The act of donating isn’t always intuitive.
That’s why more often than not, it requires an ask.
However, when it comes to asking a potential donor for money, you’ll need to provide an incentive stronger than “because.” Your donors need a benefit following their decision to give--the more immediate the better.
So what are the advantages of donating to Greek organizations that are looking to grow?
As in, what’s in it for the donor?
Well, for starters...
1. You can use donations to Greek organizations in your tax deductions.
When the U.S. government passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts in 2017, it increased the standard deduction. This means that now there is a lower incentive to use the itemized-deduction structure—and that includes charitable donations.
However, the previous limit to how much you could deduct for charitable cash contributions increased from 50 percent to 60 percent in certain cases.
This means that any additional money you earmark for donation to Greek organizations and other nonprofits will go even further than before for your itemized deductions.
2. Giving is good for the mind and body.
What’s the action you can take most likely to inspire someone to donate to your cause?
It turns out that, in the case of 85% of charitable donations, people gave because someone asked them to donate.
This is so because people generally want to help others, and if you give them a worthwhile reason, they’ll take action. Donors are motivated by a variety of factors such as feelings of personal altruism or a need for external validation, but among the strongest is the desire to make an impact.
When we’re given the opportunity to make a tangible impact on the lives of our communities or our world around us, it has a biological effect on our minds and bodies: it makes us happier.
Remember that the act of giving is a healthy one, so give your potential donors the opportunity to have a real impact on someone’s life.
3. Donations don’t have to be in the form of money.
A common hang-up for many donors is money; some reasonably believe they’ve got nothing to spare.
However, one big advantage of donating to a charitable organization like a fraternal order is the fact that your donations do not have to be monetary.
You can donate your time.
Do the undergraduate members need help setting up an event? Moving into the fraternity house? Etc. In the eyes of Uncle Sam, if you’re donating your time in some capacity, that has value, and ultimately that time is tax-deductible*.
*Special Note: It’s important to recognize here that your tax-deductible time are the expenses you occur during the time you’re volunteering. For example, in the earlier example of helping undergraduate brothers move into the fraternity house, your gas expense or any items purchased to assist this project would be tax-deductible here—not the subjective value of your time.
4. It keeps these organizations alive.
Here’s a statistic you may be unaware of:
75% of charitable donations come from individual giving.
On top of that, there are roughly 1 million charitable nonprofits in the U.S. and about 105,000 private foundations. There’s a lot of need out there, and a lot of pressure on individuals to keep these organizations operating.
This means each of your donations to a Greek organization has a greater impact on their longevity than you realize.
As we mentioned before, the act of contributing to a worthy cause in a way that creates real impact is what creates the biggest return for donors: happiness.
So, if you’re ready to donate to an organization in exchange for the benefits mentioned above, here’s how to get started.
Claim a Charitable Donation.
If you want to make a charitable donation, there are a few steps toward getting started:
- You must have written confirmation from the charity to claim a tax deduction for cash, a check, or any other monetary gift.
- This confirmation needs to have the name of the organization on it, the date, the contribution, and the amount of the gift.
- The confirmation must state the value of anything you’ve received in exchange.
- Note: Charities are required to provide written acknowledgment for donations over $250, but they must give you a receipt for a contribution of any size, so be sure to ask.
- You can’t deduct cash donations you drop into a charity collection box, because there’s no way to document such donations, and the IRS isn’t keen on taking your word for it. Get a receipt. Donate smart.
- You must file IRS Form 8283 with your tax return if you claim more than a $500 non-cash donation.
- Do section 1 if the item’s value was between $501 and $5,000.
- The charity must complete Part IV of Section B if it was worth $5,001 or more.
- You’ll also need an appraisal to confirm the value of your gift, in this case.
- Note: You only have to submit the appraisal with your tax return if the gift was worth more than $500,000.
When to Time Your Donations
Your contributions have to be paid in cash or other property before the close of your tax year in order to be tax-deductible. This will depend on whether you used the cash or the accrual method.
The Final Takeaway
Giving is good.
It’s a beneficial act to the receiver as well as the donor, but it’s important to remind your potential donors of this, and more importantly, how it affects them. There are significant advantages to donating to Greek organizations that go beyond real tax benefits, affecting everything from the longevity of the organization receiving the donation to the wellbeing of the donor.
So, give your donors the last push to inspire a donation: tell them how much it matters to your cause, to your organization, to them, and more importantly, their wallet.
If you’d like access to more detailed financial resources and guides
Call 1.785.843.1661 or contact us directly here.