According to the National Retail Federation, it’s estimated that over 154 million people shopped this past Black Friday weekend. For many, it was to pick up gifts for their loved ones.
When we sometimes get caught up with finding something to buy, we lose an opportunity to think outside the box (literally!) and give something truly meaningful for both parties. 40% of all charitable donations are made in the last few weeks of the year.
Giving to others can be incredibly rewarding and gratifying. If that sounds right up your alley, you might want to look into giving a donation to a worthy cause this Giving Tuesday or over the next few weeks.
Finding a Charity That Fits
There are numerous organizations out there doing some incredible things. Ask your loved ones which causes mean the most to them. What’s wonderful with this approach is you too get to connect and make a difference for the community.
Want to keep it a surprise or are you looking at charities for future contributions? Some wonderful sites to start your search include Philanthropedia, Charity Navigator, and GiveWell.org. Check out the charity’s website to get a sense of their mission and focus, but don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call them. You can also look over their annual reports and see if it coincides with what you’d feel comfortable supporting.
Speaking of finances, if you’re thinking about your taxes and would like to get a tax deduction, you’ll want to narrow your search to those charities that are not for profit 501(c)(3) charitable organizations. You can check and see if your charitable organization of choice is listed as an IRS qualified exempt organization. Once you have made your donation, TurboTax ItsDeductible will accurately track and value your donations. Make sure you receive documentation of your donation and keep in a handy spot.
Family and Giving
If you have kids, consider having them be a part of the conversation. This can be a fantastic way to introduce them to the idea of giving to the community around them and beyond. Ask them if there are any organizations they’d like to support. You may be surprised to see even your little ones having strong opinions.
One charity that kids may be interested in is DonorsChoose, this organization allows you to give on a classroom level. Besides the joy of helping a teacher instill a love of learning in their kids, it’s so sweet to receive cards from the students.
Are there any charities that are near and dear to your heart? Have you ever made a charitable donation in someone’s name? How did you find the charities you currently support?