Put some thought into charitable donations

As the end of the year approaches, many Americans are even more interested in making charitable donations. If you decide to give, it’s important to contribute to a cause or organization that will be a good steward of your money. Here are some helpful guidelines to follow.

Determine the right amount to give

What’s the right amount? From a budget perspective, there are many needs and asks during the holiday season. Make sure your goodwill doesn’t exceed what your bank account can handle. Maybe you’re in a position to make a significant donation to charity that could also help reduce your tax liability as the end of the year approaches. As a reminder, you should consult with a tax professional before making any major donations.

Find a cause you’re passionate about

Make sure your donation is going towards something you’re personally passionate about. Has someone in your family battled cancer? Maybe you want to support veterans who need a helping hand in their lives. Finding an organization that is geared to supporting a cause you want to rally behind will make your donation even more meaningful.

Pick a charity and investigate it

Charities generally have good intentions, but that doesn’t mean the money reaches its intended destination (remember Kony 2012 and the sudden push to donate?). Make sure the charity you contribute to has an established reputation for applying a high percentage of donations received to actually advancing the cause they claim to support. Organizations that flow the majority of their donations into operating expenses can be a huge red flag.

In addition to donating to worthwhile causes, you can chip away at what you owe Uncle Sam at the end of the year by contributing to a retirement account. Find out how to maximize an existing account or open a new Individual Retirement Account (IRA) by visiting our website.

Individual Retirement Account (IRA)