There’s less than a month until June 30, the fiscal year-end date for many non-profit organizations. Every gift counts in furthering your favorite non-profit organization’s mission. So today, we’re asking you to track your donations over the past several months to confirm whether you have given to your alma mater(s) and preferred non-profit(s) during their current fiscal year. Does the thought of going through Quicken, your bank statements, or your checkbook seem a tad bit intimidating? The hubster and I do a few things throughout the year to help us keep tabs on our monetary donations and our piggy bank. Hopefully one or more of these ideas will resonate with your inner-philanthropist, ensuring that keeping tabs on your giving will be easy in the future.
1. Give to your favorite non-profit at the same time on a monthly or annual basis. Keep things simple and schedule your giving in your electronic calendar. This helps ensure that you give consistently and that you don’t miss out on supporting organizations that greatly benefit from your generosity. Every gift counts!
2. If you write a personal check to your favorite charity, note this philanthropic contribution in your check register. Then come tax time – or whenever you want to confirm that you made said donation – the information is at your fingertips.
3. If you go the electronic route and capture your outflows on Quicken or another financial software program, categorize your monetary donations as “Philanthropy.” Whenever you need to confirm when you last made a gift to an organization, create a report for the “Philanthropy” category, and you’re good to go.
4. File the acknowledgment letters and receipts provided by your favorite non-profits in your tax folder. These receipts confirm that no goods or services were provided in exchange for your contribution. They’ll earn you brownie points with your tax preparer.
5. Schedule automatic payments to your favorite non-profit organizations. Your financial institution can mail donations from your checking or savings account to your favorite non-profits on a weekly, biweekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. This process is very similar to automatic bill pay. It’s efficient, almost effortless, and will spread much joy.
Note: Some non-profits have a fiscal year-end date of June 30, others have a fiscal year-end date of December 31. Not sure when fiscal year-end happens at your favorite organization? Call their Development Office and ask. You’ll be glad you did.
Contrary to popular practice, financial gifts to non-profits are needed year-round and not just at calendar year-end. This June, encourage family members, and friends to confirm that they’ve donated to their favorite organizations during each non-profit’s current fiscal year. After all, a little advance planning goes a long way.
* Photo by Takis Kolokotronis