This blog post was written by Student Advisory Council member, Eddie Richardson.
The end of the year is a great time to give thanks to your friends and family. It’s also a great time to support your favorite charities. And, did you know there are also financial benefits to donating to a cause you care about, especially at the end of the year? Below are four reasons to give back in the weeks ahead.
Four Reasons to Make Year-End Donations
- Help Charities to Do More Good Deeds
Donating to charities is a great way to support the causes we are passionate about. There are more than 1 million public charities and over 105,000 private foundations in the U.S. Even a small donation can make a huge difference for an organization struggling to support its staff and its cause. For example, many local homeless shelters can provide entire meals for under $3 per person. Donating to a charity can help it keeps its doors open and support communities in need.
- Holiday Spirit
The holiday season and its traditions are filled with messages of gratitude, generosity, and a spirit of helping others less fortunate. Inspired by the giving spirit, many people not only shop for gifts for friends and family, but direct their money to favorite charities as well. Holiday giving offers a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate to children gratitude and compassion for others, and it also offers a bonding experience for families to choose charities together.
- Tax Benefits
To count toward your 2021 taxes, you must make contributions by Dec. 31, 2021. For individuals who itemize deductions, a gift to a qualified charitable organization may allow them to claim a charitable contribution deduction against their taxable income. If a gift is deductible, it will reduce an individual’s taxes paid for the year 2021. Visit IRS.gov for additional tax details on year-end giving.
- Employer Donation Matching
Another great incentive to donate is to get your employer to match a certain percentage of monetary gifts given by employees to the nonprofit of the employee’s choice. Some employers match charitable donations, although they may place limits and deadlines on charitable matches, often Dec. 31. Employer matches are a great way to support a cause and have your impact multiplied. Reach out to your HR Department to learn more about how donation matching works at your place of business.
3 Tips for End of the Year Donations
- Find the right charity for your year-end donation
Before you donate, decide what’s important to you and what the best charities are to continue that good work. Some individuals choose to donate to a single charity, others choose a number of charities to divide their donations. Either way, make sure that each dollar is going to a cause that you are passionate about.
- Do research on the legitimacy of the charity
Before you donate, ensure that the charities you choose qualify for tax-exempt deductions. Also, it is very important to be wary of scams. If you're giving online, make sure that you see the “https” at the beginning of the URL. This means it’s a secure link and your payment data shouldn't run as high of a risk of being compromised.
- Keep records
When tax season arrives, you want your donation records to be easily accessible. Be sure to create a folder to store receipts and thank you letters. Make note of the organization's name, amount given, and the date of the donation. This can save you from a potential headache when filing taxes in the upcoming spring.
Don’t let the holiday season pass by without considering giving to a charity. It can improve your mood, make the world a better place, and may have a positive impact on your tax bill.