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Best Charity To Donate to

Best Charity To Donate to

Best charity to donate to.  Are you really looking for the best places to donate money? Or to be more specific, are you searching for nonprofits to donate to? Perhaps, you have extra funds to bequeath back to the community.  And in your search, you’ve found this page, right?

Well, that’s great because this page is really intended to help people like you.  You are among those who desire to make it right to make your money work for a great cause.  And you want to give to the right people or humanity through charitable programs.  I mean, these are programs that are managed by the right organizations or an institution to be your beneficiaries.

In simple terms, you want your charitable contributions to be well managed.  These are organizations that have the right programs for charitable donations.

Legal Aspects About Charitable Institutions:

As a donor, I understand you do not want to give your money to just any organization that claims to be charitable institutions.  Under the US government, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has rules and requirements for organizations to be legally recognized as such.  Once recognized, they will fall under what is known as Tax Exempt Organization or Charitable Organizations.

As a rule of thumb, those organizations with names “Doing business as” or DBA, are not listed among these tax-exempt organizations. 

The IRS website provides tax information for “charitable, religious, scientific, literary, and other organizations exempt under Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) section 501(c)(3).” So, if you would like to donate to an organization classified as a religious organization, they will be registered with the IRS subsection as 501(c)(3).

Be sure to consult your lawyer or accountant who has more knowledge about other charitable organizations registered with the IRS. As an ordinary citizen, understanding the IRS rules on these matters is quite complicated.  So please be sure to consult the professionals.

The IRS does provide a tool for searching these organizations.  It is called the Tax Exempt Organization Search (TEOS).  However, as of this writing, this tool is having some issues and they are still fixing it.

The advantage of Charitable Donations:

Whatever reasons why you exercise charitable giving, there are advantages that come with it.  Any US citizen including immigrants has the duty and obligation to pay taxes to the US government.  Business entities like partnerships and corporations, need to pay taxes too. 

Let us suppose these legal persons (individuals and business entities) engage in charitable contributions. This means they participate in charitable giving to tax-exempt organizations. The US government may allow a certain percentage of their contributions to be deducted from what they owe the government. As a result, after filing taxes, tax filers may receive tax refunds. 

Now here’s how tax refunds arise.  Tax refunds occur when an employee’s salary has been subjected to withholding tax.  Every regular payday, the government authorizes the employer to withhold taxes from an employee’s salary.  During tax filing season, a tax preparer may help determine the employee’s taxes.  All the employee benefits and privileges are accounted for.  This includes deducting whatever charitable giving the employee made to charitable organizations.  The tax preparer makes the necessary computations using software and reporting it with the necessary tax forms. 

Earlier, we made mention about religious organizations like churches.  Any tithes and offering you give to recognized tax-exempt churches are considered a charitable donation.

If the tax preparer finds out that the employee has underpaid the government, that employee needs to pay the government what he/she owes. On the other hand, if that employee has overpaid the government, then the employee gets a tax refund.  To faithful tithe givers, tax refunds are considered as a blessing!

best charity to donate to

How Charitable Contributions Can Be Recognized

When filing taxes, you do not just go to your tax preparer and claim you made tax-exempt donations. Every contribution should be properly and legally documented. These legal forms include receipts.  Included in the receipts from the charitable exempt organization is your name as a donor. This also includes the date you made the contribution and the specific amount.

The absence of these necessary documents may create discrepancies. Discrepancies lead to a red flag which can make you a candidate for an audit by the IRS. Certainly, this is one thing you do not want to happen after filing your tax.

Featured Charitable Giving:

 

As a Christian believer, I give my tithes and offerings through the church.  Again, tithes and offerings given through the church are considered by the IRS as charitable contributions.

If you believe in tithing but you are not sure which church to give it, you may give it through where I give. I return my tithes through Waterman Visayan Filipino American Seventh Day Adventist Church.  This church is an ethnic church of Filipino descent.

Waterman Visayan Fil-Am SDA Church is one of the organized churches of the Southeastern California Conference of Seventh Day Adventists.  Southeastern California Conference of SDA is classified by the IRS as a religious organization.  It has a tax-exempt privilege under the 501(c)(3) IRS subsection. All tithes given through Waterman Visayan Fil-Am SDA Church are forwarded to the Southeastern California Conference of SDA. Thus my tithes and contributions through the local church are recognized by the IRS as charitable donations.

