Giving Back: Good for Business & You

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In a tough economic climate, many people find it difficult to carve out the time or money to donate to their favorite causes. But it's also when charitable organizations are in the most need. From volunteering a few hours a month to small donations, here are some easy ways to give back.

Doing Good Is Good Business

Charitable activities are a great way to increase brand exposure and community recognition. Businesses can help collect donations for the United States Marine Corps. Toys for Tots program. Toys for Tots also arranges for pick-up when the drive ends. Of course, catering a charity ball or donating merchandise to a charity sports event can be higher in cost. But, the fair market value of these services or goods may possibly be deductible from the company's taxes at year end. Qualifying charities are found in Publication 78, the Internal Revenue Service's list of deduction-eligible organizations.

Every Penny Counts

For those individuals and businesses that still have trouble carving volunteer time out of their busy holiday schedule, donations are always welcome. Most charities now accept individual donations as of any amount. Why not rally your employees around a good cause and contribute what you can? If a business is donating, it could also be a good tax deduction if it qualifies

A Family Affair

Heather Jack is Founder and President of The Volunteer Family. On their website, Jack explains her motivation for starting the organization, "After I had my daughter, I became acutely aware of the importance of family and community and how the two are interrelated."

She recommends projects to do at home, like "make recycled craft project kits - including all of the supplies and instructions - to give to children in a low-income preschool or after-school program." This would be a workable option for families with smaller children and the neediest schools can be found by contacting the local school board. Teens and their families can help build houses with Habitat for Humanity or deliver meals for Meals on Wheels. These activities take just a few hours a week to a few hours a month. Further, there is little to no monetary cost involved.

Help your business and yourself while you help others this holiday season. When it comes to ROI, the results are immeasurable.

Read more about charitable giving in LegalZoom's Article Center.

For more information visit:

The Volunteer Family

Habitat for Humanity

Toys for Tots

IRS

Meals on Wheels