Most of my work these days is with non-profit organizations seeking to increase the charitable contributions they receive in the form of real estate gifts of one sort or another. Such charities are seeking gifts of real estate because they have come to realize that, although more than 30% of the baby boomer wealth transfer that surrounds us is in real estate holdings, less than 3% of charitable giving is made through gifts of real estate. That means that much of the potential for donations to worthy causes is left untapped.

These engagements with non-profits often have me working with families and their advisors as they sort through the sometimes very challenging process of deciding when and how to part with properties that quite often have been in the family for some time. Though it’s always rewarding to help worthy non-profit organizations attract major real estate gifts to support their good work, the real joy comes in helping individuals and families to realize they have philanthropic capacity in their real estate holdings that they never imagined. It’s extremely satisfying to help families address multiple problems/opportunities at once: how to dispose of a property in as painless a fashion as possible; how to minimize or eliminate capital gains taxes and trigger useable charitable tax deductions; and how to make a charitable impact well beyond what they might ever have dreamed.

Read the full article about using real estate for tax-advantaged charitable giving by Dennis Bidwell at the National Center for Family Philanthropy.