The end of the year is often a scramble to make last-minute charitable gifts in an effort to boost annual tax deductions.
To that point, 17.5 percent of donations are made in December, significantly more than any other month. And for those who make online donations, it's even more concentrated, with 29 percent made in December — 11 percent in the last three days of the year alone.
While this trend is unlikely to change anytime soon, financial advisors say having a plan to determine your giving throughout the year could help avoid a lot of headaches at year-end. It can also ensure you are maximizing the impact of your donations and ending up with the deductions you're counting on.
If you want to make sure your donation is tax deductible, check if the organization is legitimate and is qualified to accept deductible contributions. These steps will make sure you have not donated to phony charities.
If you're considering giving to an organization that you're not very familiar with, it's important to do some due diligence before making a gift. This includes checking to see whether the organizations fall under Internal Revenue Service section 501(c)(3), which means it is qualified to receive tax-deductible donations.