There are several ways to make charitable donations. (1) Writing a check to what the IRS considers a qualified organization is probably the easiest way to give. The tax benefits are immediate; (2) giving appreciated assets directly to the charitable organization helps you to avoid capital gains on their sale; (3) naming charitable organizations as beneficiaries on your insurance policies, individual retirement accounts (IRA) or 401(k)s makes a gift when you are gone; and (4) a donor-advised gift is a charitable vehicle that lets you make a gift of cash, appreciated assets or other property. You are eligible for a tax deduction in the same year you make the gift. But in the fund, your gift can be invested and grow tax-free. For more information, read IRS Publication 526.
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