Thanksgiving has passed, December is here and the holiday season is suddenly in full swing. Between holiday gatherings, shopping, wrapping presents, cooking, and maybe one or two—or more—Hallmark movies, the most wonderful time of year can feel, well, mostly overwhelming. On top of it all, there seems to be a big push for donations by almost every charitable organization you’ve ever heard of.
It’s not your imagination. The reality is that the end of the year is a very important time for nonprofit organizations. Nearly a third of annual charitable giving happens in November and December, causing organizations to rely heavily on donations made during this time to fulfill their mission. When you make a year-end gift, you help nonprofits like The ALS Association provide their core services, things like caregiver relief, nutritional supplementation and equipment loan. Additionally, you could allow for additional or new services to unfold, perhaps something innovative like a robotic arm or a feeding machine. Just as importantly, you help sustain the future, allowing the organization to be positioned successfully in a new calendar year, so that all services to people with ALS remain free of charge and needs are met to the fullest extent.
So the requests pour in, and you pick and choose the causes that are important to you. You are willing and able to give, but how can you make your gift meaningful not just for the organization, but for you as well? How can you get creative and move beyond the mundane process of writing checks and stuffing envelopes (or clicking to enter your credit card information), but rather turn your donation into something with a personal touch? Here are some ideas:
- Think about making a gift in honor or memory of a loved one. We live in a culture where many of us have so…much…stuff. A gift in someone’s name often has great meaning and sentiment attached to it, and can be an excellent alternative to that traditional fruitcake or bottle of wine.
- Designate your gift to a specific program. At the ALS Association that could be for caregiver relief, or a new piece of assistive equipment. You are in charge of your philanthropy and it should reflect your personal interests.
- Combine the two above! Let someone special know that a gift for caregiver relief, or nutritional assistance, or assistive communication equipment, has new has been made in his/her name, or in memory of a loved one.
- Double your gift when you leverage a gift with a Missouri State NAP Tax Credit. When you partake in this program, you greatly enhance your giving, with your out of pocket expenses typically coming out less than your original donation.
- Giving comes in many forms. The gift of time can be just as valuable as a monetary donation. If you really want to feel the power of the season, get hands-on. Consider becoming a volunteer with the ALS Association St. Louis Regional Chapter in whatever role makes sense for you—be it working in the office, on an event or perhaps in the home of a person with ALS. People with ALS and their families often need help with holiday decorating, wrapping presents or other household chores.
- And remember that your donation doesn’t just benefit the nonprofit. Any version of the above will likely get you closer to get a tax benefit for 2019, just as long as a gift is made before December 31.
The ALS Association St. Louis Regional Chapter wishes you a blessed, merry holiday season. To learn more about any of the options above, please contact Katie McGovern in the development office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-432-7257 ext 222. Happy giving!