continued from our December 2016 newsletter...
Do Your Homework
When selecting where to give, it is important to gather all the facts. Conducting thorough research prior to giving will help you separate legitimate charities from frauds, as well as reassure you that your donation is truly helping those who need it most. To avoid fraudulent charities, make sure your chosen charity doesn’t engage in any of the following activities:
· Pressure you to give
· Offer very little or no information on actual day-to-day operations
· Send mail or email appeals disguised as bills or invoices
· Claim to be from an authoritative organization, i.e. IRS
Decide How You Will Give and How Much
Financial donations are the most popular charitable gifts, but there are other ways to help your favorite cause. Many organizations will accept property and goods, as well as your time. There are many options on how to give, including donating directly online, by mail, through payroll deduction or through a donor-advised fund. Additionally, find out if your employer will match your charitable gift. This will even further maximize your investment.
Track Your Donations
Once you have made your gift, mark your calendar with important dates of your charity’s meetings and key events for the year. These are excellent ways to see your investment at work. Also, be sure to track the dates and amounts you gave, payment methods and desired uses for you gift. You should automatically receive a receipt with an acknowledgement of your gift. If you don’t, be sure to follow up. Don’t rely on a cancelled check to count as a receipt.