Smart Ways to Donate This Holiday Season

Writing a donation check

Are you planning to donate to a charity this holiday season? If so, here are three tips to help you give smarter:

  1. Do your research. If you’re interested in donating for tax purposes, visit to find out if your charity fits the definition of a nonprofit organization. There are many types of qualified charities, but the most popular is a 501(c)(3), which is a qualified nonprofit organization that has filed with the IRS for tax-exempt status.

    In addition, the Federal Trade Commission ( offers valuable information on how to look into a charity’s validity and status. The FTC also suggests you do some extra digging when it comes to charities that appear suddenly after a natural disaster or other event. While these charities may have good intentions, they may lack the infrastructure to make the most of your gift.

  2. Keep records of your donation. Any charitable gifts you make before year-end may be tax-deductible for the current year – but you’ll need a record of your gift. Many charitable organizations send an acknowledgment that can serve this purpose. Otherwise, be sure to save your canceled check or credit card statement for tax time.
  3. Explore other ways to give. Do you have other assets – such as appreciated stock – that could offer you tax advantages if you donated them directly to a charity? Your financial advisor can help you weigh this option. Or if you’re interested in sharing your time or talent, ask your organization if they’re in need of volunteers or even supplies that you may have around the house.

Your financial advisor can partner with your tax and legal professionals to walk through your options when it comes to charitable giving and discuss how those plans could affect your overall financial strategy.

Important Information:

Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation.

Find a Financial Advisor

Find a Financial Advisor

Select a State and then enter a last name

    Are You Looking for a Better Way to Do Good?

    Are you feeling charitable this holiday season?

    Read more

    Are you tax-smart?

    Incorporate tax-smart investing ideas into your year-round financial strategy.

    Read more