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Why Budgeting a Little For Charity Really Pays

Sun, 11 Dec 2016 08:00:00 -0500

The founder of the Make Our Day nonprofit explains how much small gifts to a charity can do.


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10 Tips To Avoid Charity Rip-offsIt's your money.Use the Internet.Watch for sound-alike charities.Make sure your charity is tax-deductible.Carefully eye instant charities.Beware pleas for cops and firemen.Don't ignore financial efficiencies.Pay by check.Get a receipt.Make sure the solicitor is authorized.Be wary of cold-call telephone pitches.

Sun, 11 Dec 2016 08:00:00 -0500

Good intentions aren't enough when you donate to charity. You need to make sure your charitable dollars aren't being wasted--or worse, going to a fraudster. Here are some simple steps to take.

For efficiency ratings of the nation's 200 largest charities, click here.

Do some research to determine a charity's bona fides. Online sites run by Guidestar.com and the BBB Wise Giving Alliance have lots of free information. So does your state's regulator of charities. Take a close look at the charity's own website, too.

For efficiency ratings of the nation's 200 largest charities, click here.

The well-established Alzheimer's Association once had to warn the public it was totally different from Conquer Cancer and Alzheimer's Now Foundation, run by controversial "nonprofit entrepreneur" Roger Chapin. Make sure you're giving to the exact cause you want.

For the latest on Roger Chapin, click here.

Not all causes allow you to deduct your contributions from your taxable income. You can check online with the Internal Revenue Service here.

They tend to pop up at first word of a world disaster like a flood or earthquake. But it is extremely unlikely they'll be better at getting aid to some far-away place than an established nonprofit.

For more on how to avoid disaster charity scams, click here.

Sadly, a large number of solicitations, especially over the phone, for causes purporting to benefit police and firefighters are a lot less than they seem. Problems include ridiculously high fundraising costs, a non-charitable purpose (like labor negotiations) and even non-deductibility of your gifts.

For the nation's 200 largest charities, click here.

Pay close attention to how well a charity makes use of the resources it has. Financial information is now pretty easy to come by, either online or from the charity itself.

For efficiency ratings of the nation's 200 largest charities, click here.

There's more of a record, and you're not sending out easy-to-appropriate credit card numbers. Make sure your check is made out to the charity itself rather than the person or intermediary soliciting your gifts.

For the nation's 200 largest charities, click here.

You need a canceled check or receipt if you want to deduct any contributions on your tax return. For gifts of more than $250 to one charity, you should have a written acknowledgment from the charity. For tips on donating illiquid assets, click here.

Unauthorized solicitations (fraud, really) are a big problem in the nonprofit world. If you have the slightest doubt about whether someone putting the bite on you really represents a charity, contact the charity yourself.

For the nation's 200 largest charities, click here.

You have absolutely no idea who's on the line. Tell the caller to put the pitch in writing and mail it[...]


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What Investors Can Expect From President Trump

Sun, 11 Dec 2016 07:13:00 -0500

Many of us were worried that the markets were going to crash if Trump won the election on November 8. He did win (surprise), but the markets didn’t crash (another surprise). But going forward, what can investors expect from President Trump?


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7 Family Finance Tips To Consider For The New Year

Sat, 10 Dec 2016 09:00:00 -0500

Personal and family finances should be high on the list of important areas to consider with the New Year fast approaching.


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Entrepreneurs: Happy, Rich or Famous? Pick One!

Sat, 10 Dec 2016 06:07:00 -0500

On the outside, entrepreneurship can look like a sure-fire way to fame and riches but a closer look suggests you may have to prioritize one over the other.



This Week In Credit Card News: Surprising Money-Saving Credit Card Perks; A More Secure Credit Card

Fri, 9 Dec 2016 16:42:00 -0500

The Future of Credit Card Security May Involve Blinking Numbers Your credit card may start winking at you soon in an effort to keep your data safe. Oberthur Technologies has developed a digital display powered by a micro-thin battery. It will change the three or four-digit CVV number on the back [...]


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Andreessen Horowitz And Union Square Ventures Invest $10 Million In New Digital Assets Hedge Fund

Fri, 9 Dec 2016 14:47:00 -0500

The investment into Polychain Capital signals the view of players in the bitcoin and blockchain industry that multiple digital assets will flourish in the future and potentially disrupt the likes of Facebook, Twitter and other networks.


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4 Ways To Donate To Charity Without Writing A Check

Fri, 9 Dec 2016 12:10:00 -0500

From giving soldiers used cell phones to donating your airline miles to charity, you can do good without opening your wallet.


