The week's best financial advice

Three top pieces of financial advice — from the challenges of new charities to the latest workplace perk

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Here are three of the week's top pieces of financial advice, gathered from around the web:

The challenges of new charities

Launching a charity is a noble endeavor, said Veronica Dagher at The Wall Street Journal. But passion and ambition will get you only so far. Many people underestimate how long it will take to receive tax-exempt status. Registering with state authorities and the IRS can take as long as six to nine months, and accepting donations during that time is complicated. Another big mistake is putting family members on the board, "just because it's easy" or seems fun. It's smarter to find outside board members with legal or fundraising skills who can advance the organization's work and mission. And, most crucially, do your homework first. "Find out if there are charities with similar missions, and research them thoroughly before deciding there is always room for one more."

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The latest workplace perk

Student loan assistance is becoming the new 401(k) match, said Shelly Banjo at Quartz. As competition for highly skilled workers heats up, companies are increasingly offering to help workers and prospective employees pay down college debts. Student loan repayment programs now appear as a perk in thousands of postings on job search site Indeed​.com. Global consultancy Pricewaterhouse​Coopers announced a student loan forgiveness program last week, providing junior employees with as much as $1,200 a year for up to six years toward their student loans. Credit Suisse has teamed up with online lender SoFi to offer a 0.25 percent interest rate reduction to employees who refinance their student loans. This benefit "attracts employees to the bank," said Elizabeth Donnelly, a global HR managing director at Credit Suisse.

How to help kids invest

It used to be that parents could put gift money in a savings account "to teach their children about the magic of compound interest," said Sandra Block at Kiplinger. But in our era of zero percent interest rates, "you'll want to find other ways to invest the money." First, set up a custodial account through a brokerage firm or mutual fund. You can invest in anything from stocks to ETFs, as long as you meet the firm's investment minimums. Some companies, like TD Ameritrade, offer custodial accounts with no investment minimum and lots of no-transaction-fee funds. But "watch out for taxes." The first $1,050 of interest, dividends, and capital gains is tax free; the next $1,050 is taxed at the child's rate. Anything above $2,100 is taxed at the parents' rate.

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