October 13, 2020


Give Away $300 Now – Here’s How

By: Peter Lipsett

We are, thankfully, less than three months from bidding 2020 adieu. Before we toss the year out the door, though, each of us has the chance to do something to make the year a little better for others and even ourselves – give away some money.

The loans and free-money provisions of the CARES Act that Congress passed in the spring got all the attention, but hidden inside is one other benefit for generous people who don’t itemize their tax returns. You can, in 2020, do an above-the-line (i.e., non-itemized) deduction of up to $300 that you give to a 501(c)(3) charitable cause.

If you’ve read any of my past articles here on the AFF blog, you know I preach the gospel of starting small and making giving a habit. Doing that leads to bigger giving down the road (and, in turn, makes society and you better).

If you have a desire to give but need a little motivation, now you have it. Give $300 away right now. Check it off your list, do some good, and come tax time you can write it off (just keep that gift receipt from the organization you give to!).

If you’re new to giving, you might wonder where to start. If you need a little direction, let me offer a four ideas of causes and groups you can give to today that address a few of the issues front-and-center right now.

Fight Hunger: DC Central Kitchen (or your local food bank)
Food scarcity continues to be a real issue in America in the wake of the pandemic. If your heart pulls toward helping those with immediate problems, then you have a variety of choices in where to help. One of my favorites is DC Central Kitchen in Washington, DC. DC Central Kitchen’s core mission is to help the unemployed learn culinary skills to get a job that sustains them into the future. In the wake of COVID, the organization has built a robust food delivery service for students, the elderly, and the disabled. I like DC Central Kitchen because its long-term focus is on getting people to a point of standing on their own. There may be a similar organization in your community, but if not and you want to support something closer to home, any of your local area food banks are eager for your support.

Disaster Relief: Team Rubicon
I first heard about Team Rubicon several years back when Hurricane Harvey pounded Texas. This group of former Marines started back in 2010 responding to the Haitian earthquake faster than traditional aid groups. They continue to be on-the-ground early responders to emergencies everywhere, showing that private citizens with a get-‘er-done mentality are critical to disaster relief. As I write this, yet another hurricane is bearing down on the Gulf Coast of the US. I’m confident Team Rubicon will be there helping faster than many other groups (and certainly faster than the government).

Ending Polarization: One America Movement
Between discussions of race and increasing uncivil discussions around political issues, we need a little bit of understanding in our society. The One America Movement is a newer organization that sets out to foster discussions about and across our differences to promote that understanding and a bit of compassion. One America Movement’s team offers training to leaders willing to work across political, racial, and religious lines to get past the hate that too often rises to the forefront of conversations. It has chapters in several states across the country.

Advancing Liberty: America’s Future Foundation
Here’s one I know you can get behind – you’re here at AFF’s website, after all! If you’re either not sold on the others or can’t decide, throw $300 toward America’s Future Foundation. AFF has a ton of cool stuff planned as it continues to grow. From its Writer’s Program to its virtual and IRL events to its Buckley Prize, AFF is the building up young liberty-minded leaders like you. A little support from you helps it grow that cause that much faster.

Fight back against the frustrations of 2020. Congress gave you that extra incentive with the $300 tax break. Take it and start giving. Begin to build a philanthropic habit and bring some positive energy to a less-than-ideal year.