8 Tips to Maximize Your Charitable Contributions This Giving Tuesday

 In Non-Profits, Philanthropy, Tax

Thinking of donating to a charitable cause before the calendar year rolls over? Well, #GivingTuesday, the global day for giving back, is today!

Giving Tuesday brings together charities, foundations, families, businesses, and communities worldwide to focus on altruism as we kick-off the season of giving. Typically Giving Tuesday is one of the biggest fundraising days of the year for nonprofits, but as the pandemic continues, today seems more important than ever. In a survey of  490 Oregon nonprofit leaders, The Nonprofit Oregon Association found that 54% of nonprofits had reported losses in earned income, and 56% were concerned they won’t be able to continue levels of service

For donors interested in lending a hand during these unprecedented times, we are sharing eight strategies for charitable giving this year. The overwhelming need in our communities, coupled with tax incentives to boost support for nonprofits just might make 2020 the biggest year for philanthropic giving.

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How to Give More and Make a Bigger Impact This Giving Season:

1.Give Before 2020 Ends 

With the advent of a new administration and with the control of the Senate up in the air, the possibility of changes to the tax code in 2021 remain a possibility. To secure income-tax deductions for 2020, you must do so before the calendar year ends on December 31. 

2. Give to Legally Registered and Tax-Exempt Nonprofits

Donate to an organization with a 501(c)(3) determination to receive a charitable tax deduction. Make sure to confirm the recipient of your charitable donation is a  registered charitable organization in Oregon and considered tax-exempt by the IRS.

3. Make the Most of Cash Gifts

Under the 2020 CARES Act, taxpayers taking the standard deduction may deduct an additional $300 for charitable contributions. The gift must be a cash donation (not stock) made directly to a tax-exempt nonprofit. This does not include cash gifts to donor-advised funds, supporting organizations, or private foundations.

4. Give Larger Gifts 

If you plan to itemize your charitable contribution deductions, provisions in the CARES Act mean you won’t face restrictions in 2020 as in previous years. Under the new law, individuals may deduct qualified contributions of up to 100 percent of their adjusted gross income. A corporation may deduct qualified contributions of up to 25 percent of its taxable income. Contributions that exceed that amount can carry over to the next tax year.” 

5. Give Locally 

We love our community and prioritize our giving to local nonprofits in need. The Willamette Week’s Give!Guide handpicked 174 of Portland’s most impactful nonprofits to support. In 2020, Catalyst continued our support of The Commons Law Center, Friends of BBPDX (Business for a Better Portland), Oregon Impact Capital Roundtable, and Social Venture Partners Portland.

6. Match Your Donations

On Giving Tuesday, many nonprofits have matching promotions that double the impact of your donation. Facebook also matches donations on Giving Tuesday if you donate through their platform. Check whether your employer has a corporate matching gift program to match your charitable contributions.

7. Avoid Scams

Watch out for imposters who may appear to be real nonprofits reaching out during the holidays. Always make sure the organization is legitimate before you give. Read Oregon Department of Justice tips to avoid scams this holiday season. 

8. Get a Receipt or Written Acknowledgement

Make sure you get a receipt or an email confirmation with the proper information the IRS legally requires. A bank record or written communication is required for gifts under $250. If your contribution is $250 or more, you may only legally claim a deduction if you have obtained written acknowledgment with the information required. 

Contact us to learn more about taxation, business law, estate planning, and more.

* This material is for your general educational information and is not intended as legal advice. Readers are responsible for obtaining legal advice applicable to their specific situations from their own legal counsel.

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