Billions of dollars will be given to charitable and religious organizations by December 31st. “With the recent inquiries by US Senator Grassley into questionable financial and lifestyle practices of six leading televangelists and many people’s mail boxes flooded with donation requests, it is important to know how to make wise decisions in making year-end contributions,” reports generosity expert, author, and speaker Brian Kluth.
Kluth’s generosity website offers these TOP TEN reminders and recommendations concerning making year-end contributions:
1 To be deductible on your 2007 taxes, donations by check must be given or postmarked on or before Monday, December 31st. Avoid giving loose cash because it is not deductible and can more easily be stolen.
2 To give electronically by December 31st visit the organization’s website OR go to: www.networkforgood.org (this website allows you to give secure electronic donations to any organization on its list of over 1 million non-profit organizations and houses of worship).
3 If you are a person of faith, make it a priority to generously support your local house of worship.
4 Give your largest donations to organizations where you have visited their offices and/or you personally know and trust someone in the organization’s leadership.
5 Find out how much your favorite charities pay their top executives and how they spend their donations by reviewing their on-line 990 forms found at www.GuideStar.org.
6 Determine through the organization’s website, www.GuideStar.org, www.Forbes.com, and/or Google searches if the group has a track record of effectively serving people with the donations they receive. Be cautious about supporting organizations that spend a large percentage of their income on fundraising activities.
7 Call the organization and request they email or mail you a list of special projects and programs needing year-end funding. Also ask for a copy of their audited financial statements.
8 Be extremely cautious about giving money to any organization where there are verifiable reports of extravagant luxury lifestyles by leaders or any indication funds have been misused.
9 When supporting evangelical religious organizations, check the organization’s standing on the following websites: www.ecfa.org, www.Ministrywatch.com.
10 Make sure the purpose and values of the organizations you support match up with your personal beliefs and values.
Kluth said, “If you follow these guidelines in your year- end giving decisions and you will give with greater confidence and your donations will be wisely used to help others.” Kluth recently authored the best selling book, 40 Day Spiritual Journey to a More Generous Life that is being used by churches across the country and around the world.
The Book Shelf – Recommended Reading!
More Great Books!
Christian Activities is on MySpace at:
Use this link to shop Amazon.com and support Christian Activities