It’s tax season, and while you’re thinking of it, it’s the perfect time to create an action plan for charitable giving in 2017. While you have until the end of the year to make donations, if you start researching and planning your donations now, you’ll have time to make thoughtful contributions that benefit both you and your community all year-long.
Here are three charitable giving tips that will warm your heart and your wallet:
1. Look local
While there are many highly visible national societies focused on specific diseases and international disaster relief, don’t overlook opportunities to give close to home. When you give close to home, your dollars stay in the community and you can see your dollars in action. Donating to a community hospital foundation, local wildlife habitat restoration or youth development group will make a positive impact on your community that you’ll benefit from for years to come.
Local organizations don’t always have the same advertising budgets as national nonprofits to reach you, so you may have to do a bit of research to find them. The IRS provides an online tool to identify organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions and you can narrow it by the community you live in. Search for “Exempt Organizations Select Check” online or visit: https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/.