Tips to De-Stress Your Holiday Charitable Giving
During the holidays, we are often reminded that it is better to give than to receive. However, that can be easier said than done during a season where there are so many obligations and commitments that are competing for our attention!
If you’re like me, you may also have a hard time choosing between the many, many admirable and necessary charities and nonprofits in your community. You may find yourself wondering how with so many in need, who do you to give to?
For many nonprofits, a great percentage of the monetary gifts they receive are given at the end of the year. This uptick in giving is both because goodwill is at an all-time high during this time and because it is the last chance to take advantage of the tax incentives which these gifts can provide. So your gifts really do go a long way towards helping fund the organizational mission and annual goals, no matter how much you are able to contribute!
Below, we’ve assembled a few simple recommendations and things to consider when you’re making a charitable gift. By using these guidelines to inform your process, you can narrow in quickly on the organization that best lines up with your means and intentions.
- Determine your budget. Consider if you want to support one, two or a handful of nonprofit organizations. Keep in mind that no gift is too small to make an impact!
- Think about your values and what causes align with them. Do you love animals? Maybe you’re a big supporter of the environment? Whatever cause you care about, there is likely a worthy nonprofit that would love your support.
- Decide what type of charity you want to support. Do you care if it’s a local charity or an organization with a national network? Perhaps it matters to you if your gift funds a grassroots effort versus a well-established organization. There will always be great options that align with your choices.
- Use Guidestar.org to research the nonprofit(s) or cause(s) you’re considering. This database of nearly 3 million nonprofits will allow you to easily find many nonprofit options. The free version will provide you with access to the organization’s Form 990, which is what nonprofits file with the IRS, so you can review the organization’s basic financial information.
- Once you have a list of options, read their mission statements to ensure they align with what you want to support. Visit their website, where you should be able to find publications such as annual reports as well as information on specific programs.
- Make your donations and give yourself a pat on the back for helping the community!
Did you know that Ochsner is a 501(c)3 nonprofit? Your tax-deductible gift to Ochsner can go directly to healthcare causes you care about, such as cancer or diabetes.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on Nov. 23, 2018.
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