Take your pick of the many charitable organizations at home and around the world. What is it that concerns you most? We are each uniquely drawn to certain causes as we are all distinctively different people. Decide which charities you’re passionate about, whether they help reduce global poverty, research cures for illness, or help right an injustice. This is an extremely personal decision, usually influenced by your own life experiences or personal connections.
Once you have chosen a cause, which organization will use your charitable dollars most effectively to reach their mission? A few online services such as GuideStar, The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, and the Federal Trade Commission are sites that may help you feel more confident that your dollars will actually make a difference.
Now that you have completed your researched and found a creditable charity for which you have a passion, be aware not to over gift beyond your budget. Gifting is an important and generous way to contribute to society, be thoughtful to loosen those purse strings but do so with financial reasoning. Also, there are many other ways to be of charitable heart – volunteering your talents may have a significant influence in helping your charity meet their goals. Donating your time and talents are just as important as donating dollars! This can also help build your resume, give you an enjoyable experience, and the opportunity to meet a new network of people.
Keep in mind that concentrating your gift between one or two charities can make a larger impact. It may be tempting to spread the wealth and give to many charities but every organization has handling and processing fees for each donation.
Be sure to keep track of all your gifts to charities when preparing your federal tax return, the gift of helping others may help lower your tax bill.
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