3 Tips for Smart Holiday Giving

3 Tips for Smart Holiday Giving

by CIG October 25, 2019
CAT Wildfires

Plus – How CIG is Giving Back This Holiday Season.

The days following Thanksgiving are known for frenzied shopping sprees and full-on preparation for the December gift-giving season. You’re probably familiar with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but what about Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday, also known as the National Day of Giving, is observed on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. This year’s observance takes place on Tuesday, December 3. 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 smart when selecting a cause to support.

Here are 3 steps to help you avoid potential holiday charity scams and ensure your donation is used wisely this season:

  1. Do Your Homework
    • Research any charity you are considering supporting using a recognized charity watchdog site like Charity Navigator or Guidestar, 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.
  2. Verify Tax-Status
    • While researching your charity of choice, check if it is registered as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) public charity. This is a sign of a legitimate non-profit and is a vital point to confirm before giving money to a group. Giving to a qualified organization may also allow you to claim a charitable deduction on your income taxes.
  3. Donate Directly
    • To make your donation go the furthest, make your donation to the charity directly. 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. Volunteering your time or donating in-kind goods like food and toys are a great way to give back to your community, especially if you are concerned about your donation being used wisely.

Want a head start on finding a cause to support this holiday season? Here are a few organizations we are supporting throughout our footprint in the coming weeks:

Jacob’s Heart in Watsonville, CA, “ improves the quality of life for children with cancer and support their families in the challenges they face.”

How CIG is Helping: Employees in Monterey, CA, and Fresno, CA, are collecting toys and wrapping presents for the children supported by Jacob’s Heart.

How You Can Help: Check out the “Holiday Hearts” program for ways to contribute.

The Food Bank of Northern Nevada in Sparks, NV, “feeds the hungry today and solves hunger for tomorrow through community partnership.”

How CIG is Helping: The Reno, NV, team is collecting canned food items to keep their neighbors fed over the holidays.

How You Can Help: Take part in the Holiday Food & Fund Drive or donate online!

The Food Bank for Monterey County  in Salinas, CA, “leads community efforts in the awareness and elimination of hunger in Monterey county.”

How CIG is Helping: Employees in Monterey, CA, are sorting and prepping donations for distribution.

How You Can Help: Make a donation via a Virtual Food Drive.

The Ronald McDonald House Central Valley in Madera, CA, provides a ‘Home away from Home’ and resources to children and their families.”

How CIG is Helping: Employees in Fresno, CA, are making “Meals from the Heart”  for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House.

How You Can Help: Lend support by purchasing something from the organization’s Wish List.

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Inland Northwest in Spokane, WA, “provides temporary lodging, comfort, and support for families with critically ill or injured children in Spokane.”

How CIG is Helping: Team members are baking holiday cookies for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House.

How You Can Help: Lend support by purchasing something from the organization’s Wish List.

The Eddy House in Reno, NV, “helps homeless and at-risk youth to develop life and job skills necessary for sustainable independence.”

How CIG is Helping: Team members in Reno are collecting clothing and essentials for homeless and at-risk youth.

How You Can Help: Donate an item on their Wish List or learn more about Holiday Giving opportunities.

The Orange County United Way in Irvine, CA, “improves lives in Orange County by delivering measurable long-term solutions to complex issues in education, financial stability, health and housing.”

How CIG is Helping: Employees in Westlake Village, CA, are collecting books for local children in need.

How You Can Help: Make a contribution to the book drive online.

Children’s Hope Foster Family Agency in Roseville, CA, provides resources for parents and families with a professional level of care, compassion, understanding, and services which meet or exceed their greatest expectations.”

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