Five Myths about Charitable Giving

home lotteryMost do not have qualms on giving for charity. However when it comes to donating, there are numerous myths which make wise contributions difficult. Below are five of such myths.

The donations are only used in service provision

This assumption is wrong due to the fact that a portion of the donations goes to the operating expenses of the charity. The percentage is used in the actual program varies from one charity to another. Therefore if you need to know how your donations are spent, conduct a research about the organization before you donate.

Dale McGowan, the executive director and founder of Foundation Beyond Belief, an organization which supports charity donation, advices that one should contact directly the charitable organizations so as to know how the donations will be spent.

He says that charity organizations which are more than three years old should have on their website at least one annual report and audits. He adds that one should search for charity programs whose current practices are clearly stated.

Charity donations are tax deductible

In most cases donations to charity is tax deductible, but not in all. You need to check if the charity organization is registered with IRS for 501(c)(3) tax-exemption status. You can do this by either contacting the company directly or checking with the IRS, either online at ‘IRS Publication 78’ or calling.

Many people never know that only a portion not all the goods or services received is tax deductible. To avoid problems with the tax master, always be sure to know how much of the donations are tax deductible

Younger Generation do not care about charity

Many a times people think that the younger generations care less about charity. However a recent study of the four generations; ‘matures’ (born 1945 and earlier), ‘baby boomers'(1946-1964), Generation X (1965-1980)and Generation Y(1981-1991), showed that 58% and56% of Gen X and Gen Y give to charity respectively. Even though this is lower than that for other generations (matures=79% and baby boomers=67%), there is a foreseen increase by 31% and 24% respectively.

The study also reported that the younger generations donate in more subtle ways than direct donations such as online promotion, fundraising and volunteering

An individual’s donations to charity is not enough to bring a difference

Charities appreciate any amount of donations. Charity Navigator’s senior program analyst, Mathew J Viola, agrees to the fact that donations of any amount are appreciated by non-profit charity organizations. He also advises donors to make personal commitment to support the charities.

Irrespective of the charities one may chose to support, small contributions from different donors add up and also gives the charities a broad support base. This becomes truer when donors continue to contribute yearly and whenever they can.

Donating to charities puts you on numerous mailing lists

You should know the privacy policies of a company before making a donation to them because some sell your contacts information. They may also be having an ‘opt out’ option to get your names off the mailing list.

Finding a charity organization with written and working privacy terms and policies may help keep you from mailing lists.
Finding good charities is not easy and does not built primarily on a charismatic leader or a good story. Some organizations such as Give Well which study the effectiveness of charity organizations, can be very significant in getting you a good charity organization.

By Melissa Davis on behalf of Mater prize Home, home lottery Australia. All funds raised from the Mater Prize Home Lottery go directly to supporting patient care and research at Mater hospitals and the Mater Medical Research Institute..

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