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Many people truly enjoy giving to their favorite charities. Some even earmark a portion of their income each year to be given as a charitable contribution. However, some people have found themselves in a financial bind and they’re unable to make the donations that they have in the past. Others have never been able to afford to donate cash, but would love to contribute in other ways.
It’s true that charities need cash, but they also need help in other ways. As economic woes affect people across the country many charities find themselves stretched too thin. Of course money is tight, but as other resources dwindle, charities can use assistance on several different levels.
We’ll take a look at solutions that allow people to assist charities in their work, without complicating your own budget.
Donate Your Time
Perhaps the easiest way to donate to a charity is to donate your time. Helping hands can be scarce for many charitable organizations and help on all levels is greatly appreciated.
Experts suggest investigating charities before you contact them, just as you would if you were donating cash. Be certain that they have 501(c) status with the IRS and look into any organizations that receive money from that charity.
Once you’ve settled on a candidate, request an appointment. This can be valuable for all parties involved. Make sure that your particular skill set can be of use and that you are available at the time that the charity needs the most assistance. Lastly, be certain that the work involved is something that you can enjoy and take pride in. If you end up resenting the work that you’ve committed to, then the entire purpose of donating your time can be lost.
Donate Household Goods and Appliances
While you might be tempted to hold a garage sale or post an online ad to dispose of old furniture, appliances, and other household goods, it might be wise to consider donating those items to charity. Not only might you be helping a needy family, but you may also be able to claim a tax deduction.
While donating your furniture to a national charity like the Salvation Army is fine, it’s also wise to investigate other charities that specialize in furniture donations and often give the items directly to people in need. You can also contact churches in your area that may know of a family that can use furniture, or donate the items to a shelter for battered women or the homeless.
When you decide on a recipient, make sure that they have the aforementioned 501(c) status and that you get a receipt for your donation to claim your tax deduction.
Donate Your Car or Boat
One of the most significant ways of giving to a charity is by donating a vehicle, which can include, a car, boat, trailer, jet ski, or other personal vehicle. Not only does this greatly benefit the charity but donating a boat can mean a tax deduction for you.
When you decide to donate a boat to charity you’ll need to contact the charity for more information. They can often help you establish the market value and help you arrange for an appraisal if the value is over $5,000.00. The charity can also help arrange pickup for the boat or other vehicle, and help you navigate any storage fees that might be due before you can move it.
Donate Food or Other Personal Items
Most people are quite generous and donate food or cash to food banks in their area during the holiday season. While this is a wonderful gesture, food banks need donations throughout the year in order to adequately help those community members who need their services.
When you’re shopping for groceries and you notice nonperishable items that are on sale, why not pick up a few extras? Additionally, keep an eye on the price of soap, deodorant, toothpaste, and other personal care items. When you can afford it, buy some extras to donate. Then contact your local food bank and ask them about their donation process.
Some cities have begun to offer diaper and feminine hygiene product products as well. These services can be indispensable to single mothers and other families who might find themselves unable to purchase these crucial items. When you find sale prices on these products, consider purchasing them for donation to these important charities.
Some may say that cash is king, but if you ask those who operate charitable organizations they might be able to add some princes and princesses to that equation as well. Do your part to help those organizations that help others, whether you can afford to donate cash or not.