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Year-End Tax Deductible Charitable Giving

Each year in December, many of us make donations to charities, in part, in order to receive certain tax benefits. The IRS provides a “2015 Tips List for Year End Gifts to Charity”, which  can be found online at https://www.irs.gov/uac/Six-IRS-Tips-for-Year-End-Gifts-to-Charity.

While we appreciate tax breaks, most people embrace the season of giving with a genuine desire to make a difference in the world. Being able to positively impact others and having a hand in advancing the mission of an organization can be extremely fulfilling. At CURE Childhood Cancer, we invest year end donations in critical pediatric cancer research – aimed at finding cures for cancers affecting children in our lifetime – and support programs for patients and their families. There are many ways to make a difference for CURE and other organizations at year end:

  1. Shop the charity holiday boutique. As you buy gifts for the holidays, explore items or retail partnerships that benefit the charity. From merchandise displaying the CURE logo to a variety of items with general appeal (no logo!), there are many options for gift-givers which will give back to CURE. This is a great way to give meaningful gifts where your recipient will know that the wonderful gift they received is also helping others.
  2. Donate to fund a specific purpose. Contact the charity and ask them if your donation can be restricted to a specific program. At CURE, we might use a $50 donation to purchase gas cards for families traveling long distances for cancer treatment, or a $100 donation to fund a professional counseling session for a patient family.  Find out what your gift can accomplish and make an impactful gift that fits your budget.  Remember, every dollar matters to a nonprofit!
  3. Give instead of buy. Many of us find ourselves shopping for people in our lives who have everything they truly need. So instead of buying another “thing,” consider making a donation in that person’s honor. Most charities, like CURE, will send a card and let that person know the gift was made in their honor. While some folks might want something to unwrap, many times, friends and family members will revel in the holiday spirit of giving and feel privileged you chose such a meaningful gift.
  4. Become a Holiday Angel. Most of us know it is truly better to give than to receive. At CURE, we have a wonderful Holiday Angel program which allows donors to give with their whole hearts, giving struggling families the gift of joy at the holidays. For many parents with children receiving cancer treatment, the holidays are difficult, with no time – or means – to shop for holiday gifts and otherwise plan special holiday celebrations for their children.  We match donors with families in need, provide a “wish” list of toys and household needs, and the donors have the opportunity to shop and provide gifts for these special families.  It is a wonderful way to really “experience” giving to others while knowing a family will enjoy a happy holiday! Ask the charities you support about opportunities to impact a particular family at holiday time.
  5. Amazon Smile. For online shoppers, your opportunity to donate is right at your fingertips! Consider shopping online at Amazon Smile. This is identical to Amazon.com with the added benefit of Amazon donating 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charity of your choice.  Every little bit counts!

While tax benefits may drive giving for some, the fact is that year end giving is critical for nonprofits and allows us to further our important missions.  There are many ways to support charities in December, regardless of the motive for giving.  Find a way that fits and experience the inevitable sense of fulfillment that comes from knowing you are making a difference.

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About Kristin Connor

Kristin Connor is Executive Director of CURE Childhood Cancer, an Atlanta-based national non-profit which funds research to find a cure and effective treatments for children's cancer and supports programs for patients and families fighting the disease. In 2015-2016, CURE Childhood Cancer awarded 2.5 Million in grant monies to healthcare research institutions working on new treatments leading to a cure for childhood cancer.

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