'Tis the season of giving, but you want to smart about your giving, to make sure your dollars end up going to the charities that need them most. Cheryl Cooper from Navigator Credit Union stopped by Studio 10 to share tips on smart giving during the holidays.

From Navigator Credit Union:

The holidays are a time for good cheer and for many, giving to charities. In fact, the BBB reports American charities receive one-third of their annual giving during the holiday season. Navigator Credit Union’s Director of Marketing Cheryl Cooper is here to talk about charitable giving, which is a really big part of what credit unions do.

Navigator believes in making personal connections and helping the communities we serve. We commit time and money to causes you care about through civic and charitable initiatives, including the United Way, Special Olympics, MS Society, American Heart Association, Boys and Girls Clubs, Habitat for Humanity, area schools and disaster relief.

As an individual donor, you can make a big impact too. Here are some things you should consider to ensure your dollars truly go to the charities that deserve them most.

Watch out for name similarities

Some phony charities use names resembling those of legitimate charitable organizations. In fact, even many legitimate groups have similar-sounding names, but do not serve the same purpose. It’s important to always verify the name and group before you donate.

Do your homework

Consider how much of your donation will go to the program you want to support, and how much will cover administrative costs. Legitimate groups will gladly provide information about their mission and how your donation will be used. If a charity is unwilling to provide you with such information, be suspicious.

Avoid on-the-spot donation decisions

Resist high-pressure or highly emotional appeals, as legitimate charities won't pressure you to give on the spot. Responsible organizations will welcome your gift tomorrow as much as they do today.

Also, never give out your personal information, such as account or Social Security numbers, in response to phone or e-mail solicitation.

Stretch Your Money

To make sure your philanthropy packs the largest punch possible:

Make contributions with a credit card or check (rather than cash) for easier accounting and better security, and ask for a receipt.

Consult your tax adviser or irs.gov to verify that your contributions are made to qualified organizations and are tax-deductible.

Find out if your employer offers a matching grant program and will double your contributions.

About Navigator Credit Union

Navigator has served communities on the coast for nearly 80 years. In 1939, the credit union began offering savings accounts and loans to local shipyard workers who, until then, had not had access to financial services. Today, Navigator is a full-service financial institution offering interest-bearing checking accounts, high-yield savings plans, unlimited rewards credit cards, mortgage services, competitive vehicle loans, retirement planning and more. Visit navigatorcu.org for additional information.

All content © 2018, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved. 


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