There are just 40 days left in 2017. As the calendar year winds down, charitable organizations know ’tis the season for folks to write out checks, drop canned goods at the soup kitchen, and toss coins in buckets on their way to do some holiday shopping. Savvy taxpayers are also looking for ways to make year-end gifts that can whittle their down taxable income and trim their tax bill. If you’re looking for some charitable inspiration – or hoping to inspire someone on your own – you’re in luck: The 12 Days Of Charitable Giving are coming!

As I do every year, I’m asking readers to nominate a charity to be featured for the 12 Days Of Charitable Giving. In addition to the charity’s full name, I’ll need the city where the charity is located, what the charity does, and why you support the charity (a personal story would be great). Please also link to the organization’s website (Facebook links are okay, too): the more information that you can provide, the better.

The charity must be a bona fide 501(c)(3) organization, meaning that donations are tax-deductible in the United States. Examples include schools, libraries, and purely public charities like the American Red Cross. The charity must also be in good standing: check to make sure that tax-exempt status hasn’t lapsed or expired. You can confirm charitable status by using the Internal Revenue Service’s Select Check Tool; additionally, most charities will post evidence of tax-exempt status on their website.

Convince me why your favorite charity deserves a mention. Anecdotes are great, as are links to stories in the press. I’ll review the nominations and select one charitable organization to feature for each of 12 days in December – with some tax tips for charitable giving mixed in (of course).

Send your nomination via email ( and put “12 Days” in the subject header.

The deadline for submissions is December 1, 2017.

And if you’re wondering about the feasibility of making a gift this year in light of tax reform efforts, it’s worth noting that most significant changes for individual taxpayers – if they pass – would not be in effect until the 2018 tax year, meaning that your itemized deductions would still be in play for 2017.

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Kelly Erb is a tax attorney and tax writer.

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