When we see a need both locally or abroad, it’s natural to want to help out however we can. Often, that means donating to an aid organisation or charity, but it can also mean volunteering as a collector or supporting charitable causes with your own charitable trust.
Choosing the right charity or causes to work with can be a daunting task, the best charity to support depends strongly on what you want to accomplish and where. This is especially true if you want to donate a sizable amount, if you want to support a charitable cause in the long term, or you want to leave a gift in your Will.
Always start by doing your research
When you’ve identified a cause you’d like to support through volunteering or by making a financial donation, you’ll want to ensure that what you donate actually gets where it needs to go. That means ensuring that the charity you support is both reputable and working to support your specific cause. An example of where a lot of support was given but the organisation couldn’t actually support the intended cause was the case of the Australian Bush Fires.
Small charities that have close community ties can often do more with less when it comes to addressing local issues that affect a single community or smaller region. Large organisations, on the other hand, work on a much larger scale across New Zealand and often act internationally to respond to major crises.
How to tell whether a charity is reputable
The easiest way to avoid supporting disreputable organisations is to work with approved and registered agencies like the Trustees Executors Charitable Foundation or any of the other great options found on New Zealand’s Charities Register. Of course, not all reputable charities are on New Zealand’s register, most notably foreign charities with little or no presence in New Zealand. Top tip – most charitable organisations have their charities number listed on the bottom of their website.
You can only claim a tax credit with organisations that have donee status
You can claim up to 33.3% of all donations (over $5) you make to charities here in New Zealand with a donee status. To find out whether a charity you’d like to work with has donee status, you can check Inland Revenue’s list on their website.
If your employer offers giving through payroll, and you make donations directly from your pay, the tax credit is immediately applied based on the amount of your donation.
Don’t hesitate to get help
Whether you want to make a simple donation or start your own charitable trust, it can be difficult to move forward confidently.
An expert can help you make the most of any gift-giving endeavour you choose to embark on, from choosing the right organisations to support, to controlling operational costs for your own charity, and a financial adviser can often help too!
At Trustees Executors, we not only run our own charitable foundation, but we also act as Trustee for charitable trusts, each with their own charitable purposes.
We can ensure you go about this in a way that will make the most of your generosity for the longest possible time. For some, that might even mean establishing your own charitable trust to support your philanthropic vision both today and in perpetuity. A charitable trust can financially support other charities or individuals (things like Scholarships or Hardship Grants) consistent with its charitable purpose.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you realise your philanthropic aspirations, reach out to us today!