November 8, 2021

Five Year-End Charitable Giving Tips for 2021

Author National Philanthropic Trust

As the end of 2021 approaches, crises and world events have continued to impact the social sector at an international scale all the way down to the local and household levels. While the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue, this is the beginning of an important time of year—one when we can simultaneously reflect on what we’re grateful for and lend a helping hand to those in need.

Your donor-advised fund (DAF) is a simple and efficient way to put charitable giving at the top of your list this season. Here are five ways to expand your philanthropic efforts as 2021 comes to a close:

1. Consider What Inspires You

Whether your cause is access to higher education, racial justice and equity or vital human services organizations like food pantries and shelters, there’s no better time than now to support the groups that inspire you. Think of the organizations, both worldwide and in your community, that have made a difference this past year. Their work is far from over. As the philanthropic and nonprofit landscape continues to change, nonprofits will need resources to adapt. The causes you care about will have new challenges as they enter 2022. You can help them prepare to deliver on their mission, no matter what.

2. Think Outside of Your Philanthropic Box

In addition to giving to your “go-to” organizations and causes, why not explore some new charitable territory this year? Because of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, resources are still urgently needed when it comes to medical equipment, PPE and basic supplies—especially internationally. Additionally, in the U.S., the pandemic’s economic ripple effect has greatly impacted arts, culture and humanities-based organizations, which saw a noticeable decline in overall fundraising revenue. Our world may never be the same, but by providing funds to the organizations most in need we can help make up for those losses.

Additionally, ask about your friends’ and family’s philanthropic priorities. A donation in their name to a favorite organization is a fantastic way to celebrate the holidays and honor a loved one. You’ll likely learn something new along the way, too.

3. Give Early

November and December are busy months for charities. Nonprofits know that a sizable chunk of giving still occurs around the holidays, so you’ll likely begin to see fundraising appeals accumulate in your inbox. One way you can help lighten the logistical burdens on your favorite nonprofits is to give early. Grants made earlier in the fall both help organizations meet their year-end goals ahead of schedule and allow you more time for family and togetherness.

4. Keep Year-End Grantmaking Deadlines in Mind

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s far too easy to let deadlines sneak up on you. That’s why you’ll want to be sure to set a reminder when it comes to meeting the year-end grantmaking deadlines for 2021. Because of the large volume of year-end giving, gifts from donor-advised funds do take some time to process. The good news, as always with DAFs, is that you simply need to recommend the grant—easier than ever before if you use NPT GivingPoint. NPT will facilitate the transfer of funds and handle any related paperwork. You can find year-end grantmaking deadlines at Giving Season Central.

5. Remember Year-End Contribution Deadlines, Too

Just like the grantmaking deadlines, the 2021 year-end contribution deadlines are important dates to keep in mind. Your portfolio may have grown or changed over 2021. Maybe you’ve diversified or added new classes of assets to your holdings. You can commit some of those gains to your philanthropic goals today by contributing to your donor-advised fund. The end of the calendar year is a perfect time to replenish your DAF to fuel next year’s giving—and years to come. It’s important to keep in mind the various deadlines associated with year-end giving, which can be found here.

Of course, NPT is there every step of the way throughout the season of giving. Our Donor Relations Team is available (with extended hours) to help you with anything you may need regarding your contributions before 2021 comes to a close.

National Philanthropic Trust is your trusted partner in facilitating your charitable giving. For further assistance, please call us at 888-878-7900 or email us at

NPT does not provide legal or tax advice. This blog post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be, and shall not be relied upon as, legal or tax advice. The applicability of information contained here may vary depending on individual circumstances.