As the holiday season nears, charitable giving becomes top-of-mind for many. And while making a donation to a worthy cause is important to you, sometimes your heart and your budget are in different places. Here are a few things to consider before making charitable donations this year.
Be realistic with donations. Remember, this is all about giving from the heart. And when you’re giving to charity, every little bit really does count. So don’t feel that your donation is too small. Just set a goal and don’t give more than you can afford. You’re only hurting yourself if you stretch things too thin.
Donate year-round. Instead of giving all at once, consider donating in monthly installments throughout the year. That way, you can avoid the stress of holiday expenses. You can even check with your employer to see if they offer any type of match to your donations, which means extra money going toward your cause.
Keep a record. It’s a good idea to keep a running log of your donations. It can be as simple as using a folder to hold any receipts, canceled checks, statements, or any other necessary paperwork for tax preparation. And then once it’s time, you can meet with your financial advisor to go over specifics on tax benefits.
Work with reputable organizations. It’s definitely important to do your research. Just because an organization sends you a card in the mail asking for donations, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re reputable. There are many worthwhile organizations out there, so try to pick one that is important to you and your family, and then look into them to make sure your money is going to the right place.
Above all else, if you are considering making a charitable donation this year, give from the heart and know that every bit counts. For additional tax advice, contact your tax preparer or financial advisor to learn more about the benefits.
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