Reflecting & Giving in 2020

To our clients and community,

As this most challenging of years comes to a close, we are filled with thanks…To our minds and bodies for adapting in difficult circumstances, to our colleagues, family, friends, and neighbors for their support and generosity of spirit, and, as always, to our clients for entrusting us with your goals and dreams. 

While we experienced darkness in our collective world this year, we are also reminded of the color that is there, too — like the bareness of seemingly dead winter trees, concealing bright buds within. It got us thinking…What are the colorful buds in our own lives, especially at the end of a tough year? Actively acknowledging what we already have is one of the quickest ways to be wealthy emotionally. (It’s also a foundational step in cultivating financial wealth.) When we remember the things we have, we enjoy them more, build on them, and share with others. 

In that spirit, we thought about how to manifest the colorful blooms in our lives — and how to plant little seeds of good for others, too. If it feels right for you, we invite you to join us in reflecting and giving:

Growing Our Gratitude

One of the best things we can do for our well-being is quite simple: reminding ourselves who and what we are grateful for. A few thought starters for 2020…

  • When you look back on 2020, what were the gifts?
  • What are you most grateful for?
  • Whom are you most grateful for?
  • What’s something you will take with you into 2021?

Green Shoots of Kindness 

Small actions can have an outsize impact. You never know who needs to see a green shoot of kindness. Might we suggest…

  • Writing a quick note or making an old-fashioned phone call to someone on your gratitude list. 
  • Thanking a nurse, doctor, or frontline worker you know by sending them a cup of coffee (or meal) on you.
  • Writing a holiday note to your local purveyors (grocers, farmers, vintners, pharmacists), sharing your appreciation for all they do.

Community Meals 

Feeding others has the secondary benefit of nourishing your own soul. Go through your cupboards and give dry goods to your local food bank or soup kitchen. You can find your local locations here.

Charitable Contributions

This year there is a $300 “universal” charitable deduction for all taxpayers who make cash contributions to public charities even for individuals who do not itemize deductions. This incentive encouraging cash donations was created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

There are several other charitable tax incentives available to both individuals and corporations. If you are interested in learning more, read here or reach out to your tax advisor.

Donor Advised Fund 

A Donor Advised Fund allows people to contribute cash or long-term appreciated securities and receive a tax deduction in the current tax year, with the flexibility to distribute the funds to qualified public charities over multiple years. There is $0 minimum for Donor Advised Funds, and if you’d like to learn more feel welcome to reach out to us.

This is a great option for people who wish to give charitably, but they’re not sure where yet. It’s also a useful structure for families who want to be organized and intentional about where and when they give.

If you set up a Donor Advised Fund in a previous year, this could be a nice time to think about where you’d like to give. You might ask yourself: What causes matter to me personally? Which organizations are helping my local community?

Wishing you a bright close to 2020 and an even brighter New Year. 


Your partners at Created

Would you like to receive Thoughts from Created?