It’s a new year and we’re wondering if people are going to approach charitable donations in a new way as a result of the changes in the tax law. Since many will no longer be able to take a charitable donation as an itemized deduction, the mindset of giving might undergo a change toward instant gratification for the actual donation instead of the carrot of a tax benefit in the future. That said, we’re kicking off the new year with an Apps We Love column that make donating easy and maybe even fun. We have connected with members of the CPA Practice Advisor community who have offered some suggestions, and we have added a few of our own.
“My favorite donation app is Charity Miles,” said Cindy Schroeder, owner of Bright Bookkeeping. “They make donations based on how many miles you walk/run. You can make a difference by working out. It is super encouraging to get up and exercise when you know that it also helps your favorite charity.”
Anne-Lise Dorry, senior director, corporate finance products at Thomson Reuters, agrees. “I like the Charity Miles app. It allows me to give back just by recording the runs (or walks) I do anyway. You download the app, choose which charity you want to run for, and get moving. You earn money for your charity of choice for each mile you log. It is both motivating and good for the community. It is literally allowing me to go the extra mile for both my health and a cause I care about.”
“A friend recently introduced me to the Be My Eyes app,” said Karen Abramson, CEO, Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting. “This app connects seeing people with people who cannot see and need immediate help with day to day things, like reading recipes, advising if a tie and shirt match, advising if a manicure was painted the right color. It’s a wonderful way to help someone with a quick answer they really need and it takes only a couple of minutes of your time. It’s a great example of technology connecting people and making life a little easier!”
GIVE was voted the best app last year at the APP Showdown at the QuickBooks Connect conference in San Jose. Geni Whitehouse, CPA.CITP, countess of communication at Brotemarkle, Davis & Co., said, “It enables small business employers to support employee giving in an easy and very impactful way.”
Clayton Oates, founder and chief solutions officer at QB Business, agrees. “It’s an innovative solution that calculates and automates donations to nominated charities. The things I love is that you can establish rules (such as a % of monthly sales) and G1VE will calculate the pledge and flag it for approval based on your calculating criteria.
“I like eating and I like charity, so I was happy to learn that Grubhub has a new feature where you can automatically round up your purchase and donate the change to support No Kid Hungry, a national campaign to end childhood hunger in America,” said Blake Oliver, CPA, accounting technologist at FloQast.
Elizabeth Pittelkow, CPA.CITP, CGMA, DTM, controller at Litera Microsystems, recommends ShareTheMeal. “You can pick a place of need and donate money for food. It is easy and rewarding to use! The app is funded by a grant from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and donations from businesses and individual philanthropists. Keep giving! It is important!”
Have you noticed that certain grocery stores and other retail merchants and even Amazon give you an opportunity to link your purchases to a charitable cause? You choose the charity and the merchant agrees to donate a small percent of your purchases (Amazon Smile donates .5% of eligible purchases) at no additional cost to you. Another way to donate as you make purchases is through the iGive app. When you sign up for iGive, you can connect to over 2,000 stores through the app. Choose a charity from over 28,000 organizations, and a portion of your purchase (it’s up to the stores, but on average, the donation is 3%) goes to the charity. If a charity you support isn’t among those listed, you can request that it be added. Consumer Reports notes that shoppers should do their due diligence to make sure any retailer that supports a charity is offering the best price for the merchandise and not hiking their prices to cover the donations.
Even small donations can make a big difference. GiveTide is an ap that you link to your bank account. You can make small donations to the charity of your choice by rounding up your transactions to the next dollar.
The Givers App offered by Continue to Give allows participants to set up recurring gifts and choose from various causes. Charitable organizations can set up fundraising options through Continue to Give. “I love the ability with Continue to Give to create recurring donations to multiple charitable organizations and it allows me to manage my donations via their website or mobile app if I want to change my recurring donation dollar amount or give a one-time donation,” said Caleb Jenkins, EA, CQP, of RLJ Financial. “I can also search on their website for a charitable organization if I want to give to a new organization.”
Another option for organizations trying to set up fundraising for their causes is CommitChange. Kevin Bong, co-founder and COO of AuditFile, said “They handle the entire donation process for not-for-profits, it’s pretty neat!” According to the company website, “CommitChange makes life as easy as possible for fundraising teams because your mission is important, and you need software that gets you to your goals faster.”
See inside February 2019
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