Now that you’ve worked so hard to earn your money, what are you going to do with it all? Planning on donating some? Looking for an individual or organization worthy of your (tax-deductible) donation? These day’s it is even easier to donate. Look online. Plenty of crowd sourcing and funding options are available.Tax Deductions
It is perfectly reasonable to make sure that your donation is eligible for tax deduction status. For one thing, you can save on your taxes. But, more importantly, this allows you to make sure the cause to which you are donating is a legitimate entity. This step eliminates some of the possibility that the charity is a scam.
In order to be eligible for a tax deduction, the donation must be made according to all federal and state laws in the United States. That lets you know as a donor that the community to which you are donating is legitimate and that they are regulated. You aren’t just throwing your money into the wind.
Charges for Donating
Different donation sites charge differing amounts for donation processing. Some allow donors to give their money free of charge, but charge a small processing fee upon payout. Others charge the donors and don’t charge fees. Do your research to find which site’s policy makes the most sense to you and what you feel would be the best use of your funds.
Of course you will want to make sure you know that the organization which profits from your hard earned money is really a charity. There are some steps you can take to protect yourself. First, make sure you know the name, address and phone number of the charity.
Second, search online for the exact name of the organization with the addition of the word “scam” or “complaint(s).” You can also research the charity by seeing if it is included in the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, or GuideStar. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a web page shows which organizations are eligible to receive tax deductible contributions.
For security reasons, it is recommended that you make donations by check. Make that check payable to the charity. Crowdsourcing sites have made it easier to make donations safely with your credit card, or even PayPal account.
Be extra careful about charities that suddenly appear when a natural disaster or other current event happens. It takes time to set up a legitimate charity. Paperwork has to be filed and the proper channels must be taken. Even if the charity is able to respond quickly and get itself set up, they are less like to be able to have the infrastructure available to get the help where it is needed.