This post was edited on 9/10/17.
After watching the nation deal with the challenges of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, I was moved to share information on giving and what it means to different folks.
Why we give is personal: victim of a natural disaster, affected by an illness, family member suffers with an ailment, generous spirit, tax planning strategy; to put it simply, because people are in need.
Charitable Giving is a Good Thing
After reading a story about a young man with an idea. I was inspired. His idea to gather a group of young men together for a party in the name of giving back to the community had a purpose. Fundraising was the reason for the partying. Money raised at those events helps various charities in the area. So far, Guys With Ties partying has raised over $200,000.00 and supported over 50 charities according to an article by Reporter Ed Heiland (data from 2014).
What I learned from the Guys With Ties story is that being creative when giving to charities can be fun. No matter what your interests are, you are bound to have several charities that you are passionate about.
Does you heart ache when you see a sick child? Are you an artist, musician, writer or actor and you want to help kids go to summer camp to hone their skills? Are you a devout member of your faith or religion? Do you have a family history of heart disease, cancer or Alzheimer’s? If the mission of a charity moves you to give, there are numerous options to suit your wallet.
Charitable giving comes in many forms. Here are just a few:
- Major gifts
- Donations – online, mail, on location
- Fundraising events
- Foundations – Grants
- Businesses – Corporate giving
- Annual gifts
- Planned giving: Wills, trusts, life insurance, IRA, real estate and other assets
The list above only scratches the surface when it comes to charitable giving. It is always a good idea to do your homework and check out the history of the nonprofit before making a donation or gift. Unfortunately, there are many organizations that are not legitimate and are only scams.
The IRS has rules and regulations that govern how 501C (3) nonprofits are to solicit funds, register fundraisers, file annual returns, and other compliance matters. In addition, many states have specific fundraising laws that nonprofits have to be in compliance with to maintain their tax exempt status.
You get the picture, giving is personal and there are many shapes and sizes in the way one gives and what you give. In the mean time, Happy giving!
The information in this article is not legal advice. Please consult with an attorney about your particular situation.
Aquanetta J. Betts is an attorney and speaker. She is licensed in Washington D.C., and Maryland. Her practice focuses on the areas of wills, trusts, estates and planned giving. Connect with her on Twitter @AquanettaBetts.