5 Tips for More Effective Charitable Giving

The April 2013 newsletter from National Association of Female Executives included an article from NAFE member Patricia Brintle, who heads up From Here to Haiti, a nonprofit that raises money to rebuild schools for children in Haiti.

money

“Here are Patricia’s tips for maximizing your charitable giving (corporate or personal):

1. Be selective.When deciding where to give, go with your heart and select a charity that specializes in what touches you the most. It may be the welfare of children, women’s safety, helping third-world countries, cancer research, or saving the environment. Whatever your choice, your gift will be that much more rewarding if the work focuses on a subject matter that you care about.

2. Get to know your charity. Whether you select a large charity like The American Red Cross or a small one like From Here to Haiti, it is important that you do your due diligence. The internet is a good place to start. Seek the advice of friends and acquaintances and learn from their experience. Once you’re zeroed in on a charity, check their website. Speak with their officers; ask to talk with some of their donors. Learn about the work they are doing and become familiar with the charity’s methodology. Tax form #990, which gives the charity’s financials, is usually available for review on the internet. The more you know about your charity, the better you will feel about giving.

3. Know where your money goes. Find out specifically where your money goes and what percentage of your donation will actually reach the beneficiary or be used for the intended cause. You may want to select a charity that raises money for a specific project and you may even want to follow the project’s progress; also, find out about the impact that your donation will have. Select a charity with a proven track record of success in accomplishing its projects.

4. Volunteer with your charity. Ask if you can participate in one of your charity’s projects. Many charities depend on volunteers to get their job accomplished, and your help can be a very rewarding experience. Remember that charities depend on donors to accomplish their mission.

5. What are your tax benefits? Not-for-profit organizations must be registered with the IRS in order for your gift to be tax deductible. Be sure to obtain an acknowledgement of your donation for tax purposes. You tax preparer will be your best help on the subject.”

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