Practicing regular charitable giving is generally a good habit. Many people feel it’s important to “pay it forward,” especially if they’ve achieved success.  That is often easier said than done. 

Managing the details of charitable donations doesn’t have to be another item on your to-do list.  Judith Heft & Associates is here to reassign that task to ourselves! In fact, we’ve gotten so good at overseeing charitable giving that we’ve put together a FAQ. 

Are charitable donations tax deductible?

This is the big question.  Charitable giving IS tax deductible, but you need records. That means itemized receipts for any donations. 

How should I choose a charity?

There are a couple best practices for picking a charity.  For instance, look them up on the Better Business Bureau’s website. Charities have to disclose their finances.  In most cases, their financials are a few clicks away. You’ll want to look for organizations where most of the money goes directly into the “doing” part of their missions. Remember, sometimes the best charities are actually the ones that you personally volunteer at.   You’ve got a connection, and you know it’s legit. 

What about scams?

Scams are out there; so be aware and beware. Giving on GoFundMe is especially problematic.  Anybody can make anything up, throw together a fundraiser, and accept donations.. There isn’t any vetting. We vet charities for our client.  We have a list of reputable charities, built by word of mouth and years of experience. 

How much should I give?

Honestly, it’s all about being organized and knowing your spend. If you work with us, you’ll know your daily and monthly spend. Then creating an allocation, a percentage, to charitable giving can be done responsibly (and strategically). From there, you can decide if you want to give it to just one charity, or to a few charities, etc. But again, in order to know what to give, you need to know how much your spend is.

I’d like to close with one last rule that can be applied to every charity: Send a check instead of using a card. That way, the charity will receive 100% of your donation, and you don’t have to worry about being enrolled in a monthly billing situation “by accident.” 

Charitable donations, holiday tipping and gift-giving, holiday mailing lists, these are a few of our favorite things! Take an eraser to your to-do list with Judith Heft & Associates.