It’s giving season! This Giving Tuesday, consider giving back to your favorite charity. Greater Cincinnati is home to hundreds of nonprofilts that are open to donations of all amounts. If you’re considering donating this season and want to ensure your gift is going to a good cause, check out these tips from BBB’s charity accreditation specialist Corinne Hesselbrock.
Create a plan
Whether you’re in a position to donate to one charity or several, put together a plan. Identify the nonprofits you’re passionate about that reflect your values. Invite your family and friends to support the nonprofit and its mission.
Do your research
“When looking for charities to donate to, you should always research them beforehand,” says Hesselbrock. “We have great resources to help you locate charities. If they’re not listed on bbb.org or give.org, we recommend you use the website for your Secretary of State or the IRS website to research them.” Alternatively, many organizations will have finances publicly available on their own websites.
Consider tax deductions and implications
Not all organizations have a tax exempt status. Organizations are exempt if they’re taxed under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. To find a nonprofit’s tax situation, consult one of the websites listed above.
Never give your credit card number over the phone
Hesselbrock says charities should never ask for your credit card information over the phone. If you receive a call asking for a phone payment, it’s likely someone is trying to scam you.
Opt for direct donations instead of purchases
Most of the time, nonprofits receive more from a direct donation over percentages from a ticketed event or purchased item. When prompted to round up a purchase to support a charity, first ask what the organization’s estimated share will be from the amount of money raised from the sale. The charity may prefer a direct donation.
Small gifts add up
Many organizations rely on smaller donations to thrive, and any gift is a generous contribution in the eyes of a dedicated nonprofit. Giving Tuesday is the perfect day to contribute directly to the community through your favorite cause. “Charities were hit hard these last two years, with too many having to close their doors,” says Hesselbrock. “We need nonprofits to thrive, help those who need it, and raise awareness for others.”