Americans by and large are charitable when it comes to donating funds to causes that mean a lot to them. This is especially true in the month of December where Americans donate approximately 30% of all the annual donations collected. (https://nonprofitssource.com/online-giving-statistics/) With almost one-third of annual contributions to nonprofit organizations made this month, do you know who to donate to? If not, you’re in luck! This article will go over how to determine which nonprofit would be best suited for your contributions.
When donating to charity, due diligence is important to ensure your donated dollars have the largest impact. One way you can research charitable organizations is to see if they are listed on any watchdog sites. Watchdog sites will rate nonprofits and describe how your donations will be used. A few sites that you can use are BBB Wise Giving Alliance (https://www.bbb.org/new-york-city/charities-donors/), CharityWatch (https://www.charitywatch.org/) & Charity Navigator (https://www.charitynavigator.org/). Watchdog sites are useful for large, established charities, but not every organization will be on these sites. A review of the organization’s website can also help by looking to see what their mission and vision are, what type of impact the organization is making, and what community they are serving. You can also consider how long the organization has been in business. Longevity can play an important factor as it shows they have been able to maintain work on their mission year after year, which demonstrates they are not short-sighted and have long-term goals in mind.
Another important aspect to consider when determining an appropriate nonprofit to give to this month is to align your values with the values of the organizations. Are you passionate about helping with homelessness, providing clean water, helping animals, veterans issues? Another consideration: do you want to donate to an organization that is helping with these issues locally, domestically, or internationally? Once you have determined which issues and geographic impact that you care about most, it can help you narrow down your organization(s) of choice.
A helpful and informative resource you can use to show the impact your contributed funds have is the website ImpactMatters (https://www.impactm.org/). They have impact ratings for over 1,000 charitable organizations. To use the site, input what type of cause you’d like to donate to, then the amount you would like to contribute to. It then calculates what that dollar contribution provides for various organizations. For example, if you donate $25 to the New York Common Pantry, you will provide a meal to 31 people in need. Another example is if you donate $25 to Opportunity Junction it increases the earnings of a person living in poverty by $79. There is a myriad of other helpful information on this site to help you select a worthy organization.
Hopefully, the above advice can make it easier for you to select an organization you believe in this holiday season. If you have any questions on how charitable contributions can impact your tax situation, please contact our tax department at SDK and we would be happy to go over your situation.