Philanthropedia Blog

Archive for December, 2010

Last Chance to Get Your 2010 Charitable Tax Deduction NOW!

December 31st, 2010

It’s December 31, which means it’s the last day to make a charitable contribution and get a tax deduction for 2010. To help you navigate the complex tax system and make the most out of your donation, here are 4 tips from Philanthropedia:

1. Don’t forget the deadline – December 31! If you want to get a tax deduction for 2010, you need to make your donation by the end of December. It is best to not leave that for the last minute, because websites often become overloaded and slower as many donors sign on to make a donation.
2. Keep all of your receipts in one place. If you donated over $5,000, you can get a bigger tax deduction by itemizing your donations. Using Philanthropedia’s convenient website, you can keep all of your receipts in one place and access them any time you need them.
3. Don’t undervalue your charitable donations. In addition to cash, check, credit card, and payroll contributions, giving away a car, property, clothes, or other items can qualify as a donation as well. If you made non-cash donations that you need appraised, you can either use the “thrift shop value” – an estimate of the item’s value based on what it would sell for in a thrift shop – or get in touch with tax professionals who can help you appraise your contribution. It is important to remember that you can’t deduct the value of your time or services spent on charitable work – but you can deduct related mileage or vehicle expenses. For more information on non-cash donations, check out H&R Block’s excellent advice.
4. Finally and most importantly: maximize the impact of your donation! What is the point of giving money away if it will go to waste? Choose one of Philanthropedia’s recommend charities to make sure that your donation is well spent and supporting high-impact nonprofits in the causes you care about.

Recapping four of the largest natural disasters in 2010

December 30th, 2010

On January 12, 2010 a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. 230,000 people were killed, making it the sixth most deadly natural disaster in the past century.

On April 20, 2010, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 men and injured 17. For over three months, oil spilled from a well 5,000 feet below sea level, discharging over 500,000 gallons of crude oil a day, making it the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry.

In July 2010 huge floods devastated nearly a third of Pakistan’s landmass. More than 2,000 people were killed, and one in ten Pakistanis- 21 million people- were injured or became homeless as a result of the flooding, making it the worst flood in Pakistan in 80 years.

On October 25, 2010 a 7.7-magnitude undersea earthquake triggered a ten-foot high tsunami off the coast of Indonesia on the Mentawai Islands, killing 431 people.

Please consider supporting high-impact nonprofits that are helping the victims recover from these natural disasters by giving to the Haiti Mutual Fund, Climate Change Mutual Fund*, Pakistan Mutual Fund, and Indonesia Mutual Fund now.

*Note- Philanthropedia didn’t run research to identify high-impact nonprofits working on restoring the habitat and people’s livelihoods affected by the BP oil crisis. However, many of the top nonprofits in our National Climate Change Mutual Fund have been playing an active role in the Gulf Oil Crisis.

Time has passed but there is still healing to do for the victims of Indonesia’s Mentawai Islands’ tsunami

December 29th, 2010

Duodi was only nine months old. He loved mimicking sounds and expressions. Dewi was five and loved playing with dolls and making Duodi laugh. The parents of these little ones found Dewi after the tsunami hit, limp like a doll on the tree, and they still haven’t found Duodi…(Source)

On October 25, 2010, a 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck the Mentawai Islands off the western coast of Sumatra, Indonesia.  The earthquake triggered a ten-foot high tsunami, driving sea water more than a quarter-mile inland. According to local governments, 431 lives have been lost, 700 houses have been damaged, and as many as 14,983 people are still displaced. The Mentawai Islands are extremely isolated, and poverty is widespread.

Please help the victims of this tsunami reconstruct their lives by donating to the following expert-recommended high-impact nonprofits that have had a significant impact on the Mentawai Islands.

Habitat for Humanity is renowned for their ability to build and construct homes for people in need.

Mercy Corps primarily works in Indonesia to provide financial services for poor families, access to clean water, nutrition programs for schoolchildren, breastfeeding awareness and support, and recovery programs for tsunami survivors.

Catholic Relief Services has worked in Indonesia since 1957, providing supplies such as food and temporary shelter following disasters.

World Vision has also been in Indonesia since 1957. They work with children and are active in disaster relief.

Surf Aid International has done a lot of work over the last 10 years specifically on the Mentawai Islands.

Click here to read more about these organizations and which expert made these recommendations. In addition, we have also made it easier for you to give holistically to the entire group of nonprofits via our Indonesia Mutual Fund.

Please click here to donate and invest in Indonesia’s Mentawai Islands’ path to recovery and growth.

