For some people, charitable donations are done for financial reasons. For other people, charity comes from a place of altruism. However, the vast majority of us volunteer our time or donate our money with a little bit of both in mind.
In the U.S., the tax benefits of giving are known about, but rarely fully understood. Beyond the tax breaks, donations can be an economic asset for our communities. And, potentially most importantly, giving to charity has been shown to improve your mental and physical health.
Economic Help for You
When it comes time to put your tax documents together, a lot of us get stressed. This usually stems from not being as planned out with our finances as we had hoped to be. The thing to keep in mind is that receiving tax breaks from charitable donations only takes a few simple steps.
First, keep track of your donations of money and goods via receipts, bank statements or letters of acknowledgment from qualified charities. Second, note any mileage you rack up while volunteering. Lastly, make sure your donations total more than the standard deduction so that it is the most financially beneficial for you.
Giving also has a bit of a snowball effect on our lives. Charities have stated that the more people give, the more likely they are to get involved in other ways. With that in mind, the more you give, the more likely you are to hit the requirements of tax breaks and receive that monetary payoff from the government you have been hoping for.
Financial Benefits for Society
One of the largest financial benefits you can give to the charity of your choice is your time. Volunteer hours save organizations a lot of money that can be used for more direct assistance to those in need. These saved dollars also contribute to the longevity of an organization.
There are many people that require the help of local safety net programs that offer assistance in times of crisis or emergency. Charitable giving to these organizations serves the communities in which you live, but also helps lower their need to request funds from other means.
Health Improvements for All of Us
Monetary benefits are always welcome when finding ways to give back to your community, but the ways in which charitable donations can help us physically seems to be innumerable. From our minds to our bodies, the connection we feel to our fellow humans after giving is immense.
Studies have shown that humans feel the same sorts of joy from giving as they do from exercising, eating and giving someone a nice big hug. When asked, most people attribute their giving to a sense of moral duty to help others in need.
We also tend to get a stronger sense of social connection when we spend time volunteering for those less fortunate than ourselves. And if you needed another reason, charitable giving often acts to de-stress our minds on a daily basis.
In life, you usually get what you give and charitable donations are no different. As much as we may need a little financial kickback from Uncle Sam, the ways in which giving puts positivity into the world and into ourselves are almost immeasurable and needed now more than ever.