It’s the eleventh day of our 12 Days of Charitable Giving! In December, I’ll be focusing on twelve charitable organizations which my readers have nominated as most deserving of your charitable donation. You have a couple more weeks to squeeze in you charitable deduction for tax purposes in 2014 – so why not consider one of our twelve?
Today’s featured charity is CaringBridge.
The first CaringBridge site started in 1997 when founder Sona Mehring created a website to keep folks informed about her friends’ premature baby, Brighid. The site allowed Brighid’s family to communicate information to family around the world, regardless of time or place, by posting daily journal entries; in return, concerned friends and loved ones could send messages of hope and support.
That idea became CaringBridge: today, more than 500,000 users per day share stories, comfort, love and strength in their hour of need using technology. In addition to posting photos, videos and updates of those who are ill or in recovery, the online planner helps coordinate and schedule tasks such as delivering meals, providing childcare and arranging transportation.
There have been more than 1.8 billion visits to CaringBridge communities since the organization was founded (downloads as a pdf).
There is no outside advertising. CaringBridge instead relies on donations.
So how can you help?
CaringBridge is always looking for volunteers. You can:
Share CaringBridge in your community by speaking
Tell your CaringBridge story
Talk about CaringBridge on Facebook
Become a Twitter Advocate
Thank those who have contributed via the Gratitude Project
Provide customer care
Almost all of these opportunities require little time and even less expense. Remember that you can’t deduct the value of your time on your income taxes. You can, however, deduct reasonable and related out of pocket expenses.
You can make a cash donation online. You can also download a form as a pdf to send your donation in by mail:
Donation Processing Center
PO Box 6032
Albert Lea, MN 56007-6632
You can also donate by phone by calling 651-789-2300.
As always, you want to make sure that your donation is going to a qualified charitable organization. A search using the IRS’ Exempt Organizations Select Check reveals that CaringBridge is on the list. To find out more about the work of the organization, check out their website, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.
Remember, submissions to the 12 Days of Charitable Giving are made by readers and in most cases, I can’t personally vouch for the good work that these folks do. So be generous. But be smart. Do your homework.
For more on making charitable donations, check out some of these prior posts:
- Making Your Gifts Count: 10 Smart Tips For Charitable Giving
- 12 Tips for Year End Charitable Giving
- Ask the taxgirl: Charitable Contributions and Receipts
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