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8 Tips To Charitable Giving

8 Tips To Charitable Giving

American’s give to charity more than any other country, especially during the holidays.  According to United Way charities receive about 41% of their yearly contributions during December.  Donating even a small amount can make you feel wealthier, happier, and healthier. Think your small contribution won’t make a difference? Combining thousands of micro contributions together makes a huge impact. Follow these helpful tips when making your donations.

Working donations into your monthly budget.  Only do what you can comfortably afford and put it aside on a monthly basis.

Donating your clutter. Next time you’re cleaning house, see what items you don’t need anymore. Many charities need basic household items and clothes, or donate to a non-profit thrift stores.

Avoiding impulse buys.  Pausing to think before making an impulse purchase allows time to determine how much you actually need something. Decide you don’t need it? Donate the money you would have spent to charity instead.

Giving your time. Charitable giving doesn’t have to mean giving a monetary donation. Volunteering time to your favorite charity can be very beneficial, or even doing a good deed for a friend or neighbor in need. 

Seeing if your employer offers a charity donation program.  Many employers can take a set amount from each paycheck for a charity of your choice, and some may even offer matching options to help your donation go further.

Saving your donation receipts. If you itemize your taxes, you can write off some of your donations and possible reduce your taxes.  But don’t assume you will get a tax deduction for your donation. The charity has to be a 501(c)3 organization to qualify. You can check the IRS’s database to see if your charity has this status.

Signing-up for Amazon Smile.  .5% of eligible purchases from your online shopping will go to a charity of your choice.

Be vigilant when donating. Unfortunately, scammers will try to take advantage of peoples’ generous natures.  Always do your research to ensure you’re donating to a legitimate charity.  Follow these steps to protect yourself and your donation.

  • Check out the charity with your state consumer protection office or the Better Business Bureau
  • Verify the charity’s name. Fake charities often use a name that is close.
  • Don’t give into high pressure tactics used to make you donate immediately.
  • Don’t send cash, use a check or credit card

Working giving into your life has many benefits beyond making you feel good. It can improve your money management skills so you can afford to donate, it can encourage friends and family to do the same, and it can promote generosity in your children. However you decide to give, it is most important you do your research before giving and that you support a cause you believe in.

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