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2 Smart Strategies for Giving to Charity

Lately, a lot of people have been following the trend of giving to charity. For some, this may be more than just giving away some clothes, donating cash or checks, all to support a cause. It may be a lifelong need and want for you to donate and help others, being one of your investment plans. Here are two interesting ways that may help you in making the most of your charitable donations.

 

  1. Planning a tip for your Charitable accounts

–          If you have a large income, strong or good shares in stocks which are highly appreciated, and money or bonds that you may have been holding for quite some time (around over a year), you should highly consider donating these to any one of these charity vehicles. Some may wonder why this is to be done. Once one contributes to charity, the amount that you have donated will basically be based on you income. If your donation was a big one in a certain year when you have an income which may be higher than normal, than this will provide you with the most benefits looking at it from a tax perspective. If you are questionable when it comes to choosing the best charitable account for you salary, you can talk to a tax professional and they will be the ones to guide you.

  1. Donor Advised Fund

–          This is basically a pool of cash which is being managed by a charitable organization which is on behalf of numerous donors. Although, if you redirect your funding piece, this includes how the money will be invested and which of the charities will be getting a portion of your donation. You will have the freedom to name your donor advised fund whatever you may choose to name it, and example would be “Morgan Brothers Charitable Fund”. The year in which you choose donate to charity or your donor advised fund, will be the same year you will get a tax deduction. There will be an organization which will be responsible for handling the set up and compliance for each of your annual administrative fees.

strategic 'Strategy' highlighted in green

 

 

Images from : trupphr and blogspot

Taxes for Donations to Charity

 

Donations are made on a daily basis whether it is be to a charity you frequently help out, giving away clothes to goodwill, a person on the street who begs for spare change, or even just a friend asking you if you have an extra 5 so they can buy a sandwich. The point is all of these are considered giving and donating in a sense, but let’s focus on those people who often donate to charities, or have any plans on putting up a fundraiser to help donate to an organization or a charity as well. Many would believe that when you say you raised a certain amount of money, and they mention that this all goes to their foundation, or charity, or even an organization, it is believed that all of the proceeds really do go the foundations. Unfortunately what we do not know is that donations to charity are actually tax deductible expenses. These deductions can reduce your so called taxable income and reduce your tax bill. It would be very important that you itemize your tax deductions to be able to claim any charity. These taxes can be exempted if you know how to go about your donations. Here are a few things to do to be able to exempt your donations from being taxed.

 

T&D to C 1T&D to C 2

 

You must donate cash or a property. Your donation of this cash or property must meet a certain criteria in order for it to get exempted. There must be a contribution as well to a qualified tax exemption organization. Charities will let you know if they have received something called their 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, unlike others who would not require this like churches or other religiously related organizations. Itemizing your deductions is important for giving to charity, since charity is an exceptional tax planning strategy, it only works if you are able to itemize your deductions. The last would be meeting your record keeping requirements. This would then include saving your canceled checks, acknowledgment letters from which come from the charity, and appraisals for donated property. Tax payers are required and expected to keep a record of all their charitable contributions. This could be found under the Pension Protection Act stating that you must keep written records of all cash donations. These records must state the name of the charitable organization, the date of your made contribution, and the amount of your contribution. This would not leave out cancelled checks as well.

 

Images from: woonsocketlibrary and donate.rainn

Charity with a Strategy

Help for the doctors and heroes without borders is an organization the provides impartial assistance in more than 60 countries to the survival of the people which is threatened by acts of violence, neglect, catastrophe, and primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care, and lastly natural disasters. Help for Heroes, on the other hand, is also a foundation who’s mission is to bring an enduring national network of support for our wounded soldiers and their families as well. It would be good to inspire and enable those who have made greats amounts of sacrifices on our behalf to achieve their full potential. These two foundations are very inspiring and are sometimes disregarded or not paid any mind to.

C&Strat1

Hideout Charity Fundraiser is throwing a charity fundraiser in order to help these two organizations for their current work in the Philippines. All the door proceeds will be split between both of the said charities. This fundraiser will also offer half priced drink which will be served around midnight. The event will offer Reggae, Dance hall, Hip hop, D’N’B, and Jungle music for the party or dance portion. Also the half priced drinks will help with the party feel of this upbeat fundraiser for Doctors without Border and Help for heroes’ organization. The strategy used by this fundraiser is very clever, seeing as many people nowadays are the type that enjoy parties, going out at night, and of course drinking. It may not exactly be an ideal fundraiser but it is very smart since they will attract a huge audience may they be young legal adolescents, or the older public. The party scene with dancing was a great addition since people enjoy partying with good music and of course who would not enjoy partying for a cause. The people will immediately think of this fundraiser as a win win situation. They pay to have fun and drink with their friends and in return all the proceeds go to two different charities. This fundraiser party is just one of the many forms of fundraising that have become popular and successful as well. Other examples would be marathons seeing as many of us now are very into running and health, another would be bake sales since we are almost all lovers of pastries, and many more. This Charity Event is becoming more and more popular because of the party scene and fun it offers. Many fundraising activities should very much consider using this strategical technique.

