According to the National Retail Federation, close to 190 million people shopped from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday this year, an increase of 14% over last year. For many, it was to pick up gifts for either themselves or their loved ones ahead of the holiday season.
However, in addition to the holiday shopping season, close to 30% of all charitable donations are made in the last few weeks of the year. Giving to others can be incredibly rewarding and gratifying, and 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. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Finding a Charity That Fits
There are numerous organizations out there doing some incredible things, and there are plenty of ways to find the right charity for you, including asking your loved ones which causes mean the most to them. What’s wonderful with this approach is you all get to connect while making a difference in the community.
Want to keep your charity a surprise? Or are you looking at charities for future contributions? Some wonderful sites to start your search include Philanthropedia and GiveWell.org. You can check out the charity’s website to get a sense of their mission and focus – and don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call them to help make your decision.
While deciding, 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 to 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 and the information can easily transfer to your TurboTax return. Make sure you receive documentation of your donation and keep in a handy spot.
Family and Giving
If you have kids, consider inviting them to join the conversation. This can be a fantastic way to introduce them to the idea of giving to the community around them and beyond, and you may be surprised to see even your little ones having strong opinions. One charity that kids may be interested in is DonorsChoose, which 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?
Don’t worry about knowing how charitable donations impact your taxes. TurboTax will ask you simple questions about your giving and give you the tax deductions you’re eligible for based on your entries. If you have questions, you can connect live via one-way video to a TurboTax Live CPA or Enrolled Agent with an average 15 years experience to get your tax questions answered. TurboTax Live CPAs and Enrolled Agents are available in English and Spanish and can review, sign, and file your tax return.