How to Make the Most of Charitable Giving

December 2011 — Supporting charitable causes at holiday time is a tradition for many. Motivations for giving are unique, but there are many universal benefits for both the donor and the charity they support. As the holidays draw near, and tax season just around the corner, The Miami Project is offering some important advice about charitable giving and metrics to consider when choosing the causes to support.

“Donors need to know their gifts are going to have a positive impact in the lives of others”, stated Marc Buoniconti. “Before considering philanthropic gifts, it is important that the donor be informed about what the gift will be used for and how they will be making a real difference.”

The Miami Project advises all donors do their homework and ask a series of questions as they determine what causes to support including:

1.  Where does the money go?  Many charities have high overhead costs and donations rarely go toward their intended goal.  Before making a donation it would be advisable to research the charity and make certain that the money one gives goes toward the intended cause. At The Miami Project, eighty-six cents of every dollar goes directly to research.  Donors can request that their donations are directed to a specific research area.

2.  Are there alternatives to giving cash money?  Many charities accept donations of appreciated stock, real estate and collectibles all of which contribute to their mission and can have positive tax benefits as well.  It would be wise to check with the charity to determine what method of giving would be most mutually beneficial. 

3.  With so many charities asking, how does one decide where to give?  It is important to be an informed donor.  Planning out a strategy will allow for the best possible scenario for the donor.  Consider charitable donations into your budget just as you would any other expense.

4.  Will I get a receipt?  It is very important to keep all records of charitable giving in order to get the tax benefits associated with your generosity. Any gift over $250.00 requires a receipt from the organization.  For smaller donations a cancelled check will suffice.

5.  How do I avoid mailing lists and telemarketers? You can ask that your gift remain confidential and/or anonymous.  Charities have a vested interest in keeping their donors happy.  Tell them you do not wish to receive solicitations via mail or phone.

6.  What if you do not have any money to give?  In the eyes of a charity, every little bit can help.  However, even if you can’t contribute any money at all volunteering your time and skills could be very rewarding.

“Of course we hope that The Miami Project is at the top of mind for donors as they consider their charitable giving activities,” Buoniconti continued. “We have made major progress toward our mission of finding a cure for spinal cord injury and are getting closer every day. We strive daily to be a model that many organizations aspire to emulate. We believe it is of utmost importance to be faithful stewards of the resources that have been shared with us.”

To make a donation please call Randy Medenwald, 305-243-7147 or click here.