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Holiday Giving: How to Become a Savvy Charitable Giver

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Photo of First State Bank team member sorting canned food collected by employees

First State Bank employees volunteer at local food pantries and other organizations.

Throughout the year First State Bank builds our community by supporting local charitable organizations in variety of ways. We know many like to give monetary donations to those in need during the holiday season as well.  Donating to your favorite cause can be fulfilling, but it’s important to ensure that your gift reaches the intended source. Follow these tips to be a savvy charitable giver:

A Proactive Giver is a Smart Giver 

Wise givers don’t donate on an impulse or to the first organization that comes along.  Take time to identify the causes that are important to you.  Contact an organization to find out their mission and what type of aid they offer.  Work with charities that have targeted outcomes for their giving.

 

Give To an Established Charity 

Unfortunately, there are fraudulent charities that will take advantage of your goodwill.  To avoid this, ask for written information about the charity, including address, telephone number, and proof that your donation is tax deductible.

Designate Your Gift 

Some charities allow you to specify exactly where your gift is headed, either to a specific location or for a unique purpose. By designating your gift, you control where your donation goes and whom it helps.

Photo of First State Bank executives presenting a check to The BackStoppers

First State Bank contributed to The BackStoppers organization in 2015.

Benefits to You

A donor’s primary motivation may be altruism, but there are also great tax benefits. A donation to a qualified organization may entitle you to a charitable contribution deduction on your taxes for the year in which it is paid. Always ask for a receipt and submit it to your tax professional.

Consider Giving Your Time

Four out of five charities report using volunteers.  Volunteers are the foundation of many charitable organizations. Consider donating your time and talents like many First State Bank employees do.

For more information, check out The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance or Charity Navigator.