Have you walked out to your mailbox yet today? Chances are, this time of year, there may be a heartfelt and well-meaning message to you, asking you to give to a certain charity. The holidays are a reflective time of year, when people take stock of religious and moral values, and decide what’s truly important. Also, from a pragmatic point of view, it is a time when people are considering year-end giving to charity for tax purposes, and checks must be written before December 31st in order for them to be deductible on this year’s taxes.

The IRS has some tips for approved charitable year-end giving.

At Santiago Orchard Financial, we believe strongly in giving back to the community. We are here to help you figure out how best to give, and more importantly where to give. It is important to be responsible and knowledgeable before you write a check, so we have a few things for you to consider.

Gut Check
What are your passions? If you were king or queen for a day, what would you want to change to make life better for those around you? You might consider looking into charities that get you excited about assisting them financially in their goals. Do you want to end human trafficking? Build water wells in Africa? Help returning veterans rebuild their lives? Assist women and children in their lives after they leave an abusive home? There are about one million charities out there, so you can certainly find something that matches the issue that tugs on your heart.

Look Back

Before writing a check to a new organization, who have you supported in the past? Have they accomplished their goals? Check out their websites to see what they are doing that will either keep you interested in supporting them, or look for other opportunities. If a charity you’ve given to in the past isn’t clear on what kind of results they are achieving from your investment, it may be time to move on to one that will.

Time for Due Diligence
If an organization is financially healthy, they are freed up to do their mission well. So examine the charity’s finances. How much is going to the work that needs to be done? There are always administrative costs, but they should not be out-of-whack with the total budget.

How Clear is it Out There?

Is the charity transparent? Accountability is everything when an organization is taking someone’s hard-earned money and using it. They need to use it well. If a charity is an open book and follows the rules of good governance practices, they are less likely to be engaged in unethical conduct. Charity Navigator has objective ratings so you can compare several organizations who may be getting a check from you.

Our team at Santiago Orchard Financial is governed by three foundational principles

  • Customer Service

  • Education

  • Customizable Planning

We give our customers exceptional personal service, and it is an honor to assist you in planning your financial future. Contact us to get started today on ideas and information for your year-end charitable giving!