 

C&Strat2

Images from: lantalanta.files.wordpress and sdlgov

Spotlight on Charities for Women’s Issues

When most people decide to give to charity, one of the first questions they’re faced with is which type of charity to give to. We hope this spotlight on charities dedicated to women’s issues, as well as tips on choosing one for you, will help.

When it comes to Women’s Rights, females all over the world have faced issues for hundreds of years. From ending violence against women to providing proper healthcare and equal workplace opportunities, there are charities both large and small that address these issues.

For example, the Global Fund for Women, based in San Francisco, was founded 28 years ago. They started with grants totaling $30,000 in 1988- and in 2012, surpassed the $100 million mark.

When choosing a charity, consider also where it is located. The aforementioned Global Fund for Women may be based in the United States, but they fund in 175 countries around the world. Philanthropists who want to stay more local might check out charities closer to home, such as the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women in Philadelphia, the Japan-based Asian Women’s Fund, or the Women Against Violence Europe group in Vienna, Austria.

For women’s health issues, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation is well-established and is known to do good work in research funding. A perhaps lesser known non-profit that we’ve been watching closely is Mercy Medical Angels, which helps patients with financial need gain access to distant medical treatment by providing transportation. It’s a specialized need, and can mean the difference between life and death for many women.

Aisling O'Loughlin and mums-to-be (6350018937)

Another charity that addresses women’s issues in a specific need is The Fistula Foundation, which is based in the U.S. but has partnered with 28 countries around the world to provide treatment for Obstetric fistula, a birthing complication that commonly occurs among women in undeveloped countries.

Street Charity: Philippines

Group of kid beggars

Group of kid beggars

Jeepney beggar

Jeepney beggar

There are 5 types of people asking for money that we, more often than not, encounter on the streets or on public transits according to one blogger. The first one is the polisher, this are the people, usually young ones, that hop on to the jeeps and clean your shoes even if you don’t want them to. These kids wipe them with their rags that are not clean at all and by polishing they are actually doing the opposite because they use it repeatedly wiping all other shoes and the dirt and germs accumulate and gets passed on to you, for the ones wearing shoes this is acceptable; however, there are those who wears open shoes and the dirt gets to your feet which is irritating, and in return they ask for money, so you pay for money to be given dirt, somewhat. The second type are the envelope givers, this are the ones who give envelopes and ask for money, sometimes they sing, sometimes they are reasoning out about the health of their love ones, I’m not saying all are liars but not all are honest people as well, and what’s frustrating is that they are young adults who have the strength to work and land jobs, decent ones, instead of just asking money and relying on others who are working their ass off to earn for themselves. The next one are the religious beggars, they hand out envelopes as well or sometimes just walk to and fro the aisle of the bus and sing praises or tell them they are from a church or some religious organizations and that the funds are for their food and clothes and things in church. It is embarrassing to use God’s name in vain, and I hope people who do this are actually honest ones and that the money they are getting actually goes to their charity as was mentioned. Next one are the lost scammers, this are the ones who say they got snatched or that they are hungry and they don’t have money, mostly with a parent and a child and they stay at the same spot everyday carrying their baby and have an illustration board or bond paper asking for help. It is their daily routine and mostly becomes their everyday job since they stay at the same spot and the same time every day. Last but not least are the grouped kids, one ask money from you, and after giving them money, they relay this to their co-beggars and before you know it they are jam packed to the direction you are going blocking your way. These are just a few examples of the types of beggars that are present and there are a lot more.

Image By: globalpost.com/   jennysserendipity.com

Individuals in the Limelight

 

Seminar Talks

Seminar Talks

Charitable Host

Charitable Host

 

One of the many reasons on why people give is as a response to an ‘ask’ according to a certain website. People generally are kind in heart and when others are asking for help, people give no matter how small the amount. Individuals can give through different forms, it can be through check, cash, debit or credit cards, affinity cards, property, etc., the system have expanded forms of receiving for charity which is quite convenient for the ones donating since it won’t be a hassle going to banks or changing the form of money you own and just directly send the money to the charitable institution or whichever you are donating to, it is both convenient for the giver and beneficial for the receiver.

