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The autumn leaves have just started turning and the holiday season solicitations from charities are rolling in. They arrive by mail, email, and social media. There’s certainly no shortage of worthy causes that we can give to here in our community.

Ohioans embrace the spirit of giving during the holidays. Fifty-five percent of Ohio consumers make a holiday-related charitable contribution at the end of the year, according to a consumer survey conducted by the Ohio Credit Union League.

So, what can you do to ensure that you’re giving generously but wisely?

  • Plan ahead. Include charitable giving as a line item in your budget. As with most things, planning ahead makes the process easier. If you have a favorite charity you want to support, itemizing allows you to plan for giving without cutting into your regular monthly expenses.
  • Choose where you give carefully. Only donations given to qualified charitable organizations are deductible on your taxes. If you’re not sure whether an organization qualifies, go to www.irs.gov and search “charities/non-profits.”
  • Document. Cash contributions, no matter the amount, must be verified by a financial institution record or in writing by the recipient organization. The receipt should include the name of the charity, a date, and the amount given. Although a copy is only necessary in case of an audit, it’s been a requirement since 2007 that all monetary donations be recorded.

Day Air Credit Union encourages members to support organizations that give back the Dayton community. Here’s a list of local charities that you can support. For more organizations, contact the Dayton Better Business Bureau.

Note: This post was adapted from an article by the Ohio Credit Union League (OCUL).