Victims of Pakistan’s flood continue to live in public buildings and camps as winter approaches

December 28th, 2010

In July 2010, Pakistan experienced the worst flood in 80 years (Source). The number of people affected exceeded the combined total of individuals affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

Four months after floodwaters swept through the country, many millions still rely on food aid, villages lacking clean water are still being discovered, and a million people continue to live in public buildings and camps as winter approaches.

“Although most people have returned to their home areas, many have returned to near total destruction “with no homes, no crops, no food and no cash,” Daniel Toole, UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia, said.

“In the north, snow has fallen and we are delivering winter clothes and supplies to help families prepare for a harsh winter, while in the south very slow receding waters have meant over a million lives are still on hold. The coming cold months will sharply increase the numbers of respiratory infections and malnutrition, two of the biggest killers of Pakistani children,” Toole added.

A polio outbreak has spread quickly with 126 cases this year compared to 89 in 2009, a major cause for concern because Pakistan had made significant progress towards eradicating polio.  (Source)

Please consider supporting the flood victims in Pakistan during this holiday season.

Philanthropedia has made this easier for you by recommending a group of top nonprofits after interviewing three experts in Pakistan. The experts recommended the following nonprofits:

Bilquis Edhi Relief Foundation is one of the most renowned humanitarian nonprofits in Pakistan. It does a lot of great work including running shelter homes for orphans and operating the largest ambulance service in Pakistan.

The Citizens Foundation is one of Pakistan’s leading organizations in the field of formal education. As of 2010, TCF had established 660 purpose-built school units nationwide with an enrollment of 92,000 students.

The Imran Khan Foundation is another large nonprofit that has philanthropic projects in education, social ,and health care sectors, and provides relief to the needy especially in the time of natural disasters.

The Layton Rahmatulla Benevolent Trust is a leading nonprofit committed to creating a better Pakistan by preventing the suffering caused by blindness and other eye elements. They were one of the first in the field to serve the flood victims and provide them with health care facilities along with free medication and water purification tablets.

Click here to read more about these organizations and who our experts are. In addition, we have also made it easier for you to give holistically to the entire group of nonprofits via our Pakistan Mutual Fund.

Please click here to donate and invest in Pakistan’s long-term path to recovery and growth.

Support Victims in Haiti

December 27th, 2010

On Jan 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, and killed approximately 200,000 people. The number of deaths makes this the worst earthquake in the region in more than 200 years (Source) and the sixth most deadly natural disaster in the past century. (Source)

A couple of months later, there was a cholera outbreak in the heart of the capital, Port-au-Prince. According to the Haitian Ministry of Health, 917 people have died from cholera and more than 14,000 have been hospitalized. (Source)

Please continue to extend your support to the victims struggling to survive.

To help you support the nonprofits making the biggest difference in Haiti, Philanthropedia interviewed a Haiti expert, asking her to recommend top nonprofits. These are her recommendations:

Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti is a great nonprofit organization that fights for the human rights of Haiti’s poor.

Partners in Health is a renowned international nonprofit with their flagship program in Haiti. They are one of the largest nongovernmental health care providers in Haiti.

Sustainable Organization Integrated Livelihood (SOIL) is a small nonprofit that has done outstanding work on sustainability and sanitation areas. They install sustainable toilets that allow one to reuse waste, which can be used as soil for growing.

Konbit Pou Aviti/KONPAY has a strong infrastructure on the ground in Haiti, and focuses on environmental, social, and economic problems in Haiti.

Haitian Education Leadership Program is a leading nonprofit in the education sector in Haiti. They provide scholarships to low-income students with high academic potential and achievement for higher education.

Click here to read more about these organizations and is the expert who made these recommendations. In addition, we have also made it easier for you to give holistically to the entire group of nonprofits via our Haiti Mutual Fund.

Please click here to donate and invest in Haiti’s long-term path to recovery and growth.

Philanthropedia’s Charitable Gift Cards Go One Step Further…

December 23rd, 2010

Charitable gift cards have exploded since 2006. Instead of buying a physical gift you aren’t sure your friends will like (see article “Physical Gifts Miss Satisfaction 20% of the Time”), charitable gift cards allow the recipient to pick the nonprofit of their choice to receive the contribution.

Yet, Philanthropedia’s charitable gift cards go one step further…

Donate to a Group of Nonprofits

While most charitable gift cards only allow you to choose one nonprofit to receive the money, Philanthropedia’s gift cards allow the recipient to choose a group of nonprofits to give to.

