Tips for making sure your Giving Tuesday donation gets where it needs to go
RAPID CITY, S.D.– After the steals and deals of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday brings the chance for people in the Black Hills region and nationwide to do something good for their community. Whether with money, material goods, or time and energy, people find ways to make donations and help local organizations. However, Financial Advisor and owner of Shield Financial Saeed Sulaiman has some advice for people looking to make sure their money goes to good use.
Is it okay to make a donation?
Yes. It is more than okay to do so. “You want to help people. I think we all have that in us, so just make sure that you plan for that,” Sulaiman says. “If you do not, you might not even do it. You might think “oh, I will do it” and it keeps getting pushed back.” He says to take some time and plan out the details of the donation regardless of the amount to further commit to the choice.
I have an organization in mind, but want to make sure it is legitimate. How do I do that?
The best thing to do he says, is to look up the status. If it has a 501 (c)(3) status according to the Internal Revenue Code, then it is classified as a non-profit and donations can be written off for taxes. “They can look and see what they are spending their money on, are they being good stewards of what they have been given. That kind of thing,” he explained.
The organization I want to donate to does not have 501(c)(3) status. Is it still okay to donate?
This depends on a person’s choice. “Often times those are smaller organizations. So as long as you maybe know someone who is involved in it personally, you have seen what they do, where they give the money. Any extra homework you can do is great just to make sure they are legitimate.
What should I look for to make sure my online donation is safe?
“If you are giving money online, there is going to be a little lockbox at the top near the website,” he explained. Especially if paying with credit card, the security and encryptions will help make sure your information is safe.
I am 72 and have an IRA with money in it. How do I take money out to donate while ensuring it is all going where I want it to go?
According to Sulaiman, people ages 72 or older are required to take money out of their IRA’s and pay the government tax on them. “Let’s say you were required to take out $10,000. If you took it out– let’s say you are in the 3o percent tax bracket, you are going to pay $3,000 to the government,” he explained. “If you wanted to give to a charity, let’s say you wanted to give them $10,000– you only have $7,000. In this case, go directly from the IRA, send it to the charity. They get all $10,000 and you have fulfilled your requirement.”