The Church Needs Help:

  1. Church Building.

Waterman Visayan Fil-Am SDA Church has about 300 recorded members.  It is a fast-growing church and is presently overcrowded.  Whenever there are important events like the church anniversary celebration or evangelistic campaigns, there are not enough facilities to accommodate all members and visitors alike.

There are only two bathroom toilets for the men and two for the women.  The church extension at its rear end is not even completed yet. There are not enough classrooms to accommodate the children.  Some of them simply group together under the avocado trees for shade. The pulpit is too small to hold the church choir.  The church does not have a baptistery of its own.

There is a very tiny mothers’ room for nursing mothers.  It is not enough to keep pace with young families producing children fast.  Now the mothers’ room had just been converted to a prayer room instead.  There are no office spaces for its many ministries.

To solve these issues, the church has a plan to build a bigger sanctuary.  This plan has been in place for more than 5 years now.  With a goal of one million US dollars ($1,000,000), the members need help to reach it. Except for one practicing physician and one practicing dentist, the rest are just middle-income earners.  No wonder the church building fund is sluggish in its growth.

With the current pace of raising its church building fund, to reach its 1 million goal, it may need a far distant 10 years.  However, the cost of building the new church would have an upsurge by then too! Would you have a heart to help accelerate the building plans of this church?

2. The deficit in the Church Budget

Waterman Visayan Fil-Am SDA Church has a weekly goal of $2,700 for its operating expenses.  Yet, it only reaches its weekly goal once in a month or not at all.  Definitely, it is on the red.  Cost-cutting measures are in place.  All that the church members can do now is pray.  Praying hard for more help that it may not become bankrupt. Can you be an angel in helping this church to keep going?

Pathfinder Club – An Active Ministry for Children:

Recently, one of the teams of the Waterman Visayan Pathfinders Club has qualified to compete in the Union Level of the Pathfinder Bible Experience.  To qualify and participate in the Union level, a Pathfinder team should win first place during the conference level of this Bible bowl.  This is what the Alpha team from the Waterman Visayan Pathfinders did accomplish. The Union Level will be in Fresno, California on March 23.  If they gain first place at the Union level, they will move on to the finals at the North American Division level in Rockford, Illinois on April 26-27, 2019.

Waterman Visayan Fil-Am SDA Church is a very active fast-growing church.  It is alive with children.  One of its very active department is the Pathfinder Club.  The Pathfinder Club is a religious affiliated scouting organization handled by the church.  It caters children and teens from 10 years old and above.

Six years ago, Waterman’s Pathfinder Club had only 5 regular Pathfinders.  Today it has tremendously grown to 52 children and teens plus adult Master Guide trainees and staff.  This club trains children to be well rounded, skilled Christian leaders and responsible citizens.  It attracts children participate in church adventure activities and to have a closer relationship with Jesus.  Deeply studying the Bible to get involved in Bible bowl competition enhances their spiritual well being.

Marching drills encourage discipline.  Learning skills through honors is practiced.  Visiting and singing for the elderly is one of their missions.  Feeding the homeless was one of their activities.

Last year, they did winter camping.  In 2017, the teens participated in the Teen River trip that involved canoeing for more than 20 miles down the Colorado River starting from Needles, California.

In August this year 2019, the club will be participating in the International Pathfinder Camporee in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  They will field in three drill teams to compete in basic, advance, and fancy marching drill categories.  More than 20 of their Pathfinders want to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior through baptism during that event.

With all these activities, the whole club is faced with financial challenges.  These are challenges to make their trips, accommodation, and food expenses possible. They need sponsors like you to keep them going.  Please, you are needed to be one of their sponsors.

