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 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.