Salvation Army bell-ringers are starting to make appearances outside stores all over the United States. That’s a sign that the holidays have arrived, and many find themselves enjoying the spirit of giving. 30% of all charitable donations happen in the month of December. This holiday season, donate smart by keeping the following tips in mind.
Donate to legitimate charities
Many organizations want to tap into your generosity. Some “charities” aren’t even registered tax-exempt organizations. Avoid these scams by using Charity Navigator to check a charity’s credentials.
Charity Navigator provides you with a rating and comprehensive report of each charity. Look for charities that use over 60% of their donations for services to the cause.
Think outside the box! Your charity can probably use more than just money this holiday season. Habitat for Humanity needs builders, soup kitchens need hands to serve food, and churches need bodies to help hand out coats. If you have skills like carpentry or web design, you can offer to donate your talents as well.
Keep charity in mind when you file your taxes
We know you don’t expect anything in return, but don’t miss out on a tax break if the opportunity is there. Check out the IRS website for things to keep in mind when deducting charitable contributions.
Remember, documentation is key. Keep receipts for money and any clothes or goods you donate to charities. The receipt should show the date, the charity, the value of the donation and who donated the goods. If you can’t prove you made the donation, the IRS won’t accept it.
Donating your time or money to a charity is a win-win. It means charities get the resources they need, and it gives you a chance to walk the walk and actually make a difference.
Happy Holidays from CUTX!