Giving for Good
The Power of Charitable Donations
By Amy Persyn
Supporting charitable organizations is an action that has benefits for both you and the organizations that you support. Research has repeatedly shown that there are numerous physical and health benefits associated with giving. In addition to benefits to your wellbeing, there can be financial benefits for you, as well.
Aside from the perks to you, there are benefits to your community when you support the mission of a local charitable organization. Now, more than ever, charities need our support to carry out their missions of providing assistance, support and care. Making charitable donations is one way to help ensure our neighbors thrive, but it’s important to be mindful when making your donations.
Do Your Research
While we might be familiar with a need, an important part of charitable giving is to know the organization you are supporting with your financial gifts. There are resources that are dedicated to legitimizing the claims and reputation of charities. Two of these charity watchdogs that are often recommended are Charity Navigator (charitynavigator.org) and Charity Watch (charitywatch.org). These sites provide operational information, financial condition, and other facts for many charities. As an organization, we use these resources to research non-profits that request support from us. Vetting a charity can help ensure your money makes the most impact and is not wasted.
Identify causes that really resonate with you from the heart. Take time to research charities that are making a difference in a space that aligns with your values. Explore their mission and who or what they serve. This ensures your gifts can have an impact on the world in ways you would like to have an impact if you were doing the work yourself. Giving is extremely personal. You Giving for Good The Power of Charitable Donations By Amy Persyn have earned or acquired money that you are willing to part with for a worthy cause.
It’s helpful when a charity shares stories, projects, and impact via their website, newsletters, or donor meetings to ensure that their mission and need for funds is evident. Most charities want to be sure their work coincides with the values of the people who donate in order to make their work possible.
Planning to Give
If you feel truly passionate about an organization or cause, you may choose to automate your giving. Many charities have platforms that allow you to set up an automated donation of a set amount of your choosing. Some people establish a planned or legacy gift that is designated for an organization via their financial or estate plan. Whether the gift is cash, property, or other assets, this is typically given to the organization at the time of the donor’s death. Should you desire to allocate a planned gift to an organization, consult your estate planning advisor.
Where your dollars circulate has an impact on our community. Shopping at local retailers creates a larger financial impact than national chains. The same goes for supporting local non-profits. They create local jobs, fund solutions, preserve and protect culture, and provide resources for our neighbors in need. Non-profits have a positive economic impact on the community in more ways than one — while oftentimes operating with less resources and capacity to market to potential donors as large national charities.
Donating to larger national or global causes is also important, particularly if causes that have that impact are meaningful to you personally. When reflecting on how you’d like to give, create a plan that can encompass the impact of both.
Giving and Taxes
When you give back, there can also be tax ramifications. Tax exempt does not always mean tax deductible. It’s beneficial to consult your tax advisor with regards to charitable giving strategies and which donations might be tax deductible. Keep a record of any charitable donation you make each year for review at tax time with your advisor.
More than Money
Your monetary gifts are much appreciated by the organizations that receive them – but giving does not always have to be a financial commitment. Giving time and talent are valuable contributions, as well. If you are looking for local charities to get involved with download our “Guide to Giving and Receiving Help” which can be found at FSBCares.com.
This fall, First State Bank will launch our 4th Annual First State Banksgiving, designed to shine a spotlight on local charities and allow our community to vote to award a variety of organizations with a monetary award to support their initiatives. We will begin accepting nominations on October 16, 2023, at fsb.bank/Banksgiving. Winners will be announced on Giving Tuesday (November 28).
Regardless of who or how you support – giving of your time, talents, and treasures can have positive ripple effects in your community and beyond.
Amy Persyn is a lifelong Macomb County Resident. She is passionate about connecting families and entrepreneurs with information that can help them become empowered and financially literate.