A Guest Post by Ally –
A tax deduction: Taxes – yes, those wonderfully exhaustive papers you fill out every year in order to figure how much of your hard earned money is going to Uncle Sam. Giving to charities can be a tax deduction – help others, and lower your total taxable income. Hey, if you make a good chunk of cash, lowering that taxable income can save you some money.
Yes, the economic situation is a not looking great, as many people can attest, unemployment rates are sky rocketing, gas prices are insane, but for the people who are still employed, consider yourselves lucky.
Giving back is one way to show that appreciation. Gratitude and appreciation for your good fortune, in some circles, brings more of the same. Buddhism calls it Karma. The metaphysics call it ‘universal law’ and many others believe that positive breeds positive. Whatever your belief system is, it makes you feel great!
There are so many people in this crazy economic downfall that are homeless, without work, unable to feed families, and some going hungry. Why not reach out and help someone less fortunate?
There are charitable organizations that have made donating and volunteering super easy – with drop off centers, homeless shelters and care centers that need clothing, food and volunteers by the truckload. If you’re short on cash, clean out your closet and donate some shoes, warm jackets, and other articles of clothing or head on down to your local shelter and help serve food, and brighten their day!
It doesn’t cost much to give clothing and a few cans of food but the benefit to those who don’t have these things could be tremendous.
Charitable contributions number in the hundreds, especially online. Here are a few worthy charities whose beneficiaries could use more help!
Save the Children: In researching their site, it appears that a larger percentage of donations actually go to the needy, than once suspected. 90% of donations go to help the hungry children, and in this specific program, you actually can adopt a child, usually from a underdeveloped nation.
Children’s Charities of America: This is a coalition of more than 100 other organizations, so your donation would help where most needed.
There are philanthropic institutes that grade and list all charities that they deem reliable and worthy. One such institute is American Institute of Philanthropy.
One of the best charities I have found, to whom I donate to each year is the Humane Society of the United States, (HSUS). These people relentlessly search, record and respond to animal abuse daily. They are also responsible for rescuing animals after disasters such as the most recent Japan earthquake. If you love animals, this group is on top of the list for saving them.
Other animal rescue groups can be found in Pet and Shelter Organizations, a website that lists a treasure trove of groups who protect, shelter and rescue abused animals.
So there is a great start to making others lives better, and your own in the process.
Many charitable organizations offer donation doubling, which is actually someone very financially fortunate – who is matching donations for the organization, so your $100.00 will turn into $200.00, and you can’t beat that!
Best of all, your money won’t be wasted on frivolous items, or wasted. It will go to someone or something that really needs the help, and making a difference in the lives of the less fortunate, or even the abused.
What I found is a good way to ensure that I give monthly, is to put a small amount aside, sometimes $10.00 a week, sometimes more, but putting it aside, earmarked for charities will encourage you to give that money away to needy causes.
New research shows that when you give, even in gifts for family or friends, creates happiness for them, and for you.
From Live Science: Elizabeth Dunn, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia says: statistical analysis revealed personal spending had no link with a person’s happiness, while spending on others and charity was significantly related to a boost in happiness. – “Regardless of how much income each person made,” Dunn said, “those who spent money on others reported greater happiness, while those who spent more on themselves did not.”
So go on, set something aside for things that you believe that you can make a difference in and make everyone happy.
Ally is part of the team that manages Australian Credit Cards, a free corporate credit cards comparison service in Australia. Before joining ACC, she was a Media Planner with McCann Worldgroup Philippines, Inc., with award-winning executions, including the Levi’s 501 “Live Unbuttoned” global campaign.