Tips for Local Giving this Holiday Season

With hundreds of active nonprofits in San Luis Obispo County, there are many options available for giving during the Holiday Season that will ensure your tax-deductible contributions support our community. The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County is here to simplify your year-end giving. Let us be your guide — we’ll handle the research, starting with these tips you can use to maximize the benefits of supporting your community.

Use a Donor Advised Fund (DAF): A Donor Advised Fund (DAF) opens up the world of philanthropy to donors who want to address community needs in San Luis Obispo County and beyond. You can enjoy full tax deductions now and contribute to the fund as frequently as you like, and then recommend grants to your favorite nonprofit organizations whenever it makes sense for you.

If you already have a fund held at The Community Foundation, you can easily recommend a distribution to the charity of your choice. For grants you wish to distribute in 2023, please contact before December 16. This is the preferred date to submit recommendations to provide the best chance of grantees receiving funds before December 31.

Use your IRA for Charity: Contributing from your IRA directly to The Community Foundation is an easy way to reduce your tax burden and make a gift to support multiple causes that are meaningful to you. The transfer must be to a qualified exempt nonprofit and may be for a designated purpose or field of interest fund. Make sure to contact your financial advisor for more information. 

Gifts of Cash:  You can donate to The Community Foundation directly by check, with cash, through our website, or however is easiest for you. You can trust us to help direct your contribution to a cause in SLO County or beyond. 

Gifts of Stock:  Donating appreciated stock offers you a way to support causes you care about while potentially enjoying a more cost-efficient deduction based on the current market value, not just what you originally paid. If your stocks have grown significantly since you bought them, donating them directly to a nonprofit like us can provide you with a deduction for their current value while bypassing taxes on potential gains. This means more of your contribution goes towards making a difference in our community.


Gifts of Property or Land: Donating real estate is a powerful way to fulfill your charitable aspirations while maximizing your tax benefits within legal boundaries.There are many ways that you can gift property to receive tax benefits and maximize your estate planning. The Community Foundation has established the Real Estate Foundation of San Luis Obispo County specifically for property gifts to alleviate property upkeep concerns, sales, insurance, and taxes for you and your family.

Your donations shape our community’s future. Partner with us to make a difference that lasts beyond the holiday season. Reach out to Donor Services at for personalized assistance. 

**The tips and information shared here are for educational purposes only and should not be considered official financial advice. We encourage readers to seek personalized guidance from a certified financial advisor for their specific financial needs.**

The Community Foundation will continue processing grants and issuing payments through the end of the year, but external factors such as delayed postal service or organizations closing offices for holidays, can impact when grantees receive funds. As a reminder, there is no tax implication for donors when grantees receive Foundation funds.

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Heidi H. McPherson Chief Executive Officer (805) 543-2323