While donating to a charity is traditionally seen as a selfless act, individuals and companies can benefit from making charitable donations. Self-employed entrepreneurs, small businesses and international corporations can receive financial support for contributing to an organization or group in need. In addition, this donor can garner positive public exposure. Being connected to a well-loved charitable organization can foster a great level of support from the community.
When done right, encouraging and promoting charities with donations can result in lasting, long-term success. Businesses can offer monetary and item donations to organizations supporting specific social or environmental issues. In many cases, a company ends up receiving an influx of new consumers who are also involved in the charity. Learn more about the rewarding aspects of offering charitable contributions throughout your local community in the sections below.
Reduce Your Income Tax
Companies who provide monetary payments or property to approved charities are sometimes eligible to receive tax breaks. Certain donations are considered tax deductible and could potentially lower the taxable income of a company or individual. Although being offered deductions is not always guaranteed, charitable works can lead to paying less during tax season.
In order to claim a deduction, the IRS imposes several rules on charitable gifts. These stipulations apply to individuals and companies who contribute gifts to approved organizations. Be sure to adhere to the following regulations when making a donation:
- Only cash or physical property that is donated is considered tax deductible. Pledges or promises to donate are not considered deductible until they are fully paid.
- Charitable contributions must be given to qualified tax-exempt organizations. In most cases, charities with the 501(c)3 designation are labeled as tax exempt. However, some institutions, such as churches, do not have to obtain a 501(c)3 status but are still considered charitable entities. Religious organizations, non-profit volunteer fire agencies and trusts are also authorized charities that do not need a 501(c)3 designation.
- Donors must conduct record keeping on charitable contributions. Verification documents must be provided when reporting taxes to the IRS. Items that should be saved by contributors that are associated with donations include:
- Canceled checks for charity payments
- Letters of acknowledgment from charities
- Appraisal documents stating the value of property donated
Individual and company donors should also keep in mind that not all forms of contribution are tax deductible. Before attempting to claim a tax break on a yearly return, all donors should consult the IRS guidelines for charitable donations. The IRS has denoted the following types of donations as taxable:
- Gifts given to political parties, action committees or campaigns
- Gifts given to individuals
- Monetary or property contributions to hospitals or for-profit schools
- Monetary or property contributions to foreign governments
- Monetary or property contributions to business associations, labor unions or chambers of commerce
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Give and Connect to Local Charities
Another way to accrue revenue through charitable contribution is by giving gifts to nonprofit societies and aid organizations. Companies who provide monetary and property gifts to the community in this way often benefit financially in the long run. Additionally, donor corporations are usually asked to take part in local events and connect with other community members. These opportunities allow donors to have their interests represented within community spaces.
Those who receive charitable assistance often support donor businesses. Receiving cash or item donations in a time of need creates an emotional connection between the donor and the charity.
By investing in the local people, donors make more connections and encourage business activity. In addition, tax breaks may be offered to companies who do charity work. In some cases, philanthropic organizations invite businesses to join their establishments. Often times, powerful individuals are active in philanthropic causes. Being part of one of these organizations allows businesses to connect with these important people. This is a great resource for companies, serving as an opportunity to increase their sphere of influence. When mutual trust and respect is developed among powerful individuals and entrepreneurs, both parties can work together on new business ventures.
Providing local aid often improves employee morale and workplace culture, which can result in higher productivity. Companies who care about their communities are more respected by employees. Employees also become more emotionally attached to the donor. They are more likely to remain employed and exhibit loyalty because of their positive experiences.
Incorporate a Cause into Your Business
Businesses can create a product or program where a part or all of the proceeds are donated to a charitable organization of choice. Business models can be developed based on these donations. Furthermore, companies can offer charity incentives on products sold. For example, the business could offer an act of charity for each product purchased.
Choosing the right charity is an important part of enjoying savings due to donations. Businesses that would like to offer assistance should consider the causes important to the company. Once a charitable organization is chosen, monetary and property contributions should be offered in a way that aligns with the company’s brand. This act creates a natural tie between the cause and the donating corporation.
Some charitable organizations allow donors to advertise on their buildings and/or outdoor spaces. Visitors to the agency will be more inclined to purchase goods and services offered by donors. If a company sponsors a special event, their name is often displayed throughout the community or event. The level of care exhibited through charity work is often impressive to the current and future clients of a donor organization.
Go Green Environmentally and Financially
Companies should consider making charitable donations to environmental causes to receive financial incentives. Providing assistance to environmental organizations helps donors be seen as part of the “green” trend. Many consumers are impressed by agencies that show interest in sustainability and making the planet cleaner, often preferring “green” companies over others.
Millennials are particularly connected to the current social responsibility movement. The majority of this generation will spend more on brands that support environmental causes. Offering donations that create connections with younger generations is beneficial for business in the long run.
Lastly, when influential individuals or companies throughout a community support green initiatives, a healthier environment is often established. For donor companies, positive outcomes are enjoyed locally and internally.
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By Jennifer Symonds –