Making our List and Checking it Twice

It’s time.

As we all come off the four-day food bender that is Thanksgiving, we must face the inevitable; the Christmas season is here.  For those who are like me, I adopt ostrich-like qualities from what now seems like Labor Day through Thanksgiving, ignoring the ever-expanding holiday shopping propaganda.

By Wednesday of last week, I was cornered.  My inbox was already maxed out from a bevy of emails touting clever marketing messages in the attempt to get me to fill my virtual shopping cart.

                “Tick. Tock. You ready?”

                “Not all sales are created equal”

                “It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for

I click and browse like a good consumer in an attempt to create a Christmas wish list for myself.  Much to the chagrin of my mother, my mother-in-law, and anyone who has every drawn my name in a gift exchange, I am the worst at providing gift ideas for myself.  I long for the days when I submitted to my parents a dog-eared, circled, starred and highlighted J.C. Penney catalog with all of my Christmas wishes.  As an adult, there is just not the same level of excitement when you ask your parents to see if they can purchase gift certificates from Rod’s Concrete so you can tackle your front porch project.

Here at Renaissance, we have been working on our own list.  A list that rivals the excitement and joy I derived from that J.C. Penney toy catalog.  We are ready to announce our 2015 Making a Difference Fund grant recipients.

The rallying cry at Renaissance has always been “Charity is our Business”.  Throughout the year we provide consulting, implementation and administration on every possible charitable gift from CRTs to Private Foundations, Endowments to Pooled-Income Funds, and of course Donor-Advised Funds.  Every day our staff collects grant recommendations from our DAF clients, researches and vets charities, and processes grants to every charity imaginable.  Three years ago, we decided it was time to invest in our business by creating an employee-only donor-advised fund we named the “Making a Difference Fund”.

This year, Renaissance associates donated $20,000 to the Making a Difference Fund.  In early November, participating associates nominated their favorite charity for a grant and then we voted.  Tomorrow, on #GivingTuesday, groups of Renaissance associates will scatter throughout greater Indianapolis to distribute grants to local charities we feel are Making a Difference in our community.  While most of the charities are aware of our pending visit, we have kept the grant amounts a secret.  Our largest grant will be $7,500 and we can’t wait to see the look on the faces of that organization’s leaders when we present the check.  Follow our social media accounts as we post our check presentations throughout the day!

Take a minute from your busy holiday shopping tomorrow to check out what your favorite charities are asking for this #GivingTuesday.  Many organizations will be hosting on-line fundraising drives and some may even be working to meet year-end challenge grants.  If shopping is what really brings you joy, many charities have their own wish lists on their websites.  I can think of nothing better than learning that my gift for the holidays is a great big care package I can drop-off at my favorite charity to meet their needs.

You know what?  My Christmas list isn’t going to be so hard to put together after all.

Contact us to find answers to any of your other charitable planning questions.

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