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The Season for Giving

The Season for giving

          In 2014, Americans gave $358.38 billion to charities.  As in previous years, the majority of that giving came from individuals. Specifically, individuals gave roughly $258.5 billion (72%) representing a 5.7% increase over 2013

          A majority of that charitable giving happens during the last third of each year – yes, the holiday season does inspire donations. To ensure your donation has the most impact choose carefully.

          - Only donations to qualified charitable organizations are deductible. If you’re not sure whether an organization is qualified, ask to see their letter from the IRS (many organizations will actually post their letters on their web site). If that isn’t possible, you can search online using IRS Exempt Organizations Select Check. Keep in mind that churches, synagogues, temples and mosques are considered de facto charitable organizations and are eligible to receive deductible donations even if they’re not on the list     Review the organization’s impact at a third party evaluator site like Charity Navigator, Guide Star or the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

           Find your passion. There are so many good causes out there that it’s difficult to select the ones you’d like to support. Ask yourself the following questions.

  •           What do I want to improve for the next generation?
  •           What causes are reflective of my personal values?
  •           If I could be an agent of change for my community, in what area(s) would I desire to focus?

          Making a contribution to a nonprofit shouldn’t be the end. Follow up with the charity. Understanding the impact that your donation made toward a cause you are passionate about can be the most rewarding part of the process. Being a part of a positive change may inspire you to give more of your time and energy, as well.

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