Today is Giving Tuesday. It’s hard to believe, but it’s only been around since 2012. I can’t think of another unofficial holiday that has spread so fast.
Before we dig into Giving Tuesday, I have a little blog housekeeping from the last week to catch up on. You may have noticed that I haven’t been writing as much. The kids were home all week for Thanksgiving and while my 6-year-old is great at building a Nintendo Labo he needed a little help. I intended to write articles about all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, but I didn’t find a lot this year. Everything seemed to be about wireless earbuds.
Now, let’s get back to Giving Tuesday. In a normal year, giving to charity is important. I don’t need to write about what it means in 2020. With that in mind, I have a smorgasbord of charity thoughts that may help guide you. These have been my guide for any year, but let’s see if they work in 2020.
1. Make the Most of Matching Funds
One of my favorite ways to multiply my giving is to look for charities that are looking to match gifts. Essentially these charities have donors who are looking to boost the giving for the charity overall. At the bottom of this article, I’ve got a couple of examples of how that works with two charities that I give to any year. I’ll be looking to give more in 2020, so if you have suggestions of matching funds going to help COVID victims, please don’t be shy in the comments.
Someday, I hope we can be one of those donors who are offering to match gifts. However, we need to be large donors. We’ll have to get the kids through college before we can tackle something like that.
Make Your Dollars Go a Long Way
This is one of the best ideas I’ve seen regarding a charity donation. It comes from Dollar Revolution:
Rethought my answer, I’d likely buy $1million of medical debt & forgive it. You can sometimes buy it incredibly cheaply (which shows how inflated it can be).
Depending on each individual debt, that could erase over $100million in debt, freeing over 10k from that ball & chain.
— ? Dollar Revolution ? (@dollarrev) November 10, 2019
You and I probably don’t have a million hanging around, but I’d love to explore this further and see what can be done on a smaller scale. Or maybe we can combine into a charity that does have a million to do just this. It’s a fantastic way to impact a lot of people in a great way.
2. Giving Tuesday Ideas
There are many organizations that are looking for your charitable contributions today. Personally, I like local organizations such as food banks. However, there are many worthy charities around the world. I also like supporting the military, because I see firsthand how awesome organizations like the USO are.
If you have reward points, many charities will take those well. I don’t know exactly how the Red Cross handles a ton of American Airline miles, but I’m sure they need to fly people around. Maybe American Airlines allows them to be converted into cash.
3. Is This a Good Charity?
Sometimes it can be hard to know which charities are reputable. Every now and again, you read stories that only a small percentage of the money actually makes it to the people it’s trying to help. The rest of it gets eaten up in high salary C-level execs and other expenses. In some of the very worst cases, some scammers will purposely name their charity similar to a legitimate one in hopes of getting some free money from the confusion.
There are three great places to review charities:
If you are unsure, it is always worth a look.
4. Can Deduct My Donation to this Charity from my Taxes?
As with any area of taxes, it is best to consult your tax advisor before doing anything that I might suggest.
A charity needs to qualify as a 501(c)(c) organization for you to be able to deduct it on your taxes. How can you figure that out? Fortunately, the IRS has an easy charity search for you.
I read that there’s an “above-the-line” charity deduction of $300 in 2020. That should mean that it should still be deductible if you take the standard deduction, which isn’t always the case.
5. Who I’m Giving To this Giving Tuesday
I still need to look into the companies helping with COVID and may settle on a local food bank. However, here are the two that I mentioned earlier who I give to every year.
This is a little difficult to write, but I’m going to do it anyway. We’re giving to my kids’ private school. It certainly doesn’t scream out as a need such as many food and health charities. I’ll start by explaining why we’re giving to the kids’ school and then ask you to suggest some charities in the comments.
There are five main reasons why we’re giving to the kids’ school:
- They’ve been decimated by 2020
They’ve had to buy new ventilation systems, lots of plexiglass, outdoor, equipment, video conferencing devices, etc. You get the idea. The teachers are working overtime and we’re lucky enough to have our kids in school without, knock on wood, a COVID case yet. There was one in a family, but the students at the school themselves tested negative and quarantined.
- We Do It Every Year
We give to the school every year. It’s enormously helpful for them to seek other donations when they can show that all the parents care to give. They are mostly focused on participation, so the gift doesn’t have to be big. Last year, they got to 100% participation for the first time in the school’s 80 year history.
- Matching Funds
The school has 3 other donors matching funds up to $10,000. Our donation on this specific day helps ensure that the school will get close to $40,000 and maybe even more.
- Local Community
For the most part, the money stays in the local community. The largest expense for the school is the staff.
- I’m a Little Selfish
This is at the bottom of the list for a reason. There’s some personal gain with the donation. It’s an investment in my kids’ education.
I also give to my alma mater which had a similar target goal of getting a set number of donations. My wife shamed me a bit because I didn’t give much, but I want to help them unlock those matching funds. Students at colleges are getting a raw deal and the colleges aren’t always doing the well with COVID either.
This is where you come in. I’d like to help people who are in real need in addition to schools with large tuitions. Leave a comment about your favorite charity that fits the bill and why I should give to it. I’ll give extra consideration if it has matching funds.
If I don’t get any comments, I’ll give to Lucy’s Hearth as I did before. It’s a local charity that aims is “a 24-hour emergency and transitional shelter for mothers and their children who are homeless due to economic hardship, family crisis, divorce, eviction…” It checks the box of being local and helping people “in need.”
What are your plans for Giving Tuesday? Do you have some unique ideas of your own? Who will you be donating to? Share your thoughts and ideas by letting me know in the comments.