Year-End Giving for 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act legislated tax changes which may affect your charitable giving plans. The standard deduction has increased to $24,000 per couple and state and local taxes are capped at $10,000. Therefore, if you used to itemize, total deductions need to exceed $24,000 to itemize for 2018. Please find below a few tips for year-end giving: 

  • Be sure and review your gifts to date to ensure you have given to the causes most important to you and in the amounts you intend. Date your check on or before December 31, 2018. If mailing, the postmark also has to be dated by December 31, 2018. If donating by credit card, the charge must be made before midnight on December 31, 2018.
  • Donor Advised Fund: You can set up a Donor Advised Fund to aid in simplifying and organizing your giving and help reach the $24,000 threshold for deductions. If you make several gifts to non-profit organizations annually totaling more than $10,000, hold appreciated securities, expect to have a high income tax year through a bonus or financial windfall, are selling a business or asset, or are updating your will or estate plan, a DAF may be a good fit for you. Please see our article Is A Donor Advised Fund For You? for more information.
  • Give cash or stocks before the end of the year to ensure they count for 2018. When you give appreciated stock (securities that have been held longer than one year), you are unburdening yourself of future taxes so you can give more and have it “cost” less. When you sell appreciated securities, you forfeit a portion of the proceeds to taxes.
  • Required Minimum Distribution: If you are 70 ½ years old, you can make a donation to United Way to satisfy the Required Minimum Distribution and avoid treating the withdrawals as taxable income. Gifts of up to $100,000 can be made and most times it is as simple as filling out a form with your plan administrator.
  • Increase your 401K: If you won’t hit your maximum on contributions by year-end, consider directing extra dollars to your retirement plan during your last few pay periods. If you receive a year-end bonus, use it to build up your savings.
  • Income tax withholding: After calculating your taxes for 2018, work with your accountant to see if you should adjust the withholding on your employers W-2 form. 
  • Flexible spending accounts: If you contribute to a Flexible Spending Account, make sure you have used all the money in the account. Now might be the time to have that medical procedure you have been delaying.

Please contact Eve Powell,, on how you can make an impactful charitable gift to United Way of Greater Atlanta. 

On October 17th, society members gathered at the Cherokee Town Club for our annual Tocqueville Recognition Reception. During the award ceremony, we discovered unexpected reasons to be thankful.

The Tocqueville Society Award was granted to Mike and Susan Petrik. Each year this award is presented to a member or family who dedicates extraordinary time, talent and treasures throughout the Greater Atlanta community.

The Petriks joined the Tocqueville Society in 1998 and the Ivan Allen Circle in 2012. From 2008-2017, Mike served as the Board Chair, Governance Chair, and Public Policy Chair, all while demonstrating tremendous leadership as part of Alston & Bird’s campaign. In his remarks, Mike shared that the evening was made even more special by the news he and Susan had learned at the doctor’s office just hours before – officially in remission, Susan is now cancer-free.    

We also welcomed former United Way of Greater Atlanta President and CEO, Mark O’Connell, to present the Community Impact award named in his honor. The partner selected for this award shows an above-and-beyond commitment to improving Child Well-Being in our region. The winner, Communities in Schools of Atlanta, was represented by Executive Director, Frank Brown. With tears in his eyes, he expressed gratitude and passion for the students served by the organization – 96 percent of whom were promoted to the next grade level or graduated from high school.  

The program concluded with remarks from Peter Buffett, personally inviting members to attend “A Concert & Conversation” at Morehouse College the following night. Read more here.

Check out photos from the two evening event with Peter Buffett.

Tricia Holder is currently a United Way of Greater Atlanta Tocqueville Cabinet member. She serves on the Growth Committee and the Host Committee for Women’s Leadership Breakfast. Her other nonprofit involvement includes her role as President of the Atlanta Women’s Network.

Tricia has over 22 years of management and business development experience and over 12 years of human resource consulting experience, providing solutions to clients across the country. As a Managing Partner with Media Technology Associates, she handled national accounts including Turner Broadcasting, HDTV, COX, Discovery Channel, etc. She developed and implemented marketing plans to continuously keep clients and prospects informed of industry changes and services that met their evolving needs. Tricia has also provided business development services for MI Holdings, Inc. for the past 15 years. 

An Atlanta native, she attended Marist High School and holds a Bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University.  She has two kids and lives with her husband in Atlanta.

The Greater Atlanta community was proud to debut “A Concert & Conversation” featuring Peter Buffett at Morehouse College on October 18. 

The evening began with an original piano composition titled “(Searching For) A Place Called Home,” accompanied by cellist Michael Kott. This opening number set the stage for Peter to walk the audience through his experience growing up as a child of billionaire investor, Warren Buffett. He revealed it wasn’t until his twenties that he and his siblings knew of their father’s amassed fortune, primarily due to the first publication of the Forbes 400 list.


Nevertheless, Peter was still encouraged to pursue his passions – which happened to lie in music, not the family business at Berkshire Hathaway. This journey led him to San Francisco, where he began producing commercial spots for MTV. He scored the pivotal scene in Dances with Wolves after sending Kevin Costner a cassette tape of his work.  

In 2006, his father famously announced his plan to give away his wealth. As a result, Peter and his wife, Jennifer, found themselves with $1 billion to invest philanthropically. This event changed their entire outlook on addressing social problems, both domestically and abroad. To learn more about his philosophies, hear Peter’s “Share Your Why” video about the origins of his values.

After the performance, over 80 Tocqueville Society members and guests gathered for dessert and networking with Peter. The reception was hosted jointly by the African-American Partnership and Women United affinity groups, with special thanks to Wells Fargo as our sponsor.  

