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Tips for giving more: Turn down the freebies

September 17, 2009

So, you have made your charitable budget and been creative about giving more than money. Here’s one final tip (for now) about how you can help your favorite charity by saving them money on the “freebies” you sometimes get in return for your donation.

The IRS sets a limit for how much a charity can give you back in “thanks” before it affects the amount you can legally deduct. But what if you just said up front that you’d rather not receive a calendar, a key ring or even a fancy thank you card? The charity saves the money from the gift — and then can use it to thank someone else.

We are not against promoting your favorite charity. After all, bumper stickers are a form of marketing that can spread the word to others about your favorite charity. But while we are all trying to save money, it might be less costly to sign up as a Fan of your favorite charity on their Facebook page and wait to replace your key ring until the recession is over.

In the meantime, if you have other creative ways to support your favorite charity in these hard times, let us know.

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