With tornados ravaging the Midwest, hurricanes approaching the Southeast, and a refugee crisis in Eastern Europe, most of us can begin to feel rather helpless. Donating to charities is one way that allows us to take control and offer our compassion and support. Last year, charitable giving rose 8.9% nationally, according to data from the Blackbaud Institute.
We all want to leave an indelible impact on the causes that are most important to us. Before you write that check or make a pledge, here are three things to keep in mind:
1. LOOK BEFORE YOU GIVE.
Before donating, make sure you research where your money is going. Charity Navigator is a great resource to look up a website, see how it uses donations and how much of your donation will go directly to support the programs you care about.
2. GET THE MOST FROM YOUR DONATION.
An unlikely partner in our efforts is the Internal Revenue Service. While our first instinct is to donate cash to charities, our tax code allows for more efficient ways to give. With some guidance and a little planning, you can make a bigger impact.
3. BE CAUTIOUS.
Phone calls and emails asking you to give tend to be more frequent during times of crisis. Phishing scams are prevalent so make sure to proceed with caution.
There are many income, estate, and capital gains advantages to explore to determine what is best for your situation. If you find yourself writing personal checks to charitable organizations, it may be time to investigate better options that are a part of your comprehensive financial plan.
Contact us today to learn more.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor.