The views expressed in Economy Matters are not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta or the Federal Reserve System.

Editor's note: Throughout Economy Matters, "Southeast" refers to the six states that, in whole or in part, make up the Sixth Federal Reserve District: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

Financial Tips from the Atlanta Fed: Charitable Giving

December 1, 2021

two volunteers packing boxes for charity

Nota del editor: Este artículo también está disponible en español.

Whether your passion is animals, children, education, the environment, or another area, opportunities abound for you to share your time, talents, and treasures with various organizations. During the pandemic, charitable giving grew to $471.44 billion in 2020, a record high. Before you open your pocketbook, you may want to learn more about the organizations as well as the tax implications and opportunities associated with your philanthropy.

  • You may be trying to decide which charity or nonprofit organization is the best match for you. Online resources can help you research charities as part of your decision-making process. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a tax-exempt organization search tool, which allows you to check an organization's eligibility to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions.
  • Take your time to make your giving decisions. Scammers use charity fraud to try to trick you out of your money. One major red flag is receiving a call, email, or text that tries to pressure you to contribute right away. Charity fraud can be reported using the fraud reporting tool from the Federal Trade Commission.
  • The IRS provides tax information, tools, and resources for charities and tax-exempt organizations as well as individuals. Be aware that IRS guidelines and your specific eligibility may change from year to year.