An estimated 14.9 million Australian adults (80.8 per cent of the population) gave $12.5 billion to charities and not-for-profit organisations in 2015–16.
For many people, donating comes as a response to a specific request, but if you feel strongly about helping out, why not budget for it?
As well, many people plan to leave money to charities in their wills and with some extra thought in estate planning, a bequest can be made in a tax-effective way.
Regardless of how you give, it’s always important to keep accurate records of your donations to give to your accountant at tax time.
Things to consider before donating.
1. Why giving is important
Giving to the less fortunate is a good thing to encourage from a young age. Certain schools make volunteering part of their programs but even parents can encourage philanthropy through their own actions. Giving is good for both the donor and the recipient, and it makes the world a better place.
2. Do you know what the charity does?
It’s an obvious question, but at the very least the charity’s mission and goals should align with yours. Is it doing good works in the areas that concern you? Do you feel strongly about what it is doing with your money?
3. What has the charity achieved?
Most organisations are happy to advertise their successes through videos, photos, testimonials, and their annual reports to help you get a more complete picture.
4. Can you volunteer?
Being charitable can also mean pitching in and helping, which is a great way of finding information and making connections. This will help you decide whether the organisation fits your values and goals, and make you feel more fulfilled knowing you are making a difference.
5. How much are you comfortable giving?
Giving circles are a solution for people who don’t have a lot to give. This just means getting a group of 100 or so people together who each contribute perhaps $1,000 to create a pool of $100,000. They donate the lot to one charity to make a big impact.
If you would like to make giving part of your financial plan, your adviser can help you get the most out of your philanthropic efforts.
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