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Encompass® Agency Insights

Small Business Charitable Giving: Making the Most of Your Donation

Gift giving.

With the holiday season upon us, now is a time to give thanks for what we have and give back to the community. While your small business may not have the financial resources of a global corporation, your company can still make a powerful impact through charitable giving. These are four considerations you may wish to keep in mind for end-of-year charitable giving.

1. Explore giving options beyond financial donations.
Finding the financial resources to make a meaningful donation may be challenging for smaller businesses with tighter budgets. While donations of any size are always appreciated, donating time and needed supplies can be just as impactful. Consider the other resources you have at your disposal. Do you have excess inventory or materials that can be donated to a community group like Habitat for Humanity or a local women’s shelter? Even donating unused office supplies like paper or printer ink could help a non-profit cut down on administrative costs and help financial donations go directly to program funding rather than overhead expenses. Finally, consider your company’s expertise and professional services. Is there pro bono work you can offer to a nonprofit? For example, a small design agency could donate a free website to a nonprofit or an accounting firm could offer to review a community group’s end-of-year books for free.

2. Maximize your local impact. As you consider which charitable giving option is right for your business, consider supporting local causes that will make an immediate difference for your greater community. For example, you can partner with local community groups to host a food or toy drive donation collection station. You can also contact your local chapter of the Red Cross to host a blood drive. Or, work with a local volunteer group to support community ;beautification efforts, like cleaning up a park. Your employees and customers will see first-hand the impact that their donations make and may be more likely to support your efforts.

3. Taking a tax deduction. Charitable contributions may qualify as tax deductions against your business’s annual tax liability. Donations that are eligible for a tax deduction include cash, volunteered services, sponsorship of local charity events or the donation of inventory or services made to 501(c)(3) organizations, according to the IRS. For property or inventory deductions, the IRS requires you to assess their fair market value. You can confirm the tax-exempt status of a charitable organization or nonprofit by checking the IRS “Exempt Organizations Select Check Tool.”

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