The best way for you to donate and help is to research the charities before you give. Some charities may want monetary donations, others may want specific items.
Whatever you chose to do, make sure that your donation is being put to the best use for the cause and not lining someone’s pockets.
First you need to choose a charitable organization. Even if you have a specific cause in mind, there could be many organizations claiming to support the same goals you do.
Second, you will want more information about a charity, and how they use their funds, go to www.give.org. Here’s what you need to know:
- Find out how much of each dollar is used for the cause, versus how much is used for administrative expenses. The higher the amount used for the cause the better.
- Find out whether they have a 501(c) (3) tax status if you are planning to deduct this donation on your IRS tax return.
Now that you have selected the charity of your choice, you will to decide whether you will be making a donation of money or specific items to the charity. Check to see what they suggest is best for what you want to accomplish.
For monetary donations, you should always use a check / debit card or credit card so that there is a record of the transaction. This is the easiest way so that you have proper documentation.
If you are donating specific items, you will need to have a record of what you are donating. For non-cash items, you can use the purchase receipt, itemized list along with documentation from the charity. Please check with your tax preparer, so that you have the proper documentation.