The holidays are as much a time to get together and be thankful for our friends and family as they are to give back to those less fortunate than ourselves. As you think how you want to give back, consider these few things before making any donation.
Find a cause that you are truly passionate about
Put your money toward something that you truly believe will make a difference. Think about your donation as an investment. You aren’t going to invest in something you don’t believe will be successful, and likewise you shouldn’t donate to a cause that you don’t believe can do some good.
Know who you are donating to
You have to be proactive with your charitable actions. Even if you believe in a cause, it doesn’t mean you should immediately believe in a charity. You should verify the group’s nonprofit status, but also look at their track record of being able to put your money to good use.
Always donate directly
People feel like giving back around the holiday season, and telemarketers and scammers are known to pray on that generosity. If you get a call over the phone about a charity, it is quite possible that you are talking to a for-profit telemarketer that will take a big cut of your donation. Even if the call comes straight from an organization, it is still smart to take the time and donate directly online so you can better track your money.
Understand your tax-deduction
Assuming that you choose to give to a non-profit with a 501(c)(3) designation from the IRS, your gifts to the organization are tax deductible. The deduction you receive when filing depends on your tax bracket and it cannot exceed 50 percent of your adjusted gross income.