The busiest time of year is here.
The kids are about to be on holiday break. Your family getaway is right around the corner. Before you know it, you’ll be eating Christmas dinner and opening presents with family and friends. If you’re not careful, you’ll be making New Years Eve plans and it will all of a sudden dawn on you: I only have one day left to reach my charitable giving goals for 2021!
Don’t be caught off-guard as the clock is about to strike twelve on December 31st. Here are three reasons not to wait until the last minute to make a tax deductible gift for 2021 (number three will certainly surprise you):
1. Ditch the frenzy – Save yourself time and disappointment
Procrastination can be a recipe for disappointment. We’ve all waited until the last minute to go shopping for the holidays. Your online options are limited by what will arrive before Christmas if you wait too long. Your retail options are limited to the colors and sizes still available on the store shelves.
This can happen to your charitable giving goals too. At the beginning of the year, you have the best of intentions when you make your charitable giving goals. Maybe you’ve set out to give more this year or you’re planning to give to a larger number of charities you care about.
December may roll around but you still haven’t completed your giving goals. Maybe you wanted to give more this year, but between buying presents, traveling to see family, and splurging on a few Black Friday deals, you’re now strapped for cash.
Save yourself the time and disappointment of making last-minute, last-ditch charitable efforts before celebrating the New Year. Meet your charitable giving goals early this year. You’ll be able to spend more time with your family, enjoy the holidays, and reach your goals for 2021 without any last minute surprises.
Take thirty minutes this week and complete what you set out to accomplish on January first. It will save you time and disappointment. You can give as much or as little as you want to any charity with 501(c)3 status and it will be tax deductible. But it will only count towards your 2021 taxes if you make the donation before time runs out.
2. Immediately benefit a nonprofit by donating sooner rather than later
If you wait until the last minute to complete your charitable giving goals, you’re not alone. December 31st is the most important day of the year for non-profit organizations for a reason. Every year, a significant percentage of the nonprofit’s charitable revenue is raised on a single day: December 31st.
No nonprofit will ever complain about the timing of people’s generosity. Generosity is generosity, no matter when it’s given or received. With that said, one day out of the year can make or break a nonprofit’s plans for the future.
Will we make the budget? Will we be able to continue essential programming? Will we be able to introduce new programming this coming year?
If you give your gift before December 31st, it will help nonprofit organizations work more efficiently with increased confidence going into the new year.
3. The elusive deadline is a day earlier this year
December 30th is approaching quickly. Wait, don’t I have until December 31st to complete my charitable giving goals for 2021?
If you’re planning to send your favorite nonprofit a check in the mail to complete your giving goal for 2021, it has to be mailed by December 30th this year. December 31st is the federal holiday observance of New Years Day and post offices will be closed. That means the post office won’t be collecting mail and won’t be stamping mail for 2021 on December 31st. You’ll have to get it in the mailbox before the post office picks up your mail on December 30th for it to count towards 2021.
As always, you can still reach your charitable giving goals at the last minute if you prefer to donate online. Any donation made online before the clock strikes twelve on December 31st still counts for 2021.
If you prefer to make your donation in person, you should reach out to the nonprofits of your choice and ask what their business hours are for December 31st. Most of them will probably remain open throughout the day, despite the federal observance of New Years Day. But some of them might be closed on December 31st this year or close early in observance of New Years Day.
Don’t wait. Make a plan today.
The deadline to make a last minute donation is one day sooner due to the federal observance of New Years Day on December 30th this year.
If you would like to give a special year-end gift to your favorite nonprofit, aside some time this week (or maybe even this evening) to make a plan to reach your charitable giving goals before December 30th rolls around. Time is on your side now, but 2022 will be here before we know it!
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