Feeding the homeless
Waterman Pathfinders feeding the homeless.
Waterman Visayan Pathfinders In A Parade
Waterman Visayan Pathfinders joining a parade.
Waterman Pathfinders mission: visiting and singing for elderly patients.
Waterman Pathfinders at work.
Waterman Pathfinders at work: sorting and packing donated goods to be given to calamity victims.
Canoeing river trip - the Waterman Pathfinder teens
Waterman Pathfinder teens joined the canoeing river trip organized by the Southeastern California Conference for the Pathfinder teens.
Monkey bridge by the Waterman Pathfinders
Waterman Pathfinders constructing their own monkey bridge.
Waterman Pathfinders baking honor
Water Visayan Pathfinders doing their baking honor.
Making a prayer.
Waterman Visayan Pathfinder teens huggle in prayer.

Online Giving:

The website of Waterman Visayan Fil-Am SDA Church has just recently been reactivated.  You can make charitable contributions thru its website at https://www.watermansda.org. Simply click on the “online giving” link on the right upper section of the screen. By clicking on this link, you will be redirected through the Adventistgiving.org site with the name Waterman Visayan Fil-Am Seventh-Day Adventist Church. 

  • If you need to give your tithe, simply enter the amount of tithe in the tithe section.
  • To support the Church building project, enter your amount in the Church Building Fund line under the Local Church.
  • To provide a charitable donation for the Pathfinders, fill in your amount in the Pathfinders section of the Local Church.
  • Or to give to the church budget for its operations and other options, you may enter the amount in any of the appropriate blanks.

By the way, you may be requested to create a login account to be able to donate.  Usually, the Southeastern California Conference of the Seventh Day Adventist will send you a receipt for all the contributions you made.  This will be done once a year, usually during January of the new year for your tax purposes.

How Do You Know The Organization You Will Be Contributing Is A Recognized Charitable Institution?

Above, I have shown you how you can give your tithe and offerings online.  But how will you know if you are giving through a legitimate charitable organization? 

In the above example, I have mentioned that Waterman Visayan Fil-Am SDA Church is one of the churches of Southeastern California Conference of Seventh Day Adventists.  This Southeastern California Conference is located at Riverside, California.  It is classified as a religious organization and holds a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt privilege. Therefore, Southeastern California Conference may be listed in some sites as a charitable organization but not Waterman Visayan Fil-Am SDA Church.

There are two examples of sites I can search for charitable institutions. These are https://www.charitywatch.org and https://www.charitynavigator.org. In both of these sites, type in Southeastern California Conference in their respective search bar.  It will be shown listed in their respective results. However, you may need to pay a membership fee with Charitywatch.org.

Both of these sites give their ratings for the different charitable organizations.  Their ratings are based on many different factors which may not be the same.  Thus, one organization may be in the top ten of one website but may not belong to the top ten of the other. Their top charitable sites are also based on which category does the charitable organization belong. For example, under the category of animals, the American Eagle Foundation belongs to the top listed organizations for Charity Navigator.  But it is nowhere to be found among the top for Charity Watch as shown below. Thus, considerable factors differ between Charity Watch and Charity Navigator.

Charity Navigator
Charity Watch

The best-rated ones may usually receive more donations and sponsorships.  But I can still donate to the less popular ones because they are registered with the IRS anyway.  So your preference is all up to you.

But here’s the important reason for using Charity Watch and Charity Navigator.  I can use either or both of them as a tool to research for best charities to donate to.  As research tools, I can use them to find out if the charity organizations I am researching are legitimate or not.  This is because their lists include only the legitimate ones.

Pathfinders Club: Waterman Visayan Pathfinders Club
The Waterman Visayan Pathfinders Club

Conclusion:

So what do you think are the best charities to donate to? For me, everything is up to you.  Giving tithe as charitable donations or for whatever cause, as long as it is recognized by the IRS, I’m okay with it.  So, if my preference is to help organizations involved with children, so be it! I can freely say Waterman Visayan Pathfinder Club through their church and Southeastern California Conference is the best for me because I am building up children! Building up children for God’s cause is the best. Then you and I can go to https://www.watermansda.org

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE:

This blog and its articles/posts may contain affiliate links. An affiliate link is like a regular link, but the person who shared the link gets credit for any purchase you may make. Any affiliate link here will not increase the cost of that product or service to you. We only receive a commission at no extra cost to you. You are not required to spend any money on any products or services being offered unless you feel you need them.

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