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Largest U.S. Charities For 2015Largest U.S. Charities for 20151. United Way2. Salvation Army3. Feeding America4. Task Force for Global Health5. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital6. YMCA of the USA7. Goodwill Industries International8. Food for the Poor9. Direct Relief10. American Cancer Society11. World Vision12. Boys & Girls Clubs of America13. Habitat for Humanity International14. Compassion International15. Catholic Charities USA16. American National Red Cross17. Lutheran Services in America18. Patient Access Network Foundation19. Mayo Clinic20. United States Fund for UNICEF21. Nature Conservancy22. AmeriCare Foundation23. American Heart Association24. Cru25. Samaritan's Purse

Fri, 9 Dec 2016 12:10:00 -0500

The largest 50 U.S. charities for 2015 collectively received $33 billion in private donations during their latest fiscal years, an increase of 8%. Here's the top half of the list.

Long the nation's largest charity by donations received, United Way collected $3.9 billion in gifts, a sum flat from the previous year, through its network of 1,300 local affiliates. Most of the fundraising came from payroll deductions.

Salvation Army took in $2.1 billion toward its charitable work in 120 countries. Officially, the organization is a church with its own doctrine.

A nationwide network of more than 200 food banks, Feeding America received $2 billion, mostly donated goods. That was a 5% increase from the previous year.

Based in Georgia, Task Force for Global Health provides medical services in more than 50 countries. It took in $1.6 billion of donations, same as the previous year.

Based in Memphis, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital received $1.1 billion in donations, a hefty 26% jump from the previous year. St. Jude is a pediatric treatment and research facility focused on children's catastrophic diseases.

The YMCA of the USA reaps enormous user fees from its network of health clubs. But the charity also received $934 million in gifts, a slight decrease from the previous year.

Goodwill Industries International collected $927 million in donations, mainly use clothing and goods at its network of thrift stores. That's a 5% annual decrease. The gifts fund job training, employment placement and other community programs.

Based in Florida, Food For The Poor received gifts, mainly donated goods, valued at $908 million, an 11% drop from the previous year. The inventory was distributed mainly in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Direct Relief routed donated medicines and supplies valued at $892 million to local healthcare providers in more than 140 countries, including the United States. That's a sharp 50% increase.

Based in Atlanta, the American Cancer Society is the nation's largest single-illness charity. It collected $840 million in gifts, a 3% drop.

World Vision is an evangelic relief and development agency that took in $834 million in cash and donated goods, a 4% increase. The organization is based in Federal Way, Wash.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America received $821 million of gifts toward its nationwide network of after-school care programs. That's a 7% increase.

Habitat for Humanity International collected $774 million in donations to support its mission of building homes for those in need. The sum was a 28% jump from the previous year.

Based in Colorado Springs, Compassion International is a Christian child sponsorship organization. It took in $765 million in donations, a 17% increase.

Catholic Charities USA received donations of $757 million, a 6% boost. The umbrella organization of Catholic aid nonprofits is based in Alexandria, Va.

With no Hurricane Sandy, American National Red Cross saw its donations drop 33% to $735 million. The agency is the nation's largest private disaster relief organization.

Based in Washington, D.C., Lutheran Services in America is the umbrella organization for 300 Lutheran health care and human services units. It received $723 million in gifts. LSA's total revenue, $21 billion, dwarfs all others on this list.

A[...]


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Only Half Of America's 30-Year-Olds Are Making More Than Their Parents Did

Fri, 9 Dec 2016 10:53:00 -0500

The American Dream is slipping out of reach for a greater number of young people, according to a new study, which shows the declining odds that children will earn more money than their parents.


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Ask Larry: My Wife Is Collecting. I'm 66. Should I File On Her Record?

Fri, 9 Dec 2016 09:30:00 -0500

Today’s column considers spousal benefits for the higher earner, filing on an estranged spouse's record, the Earnings Test, how benefits are determined and the effect of extra income after FRA.


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For Trump, Incredible Tax-Free $3.7 Billion Sale Would Be Tax Savvy

Fri, 9 Dec 2016 09:09:00 -0500

Will Trump step down or step back from his empire to take office? He may even sell out, aided by a tax-free law that is a boon to his rich Cabinet picks too.


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How The GOP Social Security/Medicare Doomsday Machine Works

Fri, 9 Dec 2016 08:59:00 -0500

The GOP has long had a plan to scrap Medicare and Social Security. Here's how it works in the short term.


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IRS Coinbase Summons What Are You Going To Do When They Come For You ?

Fri, 9 Dec 2016 08:48:00 -0500

When was the last time you had to give up the name of your first pet or whatever so they would reset your password to something or other? If it is less than a year ago, then bitcoins are probably not for you.


