COVID-19 has showed Americans ability to come together to weather difficult times. It’s clear that we would not have been able to get through the past year without support from our neighbors and friends. With Americans seeking to give “like never before,” as Reuters put it, and with many great organizations and causes to donate to, it can be confusing, difficult, and at times overwhelming to decide where and how to donate. Continue reading below to view the steps we have outlined to help make this process a little easier.
Step 1: Decide where you want to donate your money.
Christopher suggests taking a step back and thinking of what you’re passionate about. This could be anything from religion to animal rescue. Chances are there will be an organization that directs your cause. Once you have an idea of what this is, you can narrow down different organizations through a simple search on the internet and can shift your focus to that specific organization.
Step 2: Once you find an organization that best suits you, do some additional research.
Does this organization have effective or ineffective processes? You want to make sure you are choosing an organization that is making an impact. What is the organization’s claim and how does it measure its success? This will give you an idea of the effectiveness of the organization.
Step 3: Identify your goals and priorities to optimize your donations.
Now that you feel confident about your organization and their mission, how can you optimize your donations? This is where Ted Shanah and Danny Lee share their expertise. First you need to identify your goals and priorities. What are you looking to achieve in your donations? Do you want to give back to society, set an example, leave a legacy? No matter what your motivation may be, identifying it will help to guide you on how to optimize your donation. Along with this, take into consideration the special advantages given to givers. These include, enjoying an income tax deduction, avoiding or deferring capital gains taxes, reducing estate taxes and providing income for you or your loved ones. However, one must keep some limitations in mind when looking ahead to these advantages. Deductibility for income tax is limited by the type of charity, the nature of your gift and you r adjusted gross income. All of these factors can impact the advantages you will receive.
Step 4: Select what type of donation to make.
We know how to optimize your donations, but now we must examine what type of donation you’d like to make. These contributions can include cash, appreciated stock, real estate, collectibles, insurance, retirement plan savings at death, cars or other transportation devices or other real estate property. These are all possibilities depending on what your end goal is. If you are looking to turn your success into something bigger and want a more strategic approach, there are options for you! These include direct gifts and bequests, charitable gift annuities, charitable remained trusts, gift of life insurance, private foundations and donor-advised funds.
Step 5: If you are still unsure of what the right path for you is, you can always seek advice from a financial professional.
This will allow you to ask any and all questions, develops an understanding of your philanthropic intentions and other personal or financial goals and provides access to the right resources and experts. After consulting with a financial professional, you will feel even more confident about your future donations!
Step 6: Contact the organization to become involved.
Once you have gone through these steps and have an idea on what organization you’d like to donate to and how, contact the organization and become involved. Watch your generosity make an impact in thousands of lives and continue to become involved in other organizations!
We hope that this video and these tips help to navigate you through the world of donations. Throughout your journey, we urge you to consider Homestretch if it aligns with your goals and passions. At Homestretch, we empower homeless families with children living in Virginia to attain permanent housing and self-sufficiency by giving them the skills, knowledge and hope they need to become productive participants in the community. Our organization has truly made a difference in so many individual’s lives. It is because of the generosity of individuals like yourself that we are able to help fight homelessness and so many other issues facing our country.
If you’d like to learn more about Homestretch and our mission, please learn more on our website or contact Homestretch Development Director Nekita Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.