Local charities use gifts efficiently

One day remains to make a charitable gift that benefits others, make you feel good for your actions, and allows you to take a tax deduction for 2012.

A new tax year starts Tuesday.

When you make a gift, give with confidence to Curry and Roosevelt charities that have been designated by the Internal Revenue Service as 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. If you are unsure about the charitable status of a group, ask to see their letter from the IRS or search directly online using IRS Publication 78.

Nearly all schools, churches, synagogues, and temples qualify for charitable deductibles.

If you are unsure about the work of a charitable group, check it out online or make a personal visit or telephone call before you make your donation.

Most charities, like the church missions, food bank, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), and United Way make efficient use of gifts.

This is important since charitable organizations are stewards of private money donated for the public good.

No one wants their contribution used unproductively. You may designate your gift for a charity's general fund or restrict your donation to a specific purpose, like a scholarship at Eastern New Mexico University or Clovis Community College.

Simply talk to a charity's executive director to discuss their needs and how you can benefit their efforts. All quality charities will welcome such a discussion. It indicates your interest to become a long-term partner with them.

Methods to make a gift go beyond simply giving cash — although such gifts are critically needed. When making a cash gift, be sure to write a check. It serves as a receipt if the charity fails to send you one with a thank you letter. Make sure you designate on the check's notation line how the gift is to be used: general fund or specify a purpose.

You can also give property or stocks or bequests through a will. Talk with your favorite charities to learn about options.

New Mexico is "The Land of Enchantment," but hope for others with needs begin with each of us. If we provide hope through our donations, children, women, men will benefit. If we do not, they remain unsheltered, hungry, lost, abused, neglected, or left without mentors to guide their lives.

Give with confidence to Curry and Roosevelt county charities.

Portales native J. Michael Slinker is a consultant in Klamath Falls, Ore., with 38 years of experience in fundraising, public relations, and marketing. Contact him at:

jmslinker@gmail.com

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