Is giving back on your radar? Philanthropy is a common goal amongst people, whether it’s giving back money or time to the community, many of us can agree on the importance of making an impact. But how do we make sure that our time and money is actually making a difference?
For starters, it’s important to pick the right organization. This might be a charity that you enjoy working with, or it could be a cause that’s near and dear to your heart, such as St. Jude's or the American Heart Association. It could even be as simple as working alongside others in your community to make it a better place. By choosing the right charity or organization, we can make sure that the ways in which we’re contributing are actually going towards good.
If you’re donating money, you’ll want to work with an organization that is classified as a 501(C)(3) to take advantage of the tax benefits of donating to charity. By doing so, you can receive a federal tax deduction on your donation when it comes time to file. Not only this, but you’ll want to be strategic with the way you donate money. A lot of people automatically think of donating cash or writing a check, but if you have highly appreciated securities or are eligible for a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) these can make an even bigger impact on your tax returns.
If you’re donating your time, you’ll want to pick an organization that can show you the impact that you’re making. It could be as easy as cleaning up the highway and visually seeing the cleaner community once finished. Or it could be participating in something like Feed My Starving Children, where you’ll be packing meals for families abroad who suffer from world hunger. These organizations can typically tell you the amount of meals packed, mouths fed, and the difference that a couple hours of volunteering really makes.
No matter what way you chose to participate in philanthropy, knowing the difference that you’re making really goes a long way. Choose organizations that matter to you, understand exactly how they function and how the volunteers make an impact, and if you’re donating money be sure to utilize the tax advantages available to you.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.