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How Charitable Giving is for Everyone

Giving to charity is a personal decision. It reflects your values and interests while making an impact to a cause. It does not matter how large or small the donation is, and no charity is more important than another.
Many people may think charitable giving is only for those who are wealthy. Everyone, regardless of their income level, can make charitable contributions and receive the same amount of fulfillment while possibly saving on taxes as well.

How Much Should I Give?

Although there is no set amount you should contribute, a recent study found that the average American gave around 2% of their income to charity.1

Regardless of the amount you choose to give, here are a few things to consider:

  1. Charitable contributions should be made by check, not in cash. If you contribute more than $250 to a single charity, request a receipt. If donations are made in cash, request a receipt showing the charity name, date and amount, regardless of the amount contributed.
  2. For the 2021 tax year, if you plan on taking the standard deduction on your Federal income taxes and you made a cash donation, you can deduct up to $300 for single filers and up to $600 if married filing jointly and reduce both your adjusted gross income and taxable income.

Which Charity Should I Donate to?

Maybe you already have a charity in mind but if you are not sure where to start, there are helpful resources online such as You can look up a charity’s rating based on how efficiently a charity will use the support received and how well it has sustained its programs and services over time.

Whatever the case may be, do your research ahead of time. Your charitable contribution will only qualify for a tax deduction if the charity is a tax-exempt organization, e.g., Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Can I Donate Appreciated Securities?

With the market experiencing impressive gains over the past few years, many people have stocks, mutual funds and ETFs that have appreciated in value. Donating any of these appreciated securities can have tax advantages to the donor.

Two tax benefits to donors include:

  1. When donating appreciated securities, the donor deducts the market value of the security on the date of donation regardless of the purchase price.
  2. By donating appreciated securities, the donor may eliminate the capital gains tax on the gain relative to the purchase price.

Whether you are giving money, your time, or personal items to a charity, you will be helping someone in need. The very act of giving also has a positive effect on your own mental and physical health. Donating can make a real difference in your community, boost your own sense of gratitude and be a win-win scenario for both parties.

Need help donating securities? Jemma Financial can help you through the process. Call or email us to get started.

1. “Generosity Across the Income and Wealth Distributions,” National Bureau of Economic Research, May 2020.
2. “Older Americans Stockpiled a Record $35 Trillion. The Time Has Come to Give It Away.” The Wall Street Journal, 7/2/21.

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