The end of the year is a great time to consider making a contribution to a cause that is meaningful to you. Along with potential tax benefits, there is the enjoyment that comes from making a positive difference and helping the organization of your choice.
Is the holiday spirit prompting you to give back to charity?
Most charities, local, state, and nationwide, conduct end of the year giving campaigns to help increase their annual donations.
The Reno Gazette-Journal explains that there are a wide variety of ways to give. The article, titled "Animal Files: End-of-year giving can be worthwhile," says that donations of cash can be made directly to qualified 501(c)3 tax-exempt organizations. This typically creates a tax deduction for the donor. Calculating the amount of your donation at the end of the year allows you to maximize your potential deduction and make the most of it.
In addition, to cash, financial assets—like stocks, bonds, and art—can also be donated to your favorite charity. The original article notes that giving to donor advised funds can make for great charitable gifts over a long period with tax advantages. There are also charitable trusts and annuities. Speak with your estate planning attorney to explore these and other options you have to give.
The Gazette-Journal also reminds us that your time is also a generous gift during this time of the year. Help out at a charity with daily operations or join a committee. Some families even make a yearly tradition to volunteer at your favorite local charity.
Finally, the original article reminds us that many charitable organizations welcome your gently used items to resell and help defray the costs of their operations. Donating cars, furniture, clothing, or household goods can really make an impact and typically get you a tax benefit. Clear out some things that are no longer used to donate to your favorite charity.
Charitable giving will make you feel good, too. Talk to your estate planning attorney for other ideas and strategies.