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What is the Best Way to Donate to Charity?

Charitable organizations are always in need of donations, and the global pandemic has made the need more urgent. Now is a good time to give to help support those who are less fortunate. When you make a donation, you want to be sure that you maximize the impact and ensure that you will get proper credit for your charitable efforts. Here are some tips for making the best possible charitable contribution.

Choose a Reputable Charity

When you are planning to donate, you want to make certain that the charity is legitimate. Do not simply respond to online requests for money without first doing some investigation. Not only do you want to ensure that the organization is real, you also want to know that most or all of your donation will end up in the right place. Be wary of organizations that accept donations only through texts or other social media platforms. The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance offers some critical data about charities and ratings based on many factors. Give to charities that get a high rating to ensure your donation will be used wisely.

Pick an Organization with a Cause You Endorse

You work hard for your money, so you want to share it with causes that are compatible with your own beliefs. There are thousands of organizations to choose from, so first consider the type of cause or organization that you prefer. You can find lists of organizations that are worthy and in need of donations online at Charity Navigator. They provide an online tool and resources to locate charity organizations that meet your criteria.

Make Certain Your Donation Will be Tax Deductible

Giving to charity offers you a sense of happiness and gratitude. At the same time, you need to know that you will be able to take a tax deduction when the time comes. Keep in mind that not all donations are tax deductible. Only donations to organizations with tax exempt status are eligible for deduction. The organization must have a 501(c)(3) tax exemption through the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS provides a helpful charity non-profit database tool that you can utilize to verify whether an organization qualifies. Visit the IRS Tax Exempt Organization Search web page to learn more. When you give to an organization you should always obtain a receipt. It is best to give by check or credit card rather than cash, so you can prove the donation even if you do not have a receipt.

Make Your Donation Count

Some donations are worth more than others. Sometimes your employer may offer a benefit that allows them to match your personal donation. This gives your donation more power. Another consideration is to donate on a specific day that doubles or adds more money to your donation. For instance, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving is called Giving Tuesday. Many organizations will double or add more money to a donation that you make on that particular day.

Giving to a charity helps others who are in need. You can feel good about where your money goes when you follow the simple tips above. Contact Moen Sheehan Meyer, LTD., to learn more about personal or business donations. Contact us online or call us at (608) 784-8310 for a free consultation.

Published November 30, 2020
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