5 Tips for Year-End Gifts

If you are like me, you are probably preparing to send a check (or two or three) to your favorite charity in the coming week. Either you are catching up or you are pulled by a serious need that you can help meet. Whatever the reason, you are choosing to make a difference in the lives of others by giving financially.

Here are some tips:

1) Monthly – After you give your year-end gifts, consider joining your favorite charity’s monthly financial support team. These commited givers form the core of every nonprofit.

2) Pick One – Rather than dividing up your donations over many charities, consider giving a larger donation to one organization. This will allow you to make a larger impact. As Andy Stanley says, “Do for one, what you wish you could do for all.” I simply say, “Pick ONE!

3) Check Your Charity – Before you write a check, or give online, check to make sure that your charity is indeed a 501(c)3 nonprofit. You can do so via the Select Check Tool. First click the blue button “Exempt Organizations Select Check Tool.” Then select “Are eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions,” enter in the name and state, and click search. Can’t find your nonprofit? Go back one page, select “Were automatically revoked,” enter in the name and state, and click search. If your nonprofit comes up on this list, they are no longer a nonprofit. You can still give to them, but you will not receive a tax-deduction for your gift. Hopefully they have informed you of their situation.

4) December 31st – The IRS states the following regarding year-end gifts: “Contributions are deductible in the year made. Thus, donations charged to a credit card before the end of 2014 count for 2014, even if the credit card bill isn’t paid until 2015. Also, checks count for 2014 as long as they are mailed in 2014.” I don’t personally recommend charging a donation you can’t really afford, but it is good to know the details on this.

5) Give – Be generous. It takes a tribe to change lives, heal, help and serve others. Finances are a big part of it. Do what you can to join in the fun.

Thank you for your year-end donations. They matter. For more information, please go to Tips from IRS for Year-End Gifts on IRS.gov.

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  1. Fake Charities | Adam Suter

    […] “Of course, I’ve been giving to such and such organization for years.” Unfortunately, this does not guarantee they are (or ever were) a 501(c)3 nonprofit. You should check. If you need help navigating Select Check, I give instructions in #3 here. […]

    March 5, 2015