How Everyone Can be Charitable This Season
It may not be possible to be as philanthropic as we imagine year-round, but with a few financial adjustments, everyone can give a bit during the holidays. The team at Broussard Poché, LLP wants to help you be as charitable as possible this season.
- Look at your finances: Before you start writing checks to everyone who may need it, consider creating a charity budget. This way you’re making sure you have the money to spare. Set aside a little just for giving as you are setting aside your shopping money. Also, check the IRS rules on charitable giving or consult with your tax professional for any advice on how you could qualify. That way you can give a bit without going into the red.
- Make it count: Make sure you know where your money is going. Check out local nonprofits before cutting a check. Look into whether they are reaching the community where you want your donations to go. CharityNavigator.org, CharityWatch.org, and Give.org can let you know of any complaints against the nonprofits and tell you if they are accredited charities.
- Consider Items, not Cash: If you can’t donate money, most charities and nonprofits are in need of actual items, like clothes, furniture, food, and toys. Clean your closets, look for things in good condition that can be reused. From a tax point of view, vehicle donations are gaining popularity. They are a good way for taxpayers to get a deduction in exchange for a donated car, boat, motorcycle, truck or other vehicle that a charity may need.
- Donate Time: Maybe you don’t have the cash on hand or items you can part with; what about your time? Consider volunteering, many of these organizations need extra help at the holidays. Make it a family affair, get your children involved, it’s a wonderful way to show them that giving to charity doesn’t always mean giving money.
You don’t have to be rich to make a difference. Work with your financial advisor, but even if getting creative with your finances leaves you unable to donate it’s OK. There are always other options available.