As we head into a new year, make the most of your charitable donations by following some of these useful tips.
1. Create a giving budget.
It is always helpful to have a plan for how you want to give throughout the year. Take a moment to think about how much you can and want to donate, when during the year you are able to give, as well as the types of organizations you’d like to support. Check out our list of reviewed nonprofits to help you get started!
2. Be proactive.
You don’t have to wait to be asked by an organization to make a donation. Seek out organizations that are doing work you care about and support their efforts. Consider giving of your time, talent and/or treasure. All are valuable to the organizations you decide to partner with.
3. It’s ok to say “no”.
You don’t have to give every time you’re asked. If you ever feel unsure, uncomfortable, or if it is simply outside your giving plan, just say, “No thanks”.
4. Be an informed giver.
Before you make a gift, do your research. Review the organization’s website or annual report to find out more information about its programs and accomplishments. For a comprehensive evaluation of the nonprofit, see if the organization has been reviewed by the Charities Review Council, or for national organizations, check out the Better Business Bureau for a review.
5. Consider giving throughout the year.
In order to spread out your charitable expenses, you may find it helpful to make contributions to various organizations at different times during the year, rather than all at the end of the year, for example. You might also consider splitting your yearly gifts into monthly payments.
6. Take advantage of your employer’s matching gift program.
The easiest way to make your gift go further is to have your employer match your gift. Contact your employer to find out if this is an option for you.
7. Donate your stuff.
In addition to donating your time and money, many organizations also accept your new or gently used clothes, furniture, and household items. A few will even accept your car. A great resource is Hennepin County’s Choose to Reuse site, which refers you organizations that can accept your items.
8. Get involved.
A valuable way to contribute to the organizations you support is to volunteer your time and skills. Not only is volunteering a way to give back, but it also helps to build a relationship with the organizations you support monetarily.
For more tips and helpful giving information, check out the other donor resources on our website.