After a week of reflecting upon what we are thankful for, it seems appropriate to follow up with a post on the significance of giving back to our communities. The day I am writing this (November 27) marks the inaugural “Giving Tuesday,” an initiative established by a NY group to follow up Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday to support those in need.
Providing service hours and funds has been a part of my life since I was a girl scout. In my adult years I have done things for others ranging from tutoring junior high students in reading through a church community outreach program to being an active member of a women’s service organization that spends its efforts to raise funds to support local charities that serve women and families in need.
In Arizona we have a way to provide significant contributions to the non-profits of our choice without actually impacting our wallets by donating through the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit. (Up until this year it was known as the Working Poor Tax Credit – I far prefer the new designation!) My bet is that other states have similar opportunities.
Dollar for dollar tax credits are available at the rate of $200 for singles and $400 dollars for married couples who donate to eligible agencies. This can be done in addition to the school ECA (Extra Curricular Activities) donations of the same dollar amounts! The credit applies directly towards reducing tax liability, and if donors don’t owe that much, the credit can be forwarded for up to five years.
If you are an Arizona resident, I urge you to check out a website which will make you a believer that you should donate: http://www.azdor.gov/TaxCredits/WorkingPoorTaxCredit.aspx . On the second paragraph there is a link to all qualifying charitable organizations; twelve full pages of groups in need throughout the state. I feel confident that you will find so many familiar organizations that it will be hard to decide where your money would be best utilized. Once chosen, go to the organization’s website and most likely there will be a link to make your donation. Receipts are issued, and then when it’s tax time, a simple “Form 321” is used for your credit! If by chance you don’t have a favorite charity, The Save the Family Foundation (http://www.savethefamily.org/STF_donation.htm) and Child Crisis Center (http://www.childcrisis.org) are two non-profits that the service organization I am part of endorse as entities that provide critical services. If you are not a resident of Arizona, I urge you to look for similar opportunities in your state.
The theme of our blog’s Friday posts is “fun,” and I strongly believe that doing things that benefit those in need is an enjoyable, rewarding way to have and bring joy to others. I am taking part in “Giving Tuesday” by making my tax credit donation, but know that any day can be “Giving Day,” and hope that you can join in on the fun!