Is there a cause you really care about? Giving to a charitable organization is a great way to make an impact on that cause. There are millions of charities in the United States alone, and with that comes a high level of competition. Consequently, charities have resorted to telephone solicitations and stuffing your mailbox with pamphlets, leaving you feeling guilty for not knowing where your donations should go. So what do you do?
We won’t argue that giving is great, but before picking a charity, make sure you consider the following things:
1) Never give to a charity you know nothing about.
Make sure you request literature and a copy of the charity’s annual report. Most importantly, find out where your money is going. Some donations go toward general administration and other expenses, leaving whatever is left to go toward the actual cause. Lastly, don’t respond to pressure. A legitimate organization will never attempt to force you into donating.
2) Generosity is great, but only if you can afford it.
It is important you don’t let your generosity get you into financial trouble. If you can’t afford to make a monetary contribution, but are determined to contribute to the cause, find other options.
3) Don’t think you’re limited to just money.
Nonperishable food items and clothing are in high demand at a lot of charitable organizations. Don’t have them? Are you the type of person who enjoys the more “hands-on approach” and wants to meet new people? Rather than donate money or items, donate your time!
4) Donating to a good cause is the gift that keeps giving.
Although we don’t think it’s best to give for the sake of getting something in return, it does help. One benefit of donating to a good cause is that most of the time your donations are tax deductible, so you will gain a monetary reward for your generosity.
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Categories: Charities, Taxes