Not all the credits are given to the giver, of course, unknowingly, it is because of the very good task and strategy made by different organizations that invite the individual givers to give to charity. The organization must think of a way so the individuals will feel good about giving, like whether they are also benefiting from it like in a form of exercise for fun runs, or feeling good of themselves simply by helping by attending the seminars provided by the organization where they explain the purpose of their charity or why they are doing what they are doing. Some of the videos shown on this seminars or talks are moving enough that it induces a change of heart for people to continuously donate to them or for the initial investors, to impart their first donation. Again it is because of the strategy done by the people behind the charitable institutions that should be thanked for.

Cash is still the easiest and most popular way of donating to charity because it is easily used and readily beneficial since everything is to be paid, bills, taxes, renovations, food, clothing, etc; however, there are also non-cash giving such as checks and cards, and the rising trend of donations are getting absorbed by this sector in a form of direct debit, which works by directly getting the payee’s money from the bank. Again, this can be recommended by the strategist in the receiving corner, this is appealing to the ears of the giver since he would not need to monitor anything anymore; just an advice to the bank about the amount to be deducted from his account on a monthly basis and all the paperwork and filing is the receiver’s responsibility.

 

Image By: offshorewind.biz/     lacdubonnetfoundation.ca

Tokyo Marathon Fund Raising

Tokyo Marathon

Tokyo Marathon

Solidarity

Solidarity

Many forms of helping and charity are being done in order to help the needy, the run for a cause, movie for a cause, charity sports, event for a cause, fund raising, etc. all these are forms of charity that encourages people to join and really help and give back to the community. Having said that, we go to Tokyo’s “ The Day We Unite” event, it is a fundraising activity which is conceptualize by running for a cause. It is good charity work because you get to enjoy your helping by running, both a good form of exercise and a great practice for those who are running for marathons and are engaged in marathon competitions, and the best part is that you were able to help and simultaneously do this things. The event had been up and running for years now and starting from the Tokyo Marathon 2011, the charity program “TSUNAGU” had been implemented which means solidarity. It is called solidarity because for example you are the first hand participant, it encourages you to invite your friends and family to join you in running and at the same time help the organization. It is a form of uniting you to your friends and family and meeting new people, aking new friends, and all together helping the community.

The charity runners represent the supporters and donators of the organization spreading the goal of the charity program which is standing up for a good cause. They want to spread the message of donating out of your goodwill, and influencing others to do the same. The event introduced a uniform so that everyone will be wearing the same and the message will spread and have an impact through the charity runner T-shirts. While the front of the T-shirt have a uniform design, the back of the shirt is left blank and it is up to the runner what he wants to write at the back, perhaps a message of why he is running for a cause or a message to others that encourages them to join the organization.

Last 2013, the total amount of donations reached 225,546,156 yen and the total number of participants reached 2,250, which makes it a powerful and influential event, and the bigger the event, the more credibility it acquires hence word will spread in itself through the news and by word of mouth. There are also 184 companies who joined the charity organization supporting the cause.

 

Image By: seejapan.co.uk/    tokyo42195.org

Tax Deductible Expenses

Do you still remember the saying “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer”?  Well, thanks to taxes, some of the poorest of the poor gets the privilege to enjoy benefits from the richest of the rich. I know you are thinking right now that what I’m saying is ironic; taxes helping the poor?! Usually, there is a connotation that taxes don’t really help the citizens but instead, they become a burden. However, what I am referring to is different. Particularly, I am talking about tax deductible expenses wherein those in need are being provided by the opulent through donations. Contrary to the usual belief of tax paying, when we talk about tax deductible expenses, the deprived really get the chance to have a fair share of life.

All over the world, donations to charities are proclaimed tax deductible expenses. Besides the point that rich personalities and institutions are able to help the needy, they also get the opportunity to help themselves. Donations can reduce the taxable income and lower the tax bill. Unfortunately, not everyone will be able to deduct their charitable contributions.

Requirements for application of charity deduction differ depending on the state or the country. But usually, only the specific details are changed. Most of the time, the following criteria are always required:

  1. Cash or Property

A pledge or promise will never be deductible unless it is paid. The bureau of tax or any other related tax agencies are required to see it strictly if donations were really given either in cash or in kind.

  1. Tax-exempt Organizations

Most charities, especially those that are well established are provided with a tax-exempt status.              This is very important as it assures everyone especially the government that the charity actually      exists.

  1. Itemization

Giving to charity is a great tax planning strategy, but it only works for people who are eligible to itemize their deductions.

