I never realized how bad I am at making decisions until I decided to get married. Luckily, that first question was the easiest one to answer, “Yes!” There seems to be an endless number of things on which I need to have an opinion. Tulle or chiffon? Where will we honeymoon? What type of salad will we serve with dinner? Which chairs will we pick? What will the bridesmaids wear? Which stamps will we use on the invitations? Which flowers for the tables? For the bouquet? For the corsages? (So many flowers!) And the list goes on…and on…
I have helped multiple friends plan their weddings, but nothing could prepare me for the amount of decisions you have to make when it’s your wedding. The sheer amount of details can be pretty overwhelming sometimes. Aside from the very first question, there has been one other decision that was very easy for me to make – the decision about giving back to charity.
I am extremely fortunate because I am able to have the wedding that I want, I have family and friends who are more than willing to help me in any way they can, and I have a wonderful fiancé who is patient with me and my indecisiveness. During this time of celebration, it is especially easy for us to see all the blessings in our lives. It is important to us as a couple that we build a life together on a foundation of joy and gratitude.
Young people starting a new life together, especially ones who live in one of the most expensive markets in the country, don’t always feel that they have a lot of money to spare for charitable giving. However, in my research on wedding registries (yet another decision – who knew there were so many?) charitable donations seem to be growing in popularity as a wedding gift option. I noticed settings that allow guests to give to a charity of the couple’s choice in lieu of, or in addition to, a gift. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle just announced they would like people to donate to selected charities instead of sending gifts which will be hugely impactful for those organizations and hopefully inspire other couples to do the same.
While most of us aren’t quite as popular as Harry and Meghan, one way to help young couples make an impact is through a Gifted Donor Advised Fund. Think of Donor Advised Fund (DAF) like a health savings account, but for charitable giving. Contributions are tax deductible and the money in the fund can only be granted to charitable organizations. Usually, a DAF is funded by the person who will advise grants from the fund. A Gifted DAF is different in that many different people contribute to the fund, but the fund holder (e.g. the newlyweds) is the only one who can advise grants. This is a wonderful gift because the couple can advise grants to many different organizations and there is no time limit for when they have to use the money. The money continues to grow tax-free and the couple can to contribute to and advise grants from the fund at any time for the rest of their lives.
Right now the Catholic Community Foundation has a DAF Match opportunity which adds even more benefits for donors. The Foundation is matching Donor Advised Funds 5% up to $5,000 and the parish of the donor’s choice receives $500 from the Foundation (not from the donor’s DAF). For more information about our Donor Advised Funds and the match opportunity, visit http://cfoscc.org/DAF-Match or call (408) 995-5219.