Bill payer for charity donations

I use Quicken Premium for Mac. I donate various amounts to several dozen charities irregularly, several times a year from several different accounts. I want to organize and track all philanthropy in one place. Are either of the Quicken bill paying features appropriate for this use?

Comments

  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    Why not simply have a "Charity Contributions" category, with sub-cats for each of the specific charities?
    THEN, you could simply run a report for only that Category, with sub-totals for each sub-cat.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription, Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • Frankx
    Frankx SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi @206Giff,

    How are you recording your charitable contributions in Quicken currently?  You should be using the "Charity" category.  If you are, you can print out a report for whatever time frame you choose that will show all contributions that you made during that period.

    That's how most Quicken users manage charitable contributions and it also provides a way to prepare your tax returns as well.

    get back to me if you have any followup questions.

    Frankx


                      Quicken H&B-Subscription Ver. 34.24 - Windows 10-Home Version
                                             - - - - Quicken User since 1984 - - - 
      -  If you find this reply helpful, please click "Helpful" (below), so others will know! Thank you.  -

  • 206Giff
    206Giff Member
    Hi Frankx,
    I currently use Quicken Connect to download all account transactions into Q; from there, I assign the “Charitable Contribution” category to each appropriate entry for later use as you describe. My desire is to design all charitable donations to pay directly from a Quicken payer account - and be able to set them up in advance - instead of from several other outside accounts.
  • Frankx
    Frankx SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi again @206Giff

    Thanks for the additional information.

    So, now I understand that you want to setup the payment mechanism and that you want all the payments to be made from one account (rather then from "several outside accounts".  But can you clarify a couple of things for me?

    When you say "a Quicken payer account" exactly which type of "account" is that?  Do you want to make these payments through Quicken Bill Pay, through one bank account (e.g. a checking account, or credit card account) that is "connected' in Quicken, or from some other type of account?

    Please get back to me and we can go through next steps.

    Frankx

                      Quicken H&B-Subscription Ver. 34.24 - Windows 10-Home Version
                                             - - - - Quicken User since 1984 - - - 
      -  If you find this reply helpful, please click "Helpful" (below), so others will know! Thank you.  -

  • 206Giff
    206Giff Member
    This is not clear to me, but I THINK all payments should come from one Master Quicken Bill Pay account that gets replenished from one of several external account sources. The idea is to compile as much charity bookkeeping as possible in one location. Thx for your advise.
  • Frankx
    Frankx SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi again @206Giff

    Based on what you've said above, I think there are a few different ways to approach this.

    I believe that a lot of  people do use "one Master Bill Pay account" to make their payments.  I think that concentrating payments from one bank account (or two at most) makes bill payment easy and efficient, as opposed to using a larger number of accounts for bill payment.  Users that take this approach typically keep a minimal account balance in this account and make regular (and oftentimes automatic) transfers into the account as funds are needed to maintain minimum account balances.  I would strongly suggest that this account should be one where the bank supports Quicken for bill payment directly, if possible because this gives you more control and id more efficient.  I don't know of anyone who limits the payments made using this method only to charitable contributions, but that is something that could easily be done by having another bank account from which all other payments are made.

    Another approach would be to make such charitable contribution payments from more than one bank account - which I believe is the more commonly used approach.  This allows the user more flexibility BUT because of Quicken's ability to easily track, isolate, and report all types of payments, they are able to easily know how many contributions they have made and how much they have contributed for any time frame, on a charity by charity basis.  This data can be obtained from Quicken reports.

    I'll mention one other type of account that you may want to consider - specifically if you have appreciated securities and you wish to donate those to one or more charities.  This is called a "donor advised fund" and basically it allows you to make a charitable contribution of securities, that would otherwise be subject to capital gains taxes, without having to pay the tax.  Effectively it allows you to donate more to charitable organizations than if you were to sell the securities and donate the after-tax proceeds.  And Quicken can be used to track these types of accounts quite easily over time.  A few of the large mutual fund companies have programs where they serve as the intermediary, hold the funds, make payments, etc.  However, there may be minimum contribution amounts (determined by these financial institutions).

    Hopefully the above is helpful to you.  If you have any followup questions, get back to me.

    Frankx

                      Quicken H&B-Subscription Ver. 34.24 - Windows 10-Home Version
                                             - - - - Quicken User since 1984 - - - 
      -  If you find this reply helpful, please click "Helpful" (below), so others will know! Thank you.  -

  • 206Giff
    206Giff Member
    Hello again Frankx,

    It's encouraging to know that Quicken can track my Donor Advised Funds. I use them for donations but at present am not able to track them collectively in one place. I've not explored Q directly to look for this feature; is it easy to find, set up? Otherwise, I've been using your 2nd method where I pay from several external accounts then funnel the data into Quicken where I assign categories to each transaction. It's a little messy and a bit difficult to audit accurately.

    But your first approach sounds very much like what I'm trying to establish; one where I control, establish in advance, analyze, plan for, get reports from, and otherwise manage my donations all in one location ... ie one Quicken Charitable Giving account. Any further hints or info on procedure/s are welcome; regardless, I'm really appreciative of your advise to date. Thanks!