Yes, we all can get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our own lives and forget that there are people out there who may need our help. Stop for a minute and look around your local community. Are there ways, big or small, you can contribute to the benefit of the people in your local community?
For example, did you know that the University of Minnesota research says that in 2019 there were 7.39 million people in the United States that have intellectual or developmental disabilities, and 1.40 million people are receiving at least one long-term support or service in addition to case management? Examples of the intellectual or developmental disabilities that people live with are:
- Behavior disorders,
- Down syndrome,
- Cerebral palsy,
- Fetal alcohol syndrome
- Spina bifida
- Brain Injury
So, if, for example, you decide to help individuals with developmental disabilities, you can start right in your community. There are numerous ways to help, either by providing financial support, volunteering, or supporting organizations that help the people in your community.
Provide Financial Support
The most common way to provide financial support for causes is through donations. However, other methods of providing financial support include employer-matching gifts, estate-planning gifts, or offering securities. Find out the benefits of making financial contributions by each of these methods.
Make a Charitable Donation
If you decide to make a monthly or annual donation to a qualified charitable organization, you can deduct the contribution against your income tax if you itemize deductions. However, if your itemized deductions are a smaller amount than the standard deduction, you should take the standard deduction rather than trying to deduct the donations.
Donating real estate will get you a deduction for the full market value of the property from your income tax. It will be greater than the standard deduction, and you can deduct that amount from your income taxes.
Does Your Employer Provide Matching Gifts?
Find out if your employer will match any donations you give to an organization. Your HR department may have a list of organizations that your employer will donate a percentage of whatever you contribute to benefit those organizations.
Donate Appreciated Securities
If you’d rather donate securities that have increased in value rather than cash, you can do this too. While you would avoid paying capital gains taxes on the increased value of the securities by donating them, any charity organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code is exempt from capital gains tax on stock dividends.
Incorporate Gifts in Your Estate Planning
Setting up trusts or structuring your will for gift-giving to charitable organizations is another way to change your local community. Each has its benefits when it comes to income tax and estate taxes.
You can elect to set up a charitable remainder trust or a charitable lead trust. A charitable remainder trust allows you to contribute appreciated assets like securities to the trust. The trust enables you to receive income from the appreciated assets’ interest. However, when you and your spouse pass, the remainder of the interest is given to your selected charitable organization.
Setting up a charitable lead trust is the opposite of a charitable remainder trust. The interest generated from appreciated assets goes to your selected charity. After you and your spouse pass, the remaining interest will go to your heirs.
Bring Awareness to Social Needs
Donating more of your time and less money can help your local community too. Bringing awareness to social needs is just as crucial as your donations because volunteering, participating in events, or promoting or sponsoring events can bring in more donations than one individual can produce.
Giving your time also means a lot to organizations that support social causes. You can volunteer as much or as little of your time as possible. Still, every minute or hour you contribute is significant. You can volunteer for the day-to-day operations that the organization supports, or you can volunteer for administrative duties, such as mailings, email blasts, or processing donations.
Participate in or Attend Financial Fund Raising Events
Charitable organizations have events for people to participate in to bring awareness to their cause and, at the same time, raise money too. They are usually events such as:
- Fun runs or walks
- Races like 5Ks, half-marathons, or marathons
- Walk-a-thons or golf tournament events
- Art exhibits
- Fashion shows
Usually, there is a fee to participate in these events. Still, it’s a chance to participate in something fun while promoting a cause and bringing awareness to the organization’s objective.
It can take a whole lot of staffing to run these events. So, while you may not want to participate in or attend the event, consider volunteering to help run a successful event. You can volunteer your time for the following:
- Event preparation tasks
- Event promotion
- Ticket sales
- Serving during the event
- Checking people into the event
- Event set-up tasks
- Event clean-up tasks
Promote or Sponsor Nonprofit Events or Organizations
Businesses or nonprofit organizations can help by sponsoring a fundraising event or a charitable organization. You can get your logo displayed at an event or on the fundraising institution’s website if you donate a certain amount.
For example, if you sponsor an event like a 5K race, the event organizers can print your logo on the T-shirts given to the participants or display your logo in high-traffic areas. You can also donate prizes that display your logo.
Support Organizations That Help
Nonprofit charitable organizations support important purposes to help people; without your donations or time, they couldn’t exist. For example, the Venture Foundation is an organization that raises funds and public awareness for Venture Together, a nonprofit provider that cultivates lifelong growth, opportunity, and joy for people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Donating your time and money to organizations like Venture Foundation is a great way to help those in your community who may receive care from Venture Together. You can start changing the world by donating or contacting us now to help the people in your local community.