It’s the first day of my 12 Days of Charitable Giving for 2020. Readers have suggested deserving charities over the past few weeks, and I’ll be posting the results here. Today’s charity is Voices of Ascension.

Voices of Ascension Chorus & Orchestra presents exceptional performances of great works of music for chorus and orchestra. Over the course of its nearly 30-year history, Voices of Ascension has produced an annual concert series, released Grammy-nominated recordings, and engaged in artistic collaborations with the San Francisco Symphony, Mostly Mozart Festival, José Limón Dance, the Mark Morris Dance Group, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and others.

Our nominator writes, “In such turbulent times, I realize that music may not seem as important as some other worthy causes. I believe music is not only important but an essential part of our collective healing in our COVID-affected world.”

You can hear them sing here:

So how can you help? To make a one-time, monthly or quarterly donation, click over to the website

For federal income tax purposes, if you plan to claim a deduction for a cash contribution, you’ll want to keep a record of the donation. Ideally, the organization will provide a written record with the name of the charity, date, and amount of the contribution.

And this year, don’t forget that taxpayers who make cash donations of up to $300 before December 31, 2020, are now eligible for a charitable deduction when they file in 2021 – even if they don’t itemize. As part of the CARES Act, the special $300 deduction is available to taxpayers who choose to take the standard deduction rather than itemizing their deductions.

Do your homework. As always, you want to make sure that your donation is going to a qualified charitable organization. A search using the IRS’ new Tax Exempt Organization Search (formerly Select Check) reveals that Voices of Ascension 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 or Instagram. You can also listen to their music on YouTube or Spotify.

I often suggest checking out third-party sites like Charity Navigator for more information about charitable organizations, including evaluations and access to tax forms and other financials. Voices of Ascension earned a 100 of 100 on Charity Navigator’s new Encompass Rating System.

Remember: Readers nominate their favorite charities to the 12 Days of Charitable Giving, and in most cases, I can’t personally vouch for the organizations. So be generous but be smart: Do your homework.

For more on making charitable donations, click here.

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Kelly Phillips Erb is a tax attorney, tax writer, and podcaster.

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