Now that we have discussed those that are allowed, let us now move on to those that are not. If the one who will donate already has an institution in mind, he/she/they should immediately comprehend if they are not included in this list. The following are the organizations that are not considered by the government as tax deductible institutions:

  • Political parties, political campaigns, or political action committees.
  • Contributions given to individual people.
  • Fees or dues paid to professional associations.
  • Contributions to labor unions, chambers of commerce, or business associations.
  • Contributions to for-profit schools and hospitals.
  • Contributions to foreign governments.
  • Fines or penalties paid to local or state governments.

So if you have the means, donate! As said repeatedly, it will never be a loss for you. You were able to help those in need simultaneously helping yourself as well. It won’t be easy though since great money is required.

Donate!

Donate!

Image from Real Life Center

Gift of Life Insurance

Helping and giving can make our world a brighter and better place for our children, ourselves, other people and for the future generations. Also, a well-structured charitable can provide benefits to the causes you care about for generations to come. Here are some tips and tricks charitable giving tactics.

Direct gifts to Charity can be done during your lifetime or by placing in your will as a bequest. Keep in mind that donations too charity includes different types of assets that comprises of cash and securities. When donating direct lifetime gifts to charities, entitles you to a charitable income tax deduction. Fifty percent of the donors AGI or adjusted gross income is qualified for tax deduction when they donate to qualified organizations. On the contrary, deductions of approximately thirty percent of adjusted gross income from the donations to qualified charity. Deductions that cannot be used within the tax year can be accumulated and added on the succeeding years, maximum of five years. A direct gift that is high in value would be assess and deducted base on its fair market value by a qualified evaluator.

Estate planning effects of direct varies. If a direct gift made in your lifetime may lower your estate taxes by removing the assets and appreciation from your estate, which can set up by a Trust. Another things is that gifts made after one died, estate tax deduction will be computed with the FMV or fair market value of the gift. One of the wisest gifts you can allot or give to the qualified charity you love is the gift of Life Insurance. Gift of Life Insurance provides significant advantage when being given as gift to Charity by paying a small amount of money with huge profit in return for the Charity you have donated it to.

To donate a life insurance, you have to buy a life insurance policy from your preferred insurance company and name the qualified charitable organization that you care about as your beneficiary. With this decision, you may choose to revoke the gift anytime you want. You can also give a current policy to your preferred charity by transferring title of an existing life insurance policy to charity of your choice during your lifetime, tax deductions will again be based on fair market values or the net premiums you have paid whichever is less. Alternatively, maybe the easiest form is to give cash to your preferred charity as payment to premiums for an insurance policy on your life, which gives you a death benefit entitlement with the Charity owning the policy.

Image by stutheitandgartland

Tax Benefits of Charity

Giving was never a bad idea; what more if it can benefit both parties? Many are saying that to achieve equilibrium, there should be a give and take relationship in everything. Plants and humans experience this. Plants release oxygen, people need it. On the other hand, humans give out carbon dioxide which is simultaneously needed by plants. There is so much more to what was said.

In life, we should accept that not everyone is given the opportunity to become affluent. Fortunate are those that are in the middle class, but those that are really classified as “in need” really requires the help from those capable. If you are blessed, might as well share it. Altruism is really important, but something in return will always encourage you. Let me enumerate to you some benefits of giving to charity.

  • A gift to a qualified charitable organization may entitle you to a charitable contribution deduction against your income tax if you itemize deductions

If the gifts are deductible, the actual cost of the donation is reduced by your tax savings. As your income tax bracket increases, the real cost of your charitable gift decreases, making contributions more attractive for those in higher brackets.

  • The Larger you give, the larger you are given

The percentage depends on the state you are living in or the country where you are located; but most of the time, those giving more or rewarded more. If your annual income belongs to the highest bracket and you open yourself to charity works, then you are also given more privilege.

Did you know?

Did you know?

  • When a contribution is given to a qualified charity, the expense is immediately deductible within a year

Putting the check in the mail to the charity constitutes payment. A contribution made on a credit card is deductible in the year it is charged to your credit card, even if payment to the credit card company is made in a later year.

  • You can also donate in kind, not just in cash

If you contribute property owned for more than one year, the value of the deduction is normally equal to the property’s fair market value. You have an advantage when you contribute appreciated property because you get a deduction for the full fair market value of the property. You are not taxed on any of the appreciation, so, in effect, you receive a deduction for an amount that you never reported as income.

  • Altruism

Finally, the most important thing about giving is the value of self-sacrifice. Religious ones may also consider giving as “opening a door to heaven”.

Remember, giving should always be a first instinct to anyone. But sometimes, people need their eyes to be opened for them to realize the true value of life. Knowing what you get in return can always help. It is not really bad to think of the benefits you will have. What’s important is that the main purpose why you are giving is because you want to help; self-benefit should only be second.

Image from BBT