Philanthropedia has developed an innovative way to give to charities more strategically: through a mutual fund. For each cause, we bundle the top rated nonprofits into one fund so you can diversify your allocation across a group of great nonprofits, all in one transaction. So, instead of trying to decide which nonprofit to support (out of the million plus that exist), gift card recipients can make their contribution to one of these funds in a cause they care about.

Philanthropedia gift card recipients can choose from fifteen social cause mutual funds, including climate change, arts and culture, Haiti disaster relief, and more.

And here’s one more added bonus: Philanthropedia’s gift cards simplify the selection process because we’ve already done the research and vetting process for you. We have devised a rigorous methodology, crowd-sourcing hundreds of experts’ opinions, to identify the top nonprofits in different social causes. With an average of 17 years of experience in the field, these experts recommend nonprofits they believe are the top in their field. So, because we only display top nonprofits, the recipient of the gift card will have a much easier and enjoyable experience choosing the nonprofits they want to give to.

Buy a charitable gift card from Philanthropedia now! Click here.

6 Ways to Celebrate the Spirit of Giving Back this Holiday Season

December 22nd, 2010

Celebrate the spirit of the season by giving back! Here are some ideas about different ways you can give back this holiday season.

1. Donate to a cause you care about- Make an online donation to the best nonprofits out there with the help of Philanthropedia’s recommendations. Philanthropedia crowd-sources experts’ opinions to help you identity the top nonprofits in the social causes you care about. These nonprofits are the best at fighting climate change, increasing the quality of education, supporting the homeless, and solving many pressing social problems. Learn more and make a donation here.

2. Give a Philanthropedia charitable gift card- If you are thinking about buying material gifts for your family and friends, consider giving a charitable gift card instead. Charitable gift cards are great gifts because they are eco-friendly, cheap, personally tailored, and support great nonprofits. Buy a Philanthropedia gift card now!

3. Donate things you don’t need- Pack a box of toys, clothes, or other items and bring it over to your nearest GoodWill. GoodWill is a great organization that collects your unwanted items and makes them available to others at a low cost. GoodWill has the seal of approval from our experts as a top nonprofit working to solve workforce development problems in the U.S. Read more about the great work GoodWill does here, or to find the nearest GoodWill donation site to you, enter your zip-code here.

4. Support the victims of this year’s largest natural disasters- The victims of the Haiti earthquake, Pakistan flood, and Indonesia tsunami this year are still struggling. For example, the recent cholera outbreak killed more than 500 people in Haiti, and people still cannot return to their homes in Pakistan. Please consider lending your support to them by donating to expert recommended nonprofits through our disaster relief mutual funds.

5. Volunteer your time- There are great nonprofit organizations where you can volunteer your time this holiday season. This could be a great field trip opportunity to share with your family or friends. Check out volunteermatch.org for volunteer opportunities near you!

6. Use GoodSearch as your search toolbar- When shopping for holiday gifts online this season, surf the Internet with GoodSearch.com For every web search you make, an estimate of $0.01 is generated for the charity of your choice. So enter Philanthropedia’s name on the GoodSearch.org homepage to help support our future research.  Start searching with GoodSearch now!

Whether you are making a donation, giving a charitable gift card, donating things you don’t need, supporting the disaster relief victims, volunteering your time, or using GoodSearch as your search toolbar, your actions are helping others less fortunate than you, and you can feel confident that you are making an impact this giving season.

Dos and Don’ts for Charitable Giving this Holiday Season

December 21st, 2010

With the economy still in recovery mode, it’s more important than ever that you make a charitable contribution to outstanding organizations to ensure you’re making the biggest impact possible with your donation. Here are a few simple dos and don’ts for giving this season:

Do

  1. Do set aside some money to donate this year. Charities have been particularly hurt by the economic downturn and need your support more than ever to continue providing basic social services and needs in your community.
  2. Do pick a cause or a few causes that are important to you. There’s no right answer to which cause is more important than another. Unfortunately, nonprofits are trying to solve many problems, so just pick the ones that are most important to you and stick with them.
  3. Do your research—even just a little bit! You may already have outstanding, high performing nonprofits in mind, but if not, we suggest reviewing Philanthropedia’s top, expert recommended nonprofits because they’ve been vetted and have a proven history of doing great work.

Don’t

  1. Don’t just sit there! Do something! This is the time of year when we reflect on our good fortune, the great people we have in our lives, and generally, what we’re thankful for. Not everyone has been so lucky, so do your part and give back to help others in need.
  2. Don’t get caught up in the numbers game: Sure a good charity will be spending its money appropriately, but what’s most important is the actual work that charity is doing. Find a nonprofit with a proven track record of impact and programmatic success, and then you can look under the hood and see how their financial numbers stack up.
  3. Don’t forget to get your donation receipt! Sure we want you to donate to nonprofits this year, but so does the Federal Government. Their incentive for you is an IRS tax-deduction when you donate to nonprofits. So when you make a donation to a charity this year you can reduce your taxable income and lower your total tax bill—but only if you have the receipt to prove it!

