A quick guide to end-of-year giving
With 2023 in sight, we have officially entered “giving season,” a popular time to donate to your favorite charity or non-profit organization. So how do you make your end-of-year donation count? Here is a quick guide for giving back so you can make your donation as meaningful as possible.
1. Decide what’s feasible for you
While end-of-year financial donations are common in December, money isn’t the only thing that organizations are willing to accept. If you want to give back but don’t have the financial means to donate cash, try donating other items. Many organizations accept noncash contributions such as new or gently used toys and clothes, non-perishable food items, and volunteer time. Even the most modest donation can go a long way, and no donation is ever too small.
2. Choose a charity or organization that has meaning for you
If you don’t have a charity or non-profit organization that you normally give to, spend some time thinking about what causes are meaningful for you and research organizations that are aligned with them. Think of your donation as helping create the world you want to live in. Here are some ideas:
- Patient advocacy organizations
- Organizations for feeding, clothing, and caring for the unhoused
- Organizations for adopting a family over the holiday season
- Shelters for battered and abused women
- Churches and religious institutions
- Political organizations
- Animal sanctuaries, clinics, and shelters
- Environmental organizations
- Children’s welfare organizations
- Educational nonprofits
3. Keep your receipts
Don’t forget, monetary and in-kind donations to qualifying 501(c)3 organizations are tax deductible. If you want to claim your donations on your taxes, here are some key things to remember:
- Check whether or not your organization appears on the IRS Tax Exempt Organization Search Tool. You can also contact the organization in question and ask if they have tax-exempt status.
- Keep receipts for any and all donations and use these receipts to make the necessary filings on your taxes.
- Make sure you follow the IRS’s guidelines for any noncash charitable contributions.
- When in doubt, talk to a tax advisor or tax accountant with questions.
“Keep your face always toward the sunshine, and shadows will fall behind you.”
– Walt Whitman