It’s the seventh 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 Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research.

Founded in 1999 as the Center for Children’s Policy, Practice and Research (renamed the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research in 2003), the Field Center employs a multidisciplinary approach through a collaboration of multiple graduate and undergraduate schools at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). The Field Center seeks to promote fundamental reform, to motivate essential research and scholarship dedicated to children’s welfare, and to provide an interdisciplinary resource center assuring the highest quality of research, advocacy, and ethical pursuit of improvement of the systems protecting children at risk of abuse or neglect.

Guided by the Schools of Social Policy & Practice, Law, Arts and Sciences, Medicine, Nursing, the Graduate School of Education and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Field Center together the resources of the University of Pennsylvania to enhance and assure the well-being of abused and neglected children and those at risk of maltreatment. By moving beyond traditional approaches, the Field Center utilizes an interdisciplinary model to integrate clinical care, research and education, inform local and national policy, and prepare the nation’s future leaders, for the benefit of children and their families.

Why is this needed? Of the 1,500 to 2,000 children killed each year by their caretakers, more than half die after they have come to the attention of child welfare agencies.

So how can you help? You can make a donation by credit card by clicking over to the website. You will be directed to the University of Pennsylvania website, where the dropdown fields are already appropriately selected to designate the funds to The Field Center.

To submit a donation by mail, please make checks payable to the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania. In the memo line, please include: Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research Challenge Gift Fