How to give charitably in Edmonds

By Kelsey Foster | Dec 05, 2018
Courtesy of: Carrie Hulbert From left: Crystal Edwards, Amy Royce, Katie Bock, Scottie Moffett and Marie Boughton pack bags for Washington Kids in Transition at Insurance Services Group.

With the holidays and 2019 right around the corner, the opportunities to give back and get involved are many. In Edmonds, we have several nonprofit organizations spanning many worthy causes and groups who need help.

They include youth sports like Pacific Little League, the Edmonds Senior Center expansion, our local Edmonds schools, homeless students through Washington Kids in Transition, local ecology with the Sierra Club, Edmonds Center for the Arts, the MS Helping Hands Donor Closet, the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce, and historic preservation through the Edmonds Historical Museum.

That’s just a small list.

Of course, charitable organizations contribute to the common good and provide help to others, but they also serve important functions you may not realize.

The economic impact that nonprofits play in our community often goes unrecognized. Nonprofits employ nearly 250,000 people in our state, paying over $13 billion each year in wages. Across the United States, one in 10 jobs are in the nonprofit sector and contribute nearly $900 billion in GDP.

Nonprofits are often community hubs that bring diverse groups of people together, forging enhanced relationships and understanding among citizens, neighbors, and businesses.

New tax laws and deductions on charitable gifts

There has been information floating around about how the new tax laws may affect charitable giving and deductions.

“The new income tax law (the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, TCJA) had many changes, but charitable giving has remained unchanged,” said Nancy Duffy at McDevitt & Duffy CPAs.

“Some may have a misperception and believe you can no longer deduct charitable giving, but this is only because for many people are using the new higher standard deduction instead of itemizing, and filing a Schedule A in 2018 will result in an overall lower tax liability. The TCJA almost doubled the standard deduction amounts to $12,000 for singles and $24,000 for married joint filing couples.”

How to get involved

A smart first step before deciding where to invest your time and money is to research a nonprofit on a site like GuideStar or Charity Navigator.

There you can find information to make certain a nonprofit is in good standing with the IRS. You can also determine how they spend the money they raise and how they report and track outcomes.

Once you’ve chosen a cause and organization to invest in, it’s just a matter of reaching out to see how you can help.

Around town there will be several giving trees set up where you can select a tag for a needed gift and then bring it back to the tree. Walnut Street Coffee, Revelations Yogurt and Windermere are planning on having giving trees to support various needs in our community.

Another volunteer opportunity is with the annual Toy Shop at Edmonds United Methodist. Dozens of volunteers come together to create a place where low-income families can shop for the holidays.

Kelsey Foster is with the Edmonds Downtown Alliance (Ed!).



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