It’s the twelfth 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 PAWS NY. The mission of PAWS NY is to preserve, support, and nurture the human-animal bond for New York City’s most vulnerable residents. The programs at PAWS NY help keep pets in homes while protecting and promoting the human-animal bond that is so physically and psychologically valuable to PAW NY clients. Their motto is: helping people by helping pets.
PAWS NY services are designed to help our clients overcome the physical and financial limitations they face caring for their animal companions. This includes seniors and those with an illness or disability who are struggling with the day to day care of a pet.
The core program for PAWS NY services is on-site home visits. Visits generally include: dog walking, litter maintenance, medication administration, and provision of food and water. Services do not include adoption or placement services; spay or neuter services; temporary boarding or veterinary care (except for those in the housecoat program).
In order to qualify for services, individuals must be a senior citizen, or individual suffering from a temporary or permanent disability or illness as a resident of the City of New York with a maximum gross monthly income of no more than $1,850.
So how can you help?
You can make an online donation. You can also donate via regular mail. Please mail a check (made out to PAWS) to:
PAWS NY
240 Kent Avenue, 3rd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11249
Phone: (212) 203 – 4760
(As of this writing, the organization is 75% towards meeting their fundraising goal!)
Many companies offer a matching gift program to encourage philanthropy among their employees. Check with your HR department to see if your employer participates. Remember, however, that while your gift to the organization is doubled, you can only take a charitable deduction for the portion you donate.
You can also donate appreciated stock directly to PAWS NY. Visit Stock Donator and select PAWS NY. The great thing about donating appreciated stock is that not only can you deduct the fair market value of the stock as a charitable donation but the appreciation escapes tax: you don’t pay any capital gains taxes. By way of example, let’s say you bought stock for $1 that is now worth $10. If you sold 100 shares of the stock and then wrote a check for the entire proceeds, you’d claim a $1,000 tax deduction but most taxpayers would also pay Uncle Sam $135 in capital gains [15% x ($1000 sale proceeds less $100 basis)]; rates are a little lower or higher depending on your bracket. That means you’re actually out of pocket $1,135 but again, only get the $1,000 tax deduction. In contrast, if you donated 100 shares of the same stock, you’d claim the $1,000 tax deduction – and pay no capital gains. You’re only out of pocket $1,000, the same as your deduction. When the organization the liquidates the stock, it, too, pays no capital gains since it’s tax exempt, so the entire amount goes to charity.
PAWS NY also accepts in-kind donations of pet food and supplies for the Pet Pantry as well as other items. Please contact us at info@pawsny.org to make arrangements. Remember that the value of your in-kind donation is limited to the fair market value (generally, the cost you pay for new items). Keep good receipts from the store and get a receipt from PAWS NY if you intend to claim a charitable deduction.
PAWS NY depends on volunteers. If you love working with people and pets, then PAWS NY might be the right organization for you. Volunteer opportunities include the Housecall Program (care for a client’s pet in their home, such as dog walking or helping with the litter box); Pet Pantry/On-Call Program (collect/distribute pet food/supplies, become a Pet Pantry Sponsor, transport pets to the vet, and other one-off client needs); Foster Care (foster an animal in your home when a client is hospitalized); Events and Outreach (assist at events and help to raise Professional Expertise (offer your unique professional skills to help grow the organization). For information about volunteer requirements, email info@pawsny.org or call 212.203.4760.
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 PAWS NY 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:

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Author

Kelly Erb is a tax attorney and tax writer.

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