Educate Yourself on Donating
Here at Peace at Home Family Shelter, we want our supporters and donors to feel comfortable donating their time and money. We hope you’ll find the following information and tips helpful as you pursue your interest in donating to charitable organizations.
Giving is an American Tradition
- According to Giving USA, 89% of American households contribute to at least one charitable organization.
- These contributing households give an average gift of $1,620, or 3.1% of income. However, in 2010 it rose to 3.8% of income (Giving USA).
- In 2010, individual Americans gave over $290 billion to charitable and community causes (Giving USA).
Benefits of Giving
In addition to the satisfaction and joy people who have contributed money to a charity report they get, you’ll also receive these benefits:
- Giving to charitable organizations keeps taxes and other costs down.
- Giving provides those who have more with the opportunity to share with those who have less.
- Giving lets you set an example for others. When you give, it encourages others to give.
Your Gift Can Help
Maybe you’re thinking, “The little amount that I have to give could never help” or “How can I help?” Your gift, big or small, impacts the organization to which you contribute. Your contribution can help make your community a happier, healthier, safer place to live. When you donate, you become part of the solution.
Here are 10 tips for giving wisely:
- Budget for giving.
Plan your charitable donations into your budget the way you would for other financial obligations.
- Find your cause and stay informed.
The internet helps make researching local nonprofits easier than ever. Take advantage of all the choices and find causes closest to your heart. Not sure where to start? Try www.justgive.org or www.guidestar.org where you can access information on millions of charities across the country. Additionally, you should never be afraid to ask questions when you’re considering giving. Ask questions like how much of your gift will be used for overhead, the specific project the money will go toward, and other important information.
- Keep records.
If your gift is $250 or less, a canceled check or credit card statement is sufficient for IRS requirements. For gifts larger than $250, make sure you get a receipt from the charitable organization as a confirmation of your tax deductible contribution.
- Know how much of your gift is really tax deductible.
If you receive a something in exchange for your gift (such as a book or a dinner), the amount of your tax deduction is reduced. You can turn down the incentive item if you wish to claim a deduction for the full amount of your gift. Ask the receiving organization for more details.
- Get the most out of your donation.
Check to see if your employer has a matching gift program. It can help make your donation go further.
- Your gift can be confidential.
If you prefer to have your gift remain confidential, you should let the organization know. The charitable organization should honor your request.
- Be creative.
If you’re out of gift ideas, consider making donations to local nonprofits in honor of people. Also, don’t overlook the benefits from bequests, charitable gift annuities, gifts in kind, endowments and many other creative forms of giving.
In addition to financial support, consider donating your time and skills. This is a great way to make contacts, hone your skills, and learn more about the charitable cause to which you’re committing.
- You have the right to say no.
Give generously when you can, but if you’re unsure or feel uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to say no. Or, ask for more information and take more time to think before making your decision.
- Don’t wait to be asked.
Plan your giving strategy in advance. Contact the organizations of your choice to discuss how your possible donations.
The Association of Fundraising Professionals has established a list of rights every donor should expect. Please view these here: