Saturday, June 28, 2014

Why Professional Women Should Donate to Charity


Do you donate to charity?  Do you know why you donate to a specific charity? Do you make anonymous contributions or like to receive recognition? Whom do you give to, and why? Do you donate to small charities or larger ones? If you do not give back to your community now is the time to start.

Google executive Sheryl Sandburg states that less than 1/3 of the money that individuals gave to nonprofits in 2005 reached the poor. A study by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University showed that only 8% of charitable donations provide basic necessities, food and shelter.  Sandberg names two possible explanations for this “charity gap”: (1) It is easier to give to those in our own communities than to the truly economically disadvantaged who are outside our immediate circles of relationships; and (2) donors do not fully understand where their contributions are going.

Sandburg encourages Americans to consider the disconnect between their desires to do help the poor and the destination of their money.  According to a 2012 study from the Women's Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University women are more likely than men to give to charity in all income brackets. Women donate the most to animal welfare, medical research, health and human services, faith based charities, arts and culture.

People give based on their identity: who they are and how they view themselves. The degree to which identities are flexible, involve a willingness to act, and help make sense of the world has significant implications determining whether and how much people give.  If you are a professional successful woman you understand the importance of giving back and should make giving back a habit. 

According to Lauren Shin of, “Giving to women doesn't just impact the woman who receives the gift. It can improve the family's lives for generations. In fact, if you help enough women in one location, you can even lift a whole community out of poverty”.  Here are 4 ways to give back:

Charitable Organization Donations.
The organization must be recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization.  If you donate a cash gift greater than $250, the charity must acknowledge the gift in writing. If less, you’ll need a receipt, canceled check, or credit card statement. If you do payroll deduction, you need the pay stub or W-2 and they’ll provide acknowledgement saying this deduction was a charitable contribution. For non-cash gifts, request a receipt with the name and location of the nonprofit, date of the donation, and description of the item.

Give appreciated assets. 
Give appreciated assets.  Appreciated assets include stocks and real estate. By donating an appreciated asset, you can get the tax deduction based on the current value, not the lower value of the property when it was obtained.

Mentoring. Encourage women and girls.
Mentor or encourage women and girls in your personal and professional life or volunteer to mentor girls and women in your community.  Your community and workplace will definitely benefit from your advice no matter what it is. Just a kind word of encouragement “I believe in you”, can change someone’s life.

Invest in Others.
Donate money to a relative, friend who want to start a business or to a crowd funding initiative you believe in.  Obtaining business funding is a huge problem for many women business owners.  Also consider becoming an angel investor for a woman-owned startup or existing business.

“The most notable fact our culture imprints on women is the sense of our limits. The most important thing one woman can do for another is to illuminate and expand her sense of actual possibilities.”—Adrienne Rich

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