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Businesses are often asked to make donations to all sorts of charities. As a business owner, it is good to support causes that you believe in and want to give a helping hand to. How can you know if your dollars are going where you intended?
Some charities hire third party telemarketing companies that keep the bulk of the donations, other charities use familiar sounding names to solicit donations but aren't exactly who you think they are, and unfortunately some are just not legitimate charities. We have a few tips to help you feel confident that your money is well-spent when you make a donation.
Before you donate
Think about the causes that are important to you. You can then pick the charities you want to support and make a donation before you are even asked. This gives you more control in your ability to research causes and find the most effective way to support them. You'll be less likely to respond to pressure and your money may go further because during appeals a portion of the donations go to funding the appeal itself.
When you are approached by a charity
DO NOT RESPOND TO PRESSURE AND EMOTIONAL APPEALS
Do not let yourself be pressured into contributing on the spot. You have a right to say no. A legitimate organization will not pressure you to give immediately.
Be firm when you don't want to give. For your own sake and for the sake of the charity making a request, it is better to say "no" rather than "maybe." You can't support everything so don't feel bad about saying "no." Without a decision, the charity will contact you again, you'll feel bothered and pressured.
After you donate
Keep records of your donations. Be sure to obtain a receipt or printed copy of your donation so you will have a record for tax purposes. Registered charities are not required to issue an official donation receipt. However, the Canada Revenue Agency advises charities to notify potential donors of any circumstances in which they will not issue an official donation receipt.
You should be aware that you cannot claim a charitable tax credit or deduction unless you have an official donation receipt.
Other ways to give back to your community:
For more information you can visit CRA's Giving to Charity: Information for Donors.