Users of Charity Navigator, and just about anyone opening their mailbox around now, know that requests for charitable donations soar at the end of the year. Why? There are three main reasons.
- The religious nature of the holidays inspire people to help those who are less fortunate.
- Taxpayers need to make their donations by December 31 to qualify for a tax deduction in this calendar year.
- As the year comes to a close, people look at their personal budgets and determine how much money they have for their charitable interests.
That said, we are fearful that giving will continue to be down this holiday season as it was last year. The recession has hindered many people's ability to support their favorite charities resulting in the biggest drop in charitable giving in the last fifty years. Even if the economy improves, it will likely take many months for charitable giving to rebound.
Thankfully, Shelly Banjo over at the Wall Street Journal has some smart ideas for how you can still afford to give in this down economy.