The Smarter Way of Donating to Charity

Saturday 22 July 2017


If you have a desire to donate to charity but are confused about the procedure, there are a few essential aspects you need to know about it. Instead of just rushing to give away your hard-earned wealth to the first asker, identify how every rupee can bring value to someone in need. You will learn not only how to donate, but who to donate to, and also ensure you avail a fair-sized tax benefit from it. Here is a simple guide to undertaking this noble deed that can help humanity.

1. Identify NGOs with credibility

There are many ways to find an NGO that has credibility in its promise to help the needy. Look into the people that comprise the NGO's leadership, and their professional history.  Also, look for their history of achievement in the social sector on their website and media presence. Their lineup of donors - individuals, foundations and corporations, and social media supporters is also an important factor.

2. Donate online

Donating online is the best way of giving to charity. Transactions are instant and secure. Ensure the NGO has a website with encryption technology - check for "https" in the URL. With an online transaction, you will have multiple records of it, via your debit/credit card receipts, as well as email receipts that confirm the transaction. A credit card online transaction can further be disputed in the case of discrepancies. This ‘paper trail’ is essential for tax purposes. Give directly to the charity's own website to ensure your money is transferred immediately and safely.

3. Claiming donation tax rebate

Section 80G (Income Tax Act) allows charity donors to claim tax rebates. However, you must ensure the charity you are donating to is formally registered with Societies Registration Act 1860, or Section 25 of the Companies Act 1956.

The NGO you donate to must not have a source of tax-exempted income, must not have expenditure that doesn’t support humanitarian causes, must not discriminate spending on community or caste, and must have transparent accounts of receipts and expenditure.

Documentation for filing income tax returns (ITR) to claim tax rebate:

i. The receipt must mention the name, address and PAN of the trust/organisation

ii.Form 58: Applicable for donations which provide 100% deduction.

iii. The organisation's Registration number with validity dates

iv. An 80-G Certificate

4. Donating resources and time

Along with providing financial support, you can also contribute your time, skills and passion. No matter what you know what to do, it is a skill that can help the NGO in its mission. Even a fresh-out-of-school youth can donate effort to fundraising campaigns in door-to-door donation drives, or events. Professionals can help pitch grant proposals to philanthropists, corporate entities, institutions, funding agencies, and government bodies. Plus, this work experience helps you network with sincere, like-minded individuals motivated to work for a noble cause. This can lead to a full-time career if you find that your passion lies in serving others.

Conclusion

Save the Children is one of the world's best NGOs for its ability to efficiently transform donations into value-additions to the needy. The NGO's well-designed programmes fight child exploitation, while also creating resources for child empowerment across India. The child development NGO is supported by 43000+ donors, who are part of a movement to give every child a future. Today's disadvantaged children can become tomorrow's empowered, educated and healthy children with your investment into their future along with the knowledge of making a difference, giving to the registered NGO also ensures you receive a tax benefit during tax season