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Strategic donations

For those who are frequent donators and givers to charity, you need to start asking yourself, if you have a charitable giving plan. President Obama himself has already placed a spotlight on charity when he was able to publish his tax returns shown in information recently, this is also showing a vast array of causes which are supported by the First Family as well. While you may think or feel that strategy may be wise for these ever so famous Obamas, who of course have the means to donate generously and can use their high profile and popularity when giving to highlight the many causes that the need for money, it’s not a good approach for most ordinary folks or normal civilians, experts would suggest.It is a fact that when ordinary people were to give small gifts to dozens of many different groups, it may also be a tell tale sign that their giving is how they say, off the cuff or in simpler terms random, rather than it being strategic. It is an indication that you have been responding to a friend or pitch, and then afterwards treating giving much like buying shoes or a nee dress for a party. Either it’s on the spot or all for show. If that is how you give and donate, your tax return will look like the Yellow Pages of causes and worthy reasons, but the amount that you plan to give will likely vary substantially from year to year based on your income as well. Then, the executives who are at the organizations you give to probably will not even know your name apart from maybe as an entry on the mailing list but that’s about it, and they may not be willing to take your phone calls or respond to your concerns either. This is something important to keep in mind. Wise donors would consider their gifts as an investment rather than it being more of an expenditure, said Charles Bronfman, a Seagram’s heir, who is also a noted philanthropist and co-author of the book. And then in turn they expect those gifts to pay dividends, he likes to proclaim. What does this mean exactly? Charitable dollars are an investment which in fixing a problem that you have already identified and feel strongly about, he says again. Someone who is a strategic giver should be able to see things like measurable progress with that being commensurate with the amount invested.

You will not even need to be rich to be a strategic donor, Bronfman added. Just as long as you have the right intentions and a little donation. But what you do need to be is systematic and purposeful as well. Money is not always all that matters, and that is something to keep in mind the next time you think you have to be wealthy to donate.

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Tithes and Church Donations for Tax Deductions

image Like any other charities, most churches are non-profit institutions where you can donate money or non-cash items to get tax deductions from. And like any other charitable contributions there set rules and regulations you need to follow in filing your tax breaks from a church tithing or donations. Donating to your church serves as a good way of supporting your beliefs and lessening your tax bill while doing so. You can just simply call your church and ask if they are listed as qualified organizations where they can be eligible for the tax deduction. Same as the other charitable contributions if you make a cash donation to your church, those donations are tax deductible where you will receive a tax credit equivalent to the donation amount you made. Non-monetary gifts are also considered as tax deductible item; as long as you get the fair market value of the items you donate and keep a good record for your tax submission. Identical to other non-monetary goods donation to other charities, it is best to keep a good record of the lists of your non-cash donations since IRS requires this list when tax season arrives. You church also needs to provide you with the list of items they have received from you to support the list that you have. For cash contributions to your church, you can always ask annual receipt from your church to use in filing for your taxes. But it is best to get your receipt every time you give your donations for you to keep for tax filing purposes. For tithe payers who usually pay 10% of their income to the church, these are also tax break eligible, but the value or nature of the tithe given to the church doesn’t determine whether this is the amount you can deduct. If you didn’t get or receive personal benefit in giving tithes you may deduct the amount of the tithe you have given to your taxes. But if you do receive benefit or entertainment from the church then you have to reduce the amount of the benefit or service given to you from the amount of the tithe you provided. Just like other charitable contributions to other nonprofit institutions, you must now fill out the Schedule A form and attach it to your completed Form 1040 and other tax forms needed when tax season came. It is very important to be accurate and punctual whenever you submit these documents to avoid tax penalties. image Images from marketwatch and tax.answers.