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Founder’s Story: A Letter From Jonathan Shugart

Mar 30, 2021 | Who We Are

Leave a Charitable Legacy

A Letter from Jonathan Shugart, Founder and Director

B Charitable was born from a simple vision: Let’s help everyone make a difference through giving — even you. 

I am a recovering tax attorney. I spent about 5 years in the private practice of law helping higher net worth people with their estate planning and business planning needs. In that time, some of my most rewarding work was helping these individuals navigate charitable giving on their journey to leave behind a charitable legacy. We would often talk about great giving tools that, because of the high cost of entry and operation, only made sense to the wealthiest clients. We would talk about ways to make regular, strategic gifts to a fund or foundation that could grow tax-free, and then make distributions to charities at the right time to make the most impact.

How do we bring these charitable conversations to every breakfast table in the US? 

I was helping others make a positive impact in the world, but something kept me up at night. Most people have a giving heart and hope for the future. Now, more than ever, people believe it’s important to give back and help make a positive change in their community. However, the best tools are just not accessible to the majority of generous people. I constantly brainstormed how to bring these planning conversations to every breakfast table in the US. I truly believe that people intrinsically want to help others. It’s in our nature. I asked myself what it would look like if we created a tool that made that easier; a tool that equipped others to be charitable.

You’ve got a big heart, but changing the world isn’t always easy.

Around this same time, a prominent athlete created a viral peer-to-peer crowdfunding campaign to help his community recover from a natural disaster. I was excited to see people from all walks of life come together to help those in need. Immediately, my inner tax dork kicked in. What if that same charitable tool can make this type of generosity more transparent, more secure, and more beneficial to the contributors? 

With existing peer-to-peer crowdfunding platforms, when an individual sets up a campaign and receives the funds, the gifts are just that, personal gifts, not charitable contributions for the purposes of the IRS, even if that person is going to use the gifts for charitable purposes. As personal gifts, the funds are not guaranteed to end up 100% in the hands of charitable organizations. Additionally, the gifts are subject to gift tax laws, and are not eligible for the charitable contribution deduction. 

Crowdfunding campaigns grew in popularity on my social media networks. I saw friends and family members rally their own community for causes they cared about and joined many of the campaigns. But my inner tax dork kept nagging me. Generous people give when they find a cause that tugs at their heart. Most of us struggle with consistency, difficult processes, and optimizing tax benefits. There had to be a better way. 

We built B Charitable to provide the better way. B Charitable, Inc. is a tax-exempt entity whose sole purpose is to house charitable giving funds for individuals and create a platform for them to leverage social influence to increase their positive impact on the lives of others. 

With just a few, simple clicks, B Charitable donors can set up their very own charitable giving fund, make tax-deductible contributions, and then request distributions from the fund to absolutely any of the public charities recognized by the IRS. Further, these donors can start charitable crowdfunding campaigns where all contributions are tax-deductible, and the contributors have extra peace of mind knowing that the ONLY distributions that can be made from the campaign are to public charities. This platform has been built with modern technology that enables us to keep costs down and avoid complex fee structures. B Charitable allows for recurring donations, provides real-time fund tracking, and even gives donors the ability to invite their families, neighbors, and friends to support the causes they care about most.

Our mission: To help everyone make a difference through giving.

We all have the potential to do more, serve more, be more, and give more, but it’s not always easy. We’re here to change that. B Charitable opens up giving to anyone who wants to give — me and you and him and her and us and them and, well, you get the idea. B Charitable’s goal is to serve as a launching pad for those warm-hearted impulses we all have, but don’t always know what to do with. We want to help you visualize and then impact world-change from the palm of your hand.

B Charitable is a challenge and an invitation to become bigger than the issues that surround us; to become known, not for the problems we have, but for the solutions we help provide.

It has been said that we are not here just to be happy. We are to be useful; to be honorable; to be compassionate; to — you guessed it — B Charitable.

And we agree. Let’s do this.

 

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