If you’ve donated to charitable organizations in the past, you probably receive a thick stack mail from charities every week. It can be confusing and time consuming to keep up with the requests.
It’s a common practice for charities to sell, share, or rent your contact information with other charities. This is why they appear to reproduce in our mailboxes.
Take the following steps to create an organized giving plan before becoming more confused and frustrated about your contributions.
1. Decide which charities you want to support and make a list.
2. Decide how often you want to give: weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually?
3. Create a budget for your total annual contributions. Revise this as needed.
4. Save your receipts, in a file or envelope labeled with the current year, for tax purposes.
5. Reduce paper even further by calling charities, especially the ones you aren’t supporting, and opting out of mailed requests. Most charities will accept online donations.
You are now in control of your giving, and more mindful of where your contributions are going. Having a plan in place means you do not have to keep all the mail you receive from charities. Provide a home for the requests you decide to save, possibly a basket, box or file. Recycle or shred duplicate or non-relevant requests.
To learn more about charities you aren’t familiar with, how your donations are used, and which charities are committed to donor privacy go to this website, www.CharityNavigator.org.