Atlanta is the first stop on a 14-city tour across the country, as part of a partnership with United Way Worldwide. Upcoming destinations include Denver, Miami, New York, and his hometown of Omaha. 

 Dave Polstra has been a Tocqueville Society and Ivan Allen Circle member since 2010, and he currently serves on the Tocqueville Cabinet as Chair of the Creative Giving Committee. As Co-Founder of Brightworth, Dave brings more than 30 years of experience, wisdom and insight in the wealth management field.

A personal Wealth Advisor to high-net-worth families since 1981, Dave provides comprehensive financial and investment advice, specializing in retirement transition planning, executive compensation, estate planning and charitable planning. He is a well-known speaker at national conferences, where he teaches retirement plan distribution and wealth transfer strategies to attorneys, CPAs and financial advisors.  

Dave currently serves on the board of the Atlanta Estate Planning Council. He is also the past chairman of the board of Eagle Ranch Children’s Home and the Eagle Ranch Foundation. He currently serves as chairman of the board for Medical Missions Ministries (MMM), an organization that provides free medical care to the poor living in rural Guatemala. In 2011, Dave received the Global Community Impact Award from Invest in Others Charitable Foundation for his work with MMM.

Dave and his wife, Betsy, have three adult children and are active members of Perimeter Church in Johns Creek. His hobbies include jogging, waterskiing, wake surfing and vineyard cultivation.

#WhyWednesday: Jennifer Johnson

Meet Jennifer Johnson, Delta flight attendant and United Way of Greater Atlanta Young Professional Leaders board member! Jennifer believes that in order to be successful, you must help other to become successful too. Today, hear her “why” – the reason she’s committed to the child well-being movement, and YPL’s signature cause: Kids Home Initiative.

What’s your philanthropic philosophy? We want to hear the inspiration behind your spirit of service – whether it’s a particular program or group that you’re passionate about, a personal story or words of wisdom, Share Your Why with United Way!

We are writing to extend a special invitation to an exciting opportunity coming up on October 18—A Concert & Conversation with Peter Buffett at Morehouse College. You may know that Peter is the son of investor Warren Buffett. More importantly, Peter has an inspiring story to tell about making your own path. He is:

– Author of New York Times Bestselling book, Life is What You Make It

– President of NoVo Foundation, which is working to advance the rights of adolescent girls and end violence against girls and women around the world

– An advocate for racial and gender equity

Learn more about Peter Buffett here.

Additionally, Morehouse students will be present to participate in a rich dialogue about the issues facing our local communities and their ideas for philanthropic solutions.  Come join in the conversation, sharing your wisdom and unique perspective.

We hope to see you there!

Bryan Vinson, ’03, United Way of Greater Atlanta

Ricky McLeod, ’99, Comcast

Jesse Owens, ’98, Southern Company Gas


#WhyWednesday: Jesse Owens

Southern Company Talent Acquisition Manager Jesse Owens changes lives and contributes to his community as a United Way of Greater Atlanta AAP board member. Why does he believe AAP’s work is important? Watch this week’s #WhyWednesday video to find out!



However you give, advocate and volunteer, we want to hear the “why” behind it! Share your story with United Way of Greater Atlanta and inspire others to live united.

“My name is Roman Bacchetta, and I’m a sophomore at Vanderbilt University. From volunteer to board member to intern, it’s been quite a journey for me with United Way. Two years ago, I applied to become a member of the inaugural Youth United board after I had the privilege of touring the United Way headquarters. I was deeply inspired by the mission and expansive outreach of the organization, but also its unique level of personability, especially in the 2-1-1 call center.

In 2016, I was fortunate to be appointed to the first Youth United board along with twelve other Atlanta high schoolers. As Youth United members, we assisted with UWGA projects like the Shoebox Project and volunteered for several local nonprofits. Most importantly, the YU board collaboratively organized its own community service and engagement projects. In order to realize our visions for these projects, we investigated the most pressing issues in our own communities, worked alongside other nonprofits and businesses, and met regularly in teams to draft and flesh out our ideas. My experience with Youth United was extremely intensive and eye-opening, and I was able to become much more familiarized with the vast scope of UWGA’s mission and operations.

The summer after my first year in college, I knew I wanted to work again with the organization, so I applied to serve as an intern. This summer, as a Regional Development Marketing and Communications intern, I worked between the UWGA branches in several counties, educated the local community about United Way projects through various social media platforms, and developed a much better sense of what it means to engage and involve my community.

To all the Youth United members, I encourage you to stay involved in your community! Give back, volunteer, share your stories and ideas. You CAN make change!”


“I am joined by a talented team of Atlanta’s top executives on the United Way of Greater Atlanta African-American Partnership Cabinet. This year, we are 22 cabinet members strong, including nine new members as a result of our spring application process.

I was amazed by the creative energy and sound counsel at our July retreat. These leaders freely give of their time and expertise for the good of the community. View the 2018-2019 AAP Cabinet photo roster here.

We have an amazing year in store for our members with engagement opportunities that will allow you to learn more about Greater Atlanta’s community opportunities while achieving your individual philanthropic goals. Please follow AAP on Facebook and Instagram for the latest details about our upcoming events.

Lastly, if your company has an African-American Business/Employee Resource Group, we would appreciate the opportunity to present information about AAP at one of your fall meetings in conjunction with the United Way campaign. Please contact for more details. 

Thank you all for your commitment to making a difference in our local community!”

Kind regards,
Stephanie Gloster
Digital Business Integration Consultant, Accenture Applied Intelligence
AAP Cabinet Chair