Of course there are other ways to give back this year such as volunteering or donating items like your car, clothes, or food. Whatever you do, we hope you will think about how you can give back this holiday season and help those in need.

Don’t Forget: Last Chance to Get Your 2010 Charitable Tax Deduction

December 16th, 2010

December 31 is fast approaching, which means that there are just a few days left to make a charitable contribution and get a tax deduction for 2010. To help you navigate the complex tax system and make the most out of your donation, here are 4 tips from Philanthropedia:

1. Don’t forget the deadline – December 31! If you want to get a tax deduction for 2010, you need to make your donation by the end of December. It is best to not leave that for the last minute, because websites often become overloaded and slower as many donors sign on to make a donation.


2. Keep all of your receipts in one place. If you donated over $5,000, you can get a bigger tax deduction by itemizing your donations. Using Philanthropedia’s convenient website, you can keep all of your receipts in one place and access them any time you need them.


3. Don’t undervalue your charitable donations. In addition to cash, check, credit card, and payroll contributions, giving away a car, property, clothes, or other items can qualify as a donation as well. If you made non-cash donations that you need appraised, you can either use the “thrift shop value” – an estimate of the item’s value based on what it would sell for in a thrift shop – or get in touch with tax professionals who can help you appraise your contribution. It is important to remember that you can’t deduct the value of your time or services spent on charitable work – but you can deduct related mileage or vehicle expenses. For more information on non-cash donations, check out H&R Block’s excellent advice.


4. Finally and most importantly: maximize the impact of your donation! What is the point of giving money away if it will go to waste? Choose one of Philanthropedia’s recommend charities to make sure that your donation is well spent and supporting high-impact nonprofits in the causes you care about.

    6 Ways to Celebrate the Spirit of Giving Back this Holiday Season

    December 14th, 2010

    Celebrate the spirit of the season by giving back! Here are some ideas about different ways you can give back this holiday season.

    1. Donate to a cause you care about- Make an online donation to the best nonprofits out there with the help of Philanthropedia’s recommendations. Philanthropedia crowd-sources experts’ opinions to help you identity the top nonprofits in the social causes you care about. These nonprofits are the best at fighting climate change, increasing the quality of education, supporting the homeless, and solving many pressing social problems. Learn more and make a donation here.

    2. Give a Philanthropedia charitable gift card- If you are thinking about buying material gifts for your family and friends, consider giving a charitable gift card instead. Charitable gift cards are great gifts because they are eco-friendly, cheap, personally tailored, and support great nonprofits. Buy a Philanthropedia gift card now!

    3. Donate things you don’t need- Pack a box of toys, clothes, or other items and bring it over to your nearest GoodWill. GoodWill is a great organization that collects your unwanted items and makes them available to others at a low cost. GoodWill has the seal of approval from our experts as a top nonprofit working to solve workforce development problems in the U.S. Read more about the great work GoodWill does here, or to find the nearest GoodWill donation site to you, enter your zip-code here.

    4. Support the victims of this year’s largest natural disasters- The victims of the Haiti earthquake, Pakistan flood, and Indonesia tsunami this year are still struggling. For example, the recent cholera outbreak killed more than 500 people in Haiti, and people still cannot return to their homes in Pakistan. Please consider lending your support to them by donating to expert recommended nonprofits through our disaster relief mutual funds.

    5. Volunteer your time- There are great nonprofit organizations where you can volunteer your time this holiday season. This could be a great field trip opportunity to share with your family or friends. Check out volunteermatch.org for volunteer opportunities near you!

    6. Use GoodSearch as your search toolbar- When shopping for holiday gifts online this season, surf the Internet with GoodSearch.com For every web search you make, an estimate of $0.01 is generated for the charity of your choice. So enter Philanthropedia’s name on the GoodSearch.org homepage to help support our future research.  Start searching with GoodSearch now!

    Whether you are making a donation, giving a charitable gift card, donating things you don’t need, supporting the disaster relief victims, volunteering your time, or using GoodSearch as your search toolbar, your actions are helping others less fortunate than you, and you can feel confident that you are making an impact this giving season.


    Philanthropedia is a registered 501(c)3 organization. All of your donations are 100% tax-deductible.