News Release: Commissioner Adam Putnam's Communications Office
Tallahassee, FL – The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services offers five tips today that consumers should consider before make a charitable contribution this holiday season.
During the months of November and December, many generous Floridians contribute their hard-earned money to support important causes. The department helps Floridians make the most of their charitable contributions by providing information on charities registered to solicit in Florida at www.800helpfla.com or 1-800 HELP-FLA.
As Giving Tuesday approaches, the department encourages Floridians to take the following simple steps preparing to make a charitable contribution:
1. Give with a Plan
Find a cause that is meaningful to you and your family, do some research and set priorities. Most effective donations are not spur-of-the-moment.
2. Know Who You Are Giving To
Most charities in Florida are required to register with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and provide financial information. You can check a charity’s status online at www.800helpfla.com or by phone at 1-800-HELPFLA (1-800-435-7352) or 1-800-FL-AYUDA (1-800-352-9832).
3. Maximize Your Gift
If you decide to make a gift, find out if your employer will match your charitable contribution to maximize its value.
4. Keep Track of the Work Your Donation Supports
Once you have made your gift, mark your calendar with important dates of your charity’s meetings and key events for the year. You can also follow up your donation with a volunteer experience.
5. Understand the Tax Benefits
Most charitable donations are tax-deductible. Make sure you get the proper documentation, so that you can deduct your contribution at tax time. Keep a record of your donation; you should automatically receive a receipt from the organization. Don’t rely on a cancelled check to count as a receipt.
Visit the Gift Giver’s Guide or call 1-800 HELP FLA for more information.
For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visitwww.FreshFromFlorida.com
**Sources: United Way Worldwide, Charity Navigator