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Estate Planning Tip: Creditor Protection for IRAs & Beneficiaries

Fri, 9 Dec 2016 08:45:00 -0500

Tax deferral isn’t the only benefit IRAs offer. One potential benefit offered by IRAs is creditor protection in the event of a bankruptcy. But when you pass away, are your IRA beneficiaries protected from bankruptcy?



5 Smart Ways To Spend Your Holiday Bonus

Fri, 9 Dec 2016 08:45:00 -0500

Financial windfall? Here are five options for this newfound cash.


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American Pension Crisis: How We Got Here

Fri, 9 Dec 2016 08:41:00 -0500

My adopted home of Charleston might have been ranked the “Best City in the World,” but the state of South Carolina is earning a less distinguished label as a harbinger of the country’s worst pension crises. And yes, that’s crises—plural—because U.S. state and local government pensions have “unfunded liabilities” estimated [...]


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2016 It's A Good Year To Take Losses

Fri, 9 Dec 2016 08:38:00 -0500

Tax loss harvesting may be more valuable this year than next.


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7 Stock Moves To Watch In 2017: Chipotle, Under Armour And More

Thu, 8 Dec 2016 16:12:00 -0500

Wouldn’t it be nice to know what will happen to stocks next year? So, we thought it would be useful to try to pick out 7 stocks that could have shocking moves in 2017.


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Ocado's 'Basket Case' Amid Supermarket Takeover Target Potential

Thu, 8 Dec 2016 14:42:00 -0500

Ocado, the only UK ‘supermarket’ in the UK without a bricks and mortar stores presence, today posted another strong period of sales growth in its fourth quarter trading statement. But the average basket size is the ‘red flag’ that might have investors a little worried as the share price declined [...]


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What Most People Blew Their Budget On In 2016

Thu, 8 Dec 2016 14:00:00 -0500

Your eating habits are doing a number on your bank account, says a new study. But these tips can help you tackle food cost creep.


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5 Retirement Planning Tips For Small Business Owners

Thu, 8 Dec 2016 12:52:00 -0500

Many small business owners should save more for retirement. Here's how.


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How Will Higher Construction Spending Impact The Sherwin-Williams-Valspar Merger?

Thu, 8 Dec 2016 11:16:00 -0500

The Census Bureau last week announced that construction spending rose in the month of October by 3.4% over last October’s figure. For the first 10 months of 2016, the seasonally adjusted annual construction spending estimate came in at $1.173 trillion, a 4.5% increase over the same 10-month period in 2015. [...]


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How To Revive Your Finances If You've Already Blown Your Holiday Budget

Thu, 8 Dec 2016 11:00:00 -0500

Here comes Santa Claus...along with a pile of bills if you don't get your spending under control. Our 4-point plan shows you how.


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Getting Into The Market's Santa Claus Rally

Thu, 8 Dec 2016 10:25:00 -0500

Good job numbers and other economic indicators, like nice Thanksgiving sales, and the prospect of tax cuts ahead are propelling the market into a Santa Claus rally. Here are the rally's inner workings revealed.


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Five Reasons You Need A Will (Even If The Estate Tax Is Repealed)!

Thu, 8 Dec 2016 10:11:00 -0500

Earlier this year, the world lost pop music icon Prince. He left behind an incredible legacy—but no instructions about how his estate should be handled after his passing. Prince died without a will, and it could take years for his family and the courts to sort out his posthumous affairs. A [...]



Want To Follow Your Donation In Real Time? Bitcoin Non-Profit BitGive Launches Donation Tracker

Thu, 8 Dec 2016 10:00:00 -0500

The platform, GiveTrack, will help move funds more quickly, lower costs, improve transparency and address issues of fraud.


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The One Thing You Should Do To Ease Your Stock Market Jitters

Thu, 8 Dec 2016 10:00:00 -0500

Shutterstock What if every quarter you received a statement from your mortgage company that not only showed how much you've paid on your mortgage but also exactly what your house was worth and whether it had gone up or down in value since the last quarter? Would you be more inclined [...]


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Ask Larry: ​​Should My Wife File Early So I Can Collect A Free Spousal Benefit?

Thu, 8 Dec 2016 09:30:00 -0500

Today’s column examines potential filing pitfalls, potential best strategies for a married couple, filing with young children and a public pension, available benefits and the availability of lump sum payment options.


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In This Floundering Housing Market, Should You Buy Or Rent?

Thu, 8 Dec 2016 08:00:00 -0500

Meg Perritt, who relocated from Delaware to West Chester, PA, was temporarily living with her in-laws and struggling to find the right home in the area. Frustrated, she turned to Philadelphia real estate agent Karen Dougherty of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices who she found from online rental listing service Rental Beast. Understanding [...]


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