It’s that time of year again. The spirit of the holidays inspires charitable donations. This is the time when those of us who are fortunate enough to have what we need – and sometimes more – really feel the desire to share our wealth (meager as it may be).
Uncle Sam sometimes gets into the giving mood, too. He has generously made a good deal of charitable donations tax deductible! Of course he made sure there was bureaucracy involved: the charity must be approved, you have to fill out the right paperwork, you must deduct the fair market value of any benefit you received, etc. Luckily for us, the IRS is happy to use a whole bunch of words to make the process a tidbit easier. And, don’t delay. If you donate before the end of the year, you can claim your donation(s) on your 2011 tax return.
To help you out even more, I’ve compiled a list of monetarily efficient (and scandal-free – The Second Mile, anyone?) charities for you. These charities have been scrutinized to evaluate just how much of your hard-earned donation actually goes to the people/animals you intended to receive it. I’ve also made sure these babies get the thumbs up from Uncle Sam.
Here’s a partial list of charitable organizations you can feel good about supporting:
Human Rights/Human Services
This is by no means a conclusive list. If you have a charity in mind, you can check to see if the IRS recognizes it for tax deductions. Then do a little research to make sure it uses your donation wisely.
Don’t forget – you don’t have to donate money – you can also donate time. Call your charity of choice and schedule a time to lend a hand. You can bet they’ll be more than happy to see you!
Do you have a charity that you think should have been included on my list? Let us know!