Expertise Beyond the Numbers

Follow Your Heart (But Be Smart) When Giving to Charity This Season

Following is an excerpt from the most recent Baltimore Gay Life Personal Finance column by Amanda Wooddell Wilhelm, a Manager at SC&H Group.

As the year is coming to a close and we approach the holiday season, charitable giving is at the forefront for most of us.   Supporting a charitable organization not only is an opportunity to improve the lives of others, but it may also allow you to claim a charitable contribution deduction on your income tax return – a positive outcome all around.

Many charitable organizations increase their fundraising efforts near the end of the calendar year in anticipation of being the recipient of donors’ generosity. Therefore, it is important to develop a strategy that will ensure that you align yourself with a charity that is working to promote a mission in which you believe, as well as to protect yourself from scams that prey on donors’ good intentions.

Identify and Vet Your Charities

Before you write your first check, take an inventory of what issues matter most to you based on your values. Is it education, hunger, environment, human rights, or animal welfare? Where do you wish to make an impact – is it nationwide or right here in your own community? Perhaps you have identified a fledgling charity and wish to help it grow.

Make certain the charity’s mission is aligned with yours. Look closely at their materials – website, annual reports, and news reports – to ensure that the organization’s mission, programs, and operations are truly accomplishing the type of work you believe in.

If you have any questions about this content, or are interested in learning more about SC&H Group’s services, we welcome you to contact Amanda here.