3 Tips for Smart Holiday Giving
Thanksgiving is a special time to reflect on the past year and to recognize the people and things in our lives for which we are grateful. Plus, Thanksgiving officially kicks off the holiday season, when we can find unique and meaningful ways to help others around us. While this year will be an adjustment in terms of how we celebrate and serve, there are still many ways to give.
Giving Tuesday, also known as the National Day of Giving, is observed on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (December 1st, 2020). For businesses and individuals, it’s a great time to give back to your local community or to causes you care about. As with any investment though, it’s important to be informed when selecting a cause to support.
Here are three steps to help you avoid potential holiday charity scams and ensure your donation is used wisely this season:
- Do Your Homework
- Research any charity you are considering supporting using a recognized charity watchdog site, like Charity Navigator, where you can find information about the charity’s mission, financials, impact, and transparency. Ask questions about the goals and impact of the organization to help you determine if the charity is reputable.
- Verify Tax-Status
- While researching your charity of choice, check if it is registered as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. This is a sign of a legitimate non-profit and is a vital point to confirm before giving money. You may also be able to claim a charitable deduction on your income taxes if you give to a qualified organization.
- Donate Directly
- Make your donation to the charity directly to avoid scams and maximize your gift. Some charities hire for-profit fundraising companies that may retain a large portion of any funds they raise on behalf of the charity. Donating directly to a charity you have researched can also help you avoid online payment scams.
Giving back around the holiday season isn’t just about writing a check. Donating goods, like food and toys, is a great way to give back to your community in a more personal way.
Want a head start on finding a cause to support this holiday season? Here are a few organizations that we are supporting throughout our footprint in the coming weeks:
Organization: Jacob’s Heart
Jacob’s Heart is a non-profit organization that provides services to improve the quality of life for children with cancer and supports their families in the challenges they face. Every year, Jacob’s Heart provides a unique way for the public to show their personal support with the Adopt-a-Family program. This program has been highly popular and rewarding among our Monterey office staff in previous years, and this year we anticipate enthusiastic participation.
How to Donate: Adopt–a–Family to help make the holidays extra special for children and teens with cancer. Simply fill out an online form to be matched with a family. Jacob’s Heart will wrap and deliver the gifts directly.
Organization: Food Bank of Northern Nevada
Every year, our coworkers at the Reno office come together to collect food donations to help provide healthy meals to those who need it most. This year is no different. This holiday season, the Reno branch is focusing their charitable efforts on feeding hungry children, families, and seniors with the help of the Food Bank of Northern Nevada.
How to Donate: Click Here to make an online donation to the virtual food drive!
Organization: Children’s Hope Foster Family Agency
To help brighten the holidays for children in foster care, the Roseville office will be collecting stocking stuffers for Children’s Hope Foster Family Agency.
Wish List: Stockings and stocking stuffers for infants, children, and teens
- Stockings: any color, size, theme
- Stocking Stuffers: small toys, candy, card games, gift cards for teens, toothbrushes, hand sanitizers, etc.
How to Donate:
To make an online donation, visit the Children’s Hope Donation Page and click the “Sponsor a Foster Child” link.
This holiday season, Ambassadors from the Southern California region are calling on you to help feed hungry families in their communities. Between March and June, food banks across America stepped up and distributed more than 1.9 billion meals to those facing financial hardship and hunger as a result of the pandemic, and the need for funding continues. What can you do to help? Click any of the links above to make an online donation to put food on the table for those who need it most.