Support Your Community's Dreams with Charitable Giving
Give wisely to causes that make a difference.
Giving to charities and good causes is a remarkably rewarding way to make a difference in others’ lives.
With the gift-giving season approaching, many people give to charities in lieu of holiday gifts. It’s a great way of contributing to the dreams of others. And, the happiness and satisfaction you get from giving can help inspire your own dreams, too.
If you’re considering charitable giving during the upcoming holiday season or any other time, keep these ideas in mind.
Do Your Homework
- Take stock of your personal values and determine which charities most closely match your vision for making a positive impact.
- Check the trustworthiness of these charities by contacting the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch or GuideStar.
- Contact the National Association of State Charity Officials to determine whether these charities are registered in your state.
- Check out the charities’ reputations by searching for them online along with the search words “complaint(s)” or “scam.”
- Call the charities, or if possible, visit their offices to get a better sense of their mission and effectiveness.
- Once you’ve selected a charity (or charities), make an annual donation plan.
- Visit this Internal Revenue Service (IRS) webpage to find out which organizations are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions.
- Understand the difference between “tax exempt” and “tax deductible.” Tax exempt means the organization doesn’t have to pay taxes. Tax deductible means you can deduct your contribution on your federal income tax return.
- Keep a record of your donations.
- Make donations within your means. You want to feel good about being generous, right?
- Don’t provide your credit card number or personal information until you’ve thoroughly researched the charity and are assured of its legitimacy.
By contributing with passion, wisdom and care, you can be a positive force for good in your community.