tax benefits of giving to charity:


Does Giving to a Church Count as Charitable Giving? 

Whether giving to a church counts as charitable giving depends on who you ask. As far as the IRS is concerned, if the church is registered as a charity (and most are), then it counts and can be deducted. Opinion is split among others. Some people feel that giving churches charitable status is a violation of “the separation of church and state,” despite the fact that most churches do a lot of “traditionally charitable” things like feeding and sheltering the less fortunate in addition to “spreading the word.” Others feel that since giving to churches is “required” (by the religion, not the government), it isn’t really voluntary and should be looked at more like a tax than a gift. Even some religious people view their tithes as “The Lord’s money” and not a gift. And some (generally non-religious people) feel like paying their taxes is giving to charity since the government does lots of charitable things itself, such as Medicaid, food stamps, and donations to other countries and non-governmental organizations.

The jury is still out on this one.

In addition, some religious tithe payers feel that any charitable contribution counts toward a tithe while others feel the tithe must be given to the church. However, if you are in a religion that pays a relatively strict tithe, you have probably realized that calculating your “tithing bill” can be really complicated. My best advice in this regard is that it is between you and God.


White Coat Investor Charitable Giving and Initiatives 

Giving is important to Katie and me. For many years now, we have given away more money than we spend. That giving includes a lot of things. For example, we have given cash or particularly expensive gifts to family members. We also donate annually to 529s for our 33 nieces and nephews (and 200% match their contributions to those 529s). The White Coat Investor itself does two large giving programs. The first is The White Coat Investor Scholarship, which gives cash to 10 worthy professional (mostly medical) students each year. The second is the WCI Champions program which attempts to give a copy of The White Coat Investor’s Guide for Students to every first-year medical and dental student in the country (with about a 70% success rate). In 2023-2024, we’ve even extended that to several other types of professional students.

Our charitable giving is fourfold.

  1. We donate our time and resources to our church, our children’s schools, local sporting leagues (coaching mostly), and communities.
  2. We give money to our church.
  3. We have endowed a number of full-tuition scholarship endowments at our alma mater and have plans to do more.
  4. Near the end of each year, we meet with our children and choose charities to support with additional cash donations. This allows us to support great charities and to teach giving and generosity as an important value to our children. As mentioned earlier, we focus our giving on the following four causes:
  • Providing clothing and shelter
  • Providing food
  • Freeing the captive (such as trafficked individuals)
  • Providing healthcare

We also make exceptions for occasional smaller donations. While the charities change from year to year, most years we make large donations to our local homeless shelter; food bank; homeless clinic; and charities working internationally to stop trafficking, fight hunger, and provide healthcare.

We have encouraged white coat investors to give as well. Sometimes we do this by asking them to share their favorite charities, vote on which charities they would like us to donate to, or by highlighting a specific charity on the website or podcast. You can read below about some of our giving and WCI charitable giving campaigns we have done in the past. We hope our giving inspires white coat investors to be more charitable.


Our lives have been incredibly blessed. We believe that “to whom much is given, much will be required.” We also believe that “because I have been given much, I too must give.” Giving blesses the lives of both the recipient and the giver. It can be a nice tax deduction too!

What do you think? Do you give to charity? Why or why not? How do you give to charity? What are your favorite charities? Will you be leaving money to charity at death? Comment below!

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