The Importance of Deductible Charity Donations

How to Deduct Charity 100 Donations From Your Income Taxes

Typically, only cash donations can be deducted from your taxes. To get the most benefit, you must itemize your deductions.

In our study, we found that participants were more likely to give to the most effective charity when they knew that it could save a life for $100. This suggests that most people don’t realize the magnitude of differences in charity effectiveness.


You can deduct contributions of cash and property to qualified charities. For property, the deduction is generally equal to the fair market value (FMV) of the property at the time you contribute it, less your basis in the property. See How to Figure Your Deduction When Limits Apply, later.

You contribute money to a charity that sponsors an archeological dig and lets you participate in it as a volunteer. Although you work several hours a day digging in the hot sun, you are allowed to claim travel expenses and meals as a charitable contribution because your participation isn’t considered labor.

Individuals who are 70 1/2 or older can use a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) from their individual retirement arrangement (IRA) to satisfy all or part of their annual required minimum distribution (RMD). QCDs reduce taxable income and count as nontaxable withdrawals for purposes of the contribution percentage limitation. See Pub. 590-B, Qualified Charitable Distributions from IRAs, for details.


Charity donors need to know exactly how their money is spent. Even if a charity receives non-cash donations such as clothing or cars, they should be able to tell you how the donated goods are valued and what is being done with them. If they cannot, be very careful as they may be selling your donation to a third party for the most possible profit. This type of activity distorts the calculation of program ratios and overhead costs.

Transparency is more than posting financial statements on a website. It requires a culture of openness and respect for donors. Unfortunately, many charities are reluctant to do this. The good news is that today, 92% of the Major 100 charities meet Charity Intelligence’s transparency benchmarks. However, five charities require donors to request their financial statements and three refuse to provide them. This is a significant improvement, but it’s not enough. Increasing transparency is one of the most important things charities can do to improve their accountability and reputation.


Wendy Steele launched Impact100 in 2001 to encourage women to think of themselves as activists and to use large grants to make change in their communities. This approach to collective giving is now replicated in chapters around the world, and Wendy is deeply proud of how these women are transforming lives.

Our ratings are based solely on private contributions, excluding government grants and payments for services. Click on a charity’s name to see its full profile, including information such as financial efficiency ratios and how much the highest-compensated individual receives in pay.

Violeta joined the global team in 2020, and is a key partner to the founder and CEO in supporting the goals and overall operational plans of Impact100. She brings over 30 years of professional experience in sales, marketing, and business development. She is also a founding member of the Impact100 SRQ chapter in Sarasota. She brings her passion for community and philanthropy with a deep commitment to collaboration and inclusion to the mission of Impact100.

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