Beyond Taxes Series #2: Give Back To The Community

6:26 AM Jamaal Solomon 0 Comments Category :

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” ~ Muhammad Ali

On September 24th, I had the pleasure of helping to organize an entrepreneurial workshop with my fraternity. Our goal is to host about five entrepreneur workshops within the next nine months. It is so easy to think that our unique life situation is so hard. We must always remember that there is someone in the world that has it a little rougher than us. We must not assume that our "perfect" or "hard" life will last forever. For example, you can have a great house and the next day a fire can burn it down within minutes. We have to find a way to appreciate life AND find ways to give back to the community.

You don't have to be a freedom fighter to make a difference. Everyone was not built to be a protester. Personally, I'm definitely not fit to be a freedom fighter. However, I have conducted many free financial workshops and seminars in my community. Learn what what skill or talent that you can share with the world. Small actions can make huge differences in your community. Imagine if you found time to mentor someone for a couple of hours a month? Your influence can help your apprentice get to the next level and quite possibly that apprentice can help someone else.

It doesn't matter if you give back as an individual or part of a group. It doesn't matter if you can only either volunteer your time or money but not both. Just know that there is no excuse on not giving back to the world. Don't just donate for a possible tax deduction. A tax deduction is nice but give back as your contribution to society.

Resources is a good start to find a cause or organization worth your time. use this link to find out if an organization is in compliance with the IRS. Do you research and just don't give your money to anyone who asks.

Important Tips on Deducting Charitable Contributions

Your gift of cash or property must meet certain criteria in order to be tax-deductible:

  1. You must actually donate cash or property. A pledge or promise to donate is not deductible until you actually pay.
  2. You must contribute to a qualified tax-exempt organization. Charities will let you know if they have received their 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. Some organizations are not required to obtain 501(c)(3) status from the IRS. These include churches and other religious organizations.
  3. You must be able to itemize. Giving to charity is a great tax planning strategy, but it only works for people who are eligible to itemize their deductions.
  4. You must meet record keeping requirements. This includes saving canceled checks, acknowledgment letters from the charity, and appraisals for donated property.