Give a gift. Change a life.

By Cynthia Alwizer

It’s that time of the year when people start looking for quick ideas on tax deductions.

One question that often comes up is, “How can I get a tax deal for charitable giving?”

We invite you to consider writing a check to Maji Mazuri. There are obviously rules, restrictions and limits that apply, but basically, documented donations offer a dollar-for-dollar income tax deduction. Make a tax-deductible gift that helps save lives. Your gift today is so important!  When you give, you give dignity, childhood opportunity, health, education, time, jobs, hope, equality, life and so much more.

Now might also be a good time to consider a long range plan for making a difference. We are a giving nation, and a lot of that giving is facilitated through private businesses, corporations and their employees. As the year comes to an end, it’s a good time to consider a business structure for giving thanks.

There’s many ways to give:

Donate. Pick a cause close to your heart and make a difference today with a tax-deductible donation.

Serve on the board. Some corporations allow the use of company time for managers and executives to serve on charitable boards. Consider serving with Maji Mazuri. We value your insight.

Give financial assets. If you are able to engage in more sophisticated planning, consider giving a tangible assets like cars and equipment, or business assets including company stock.

Encourage your employees to participate. It may be as simple as permitting employees to serve Maji Mazuri during the Christmas season. Giving impacts your bottom line. Arif Halaby of Total Financial Solutions advices the key is to use a targeted and documented approach showing how the business and its employees give back to the community.

Leverage the giving power of your employees. Gift matching programs have proven to be a popular way to encourage and enhance employee giving. Gift matching send a message. It gives the employee a feeling of control over charitable donations, and creates an appreciation for how the company is willing to be a partner.

Give volunteer time off. Many companies have embraced the concept of “volunteer time off” or “VTO”. The idea is to formally allow a paid day-off each year to provide volunteer services. The services can be through company-sponsored events or of the employee’s choosing. Because it is a purely voluntary option, the VTO day becomes a part of the company’s employee benefit plan.

As you begin planning for the remainder of the year, and for the future, consider how you can give thanks by giving back, and doing it in a way where everyone wins … you, your business, your employees and the lives you change with your charitable giving.

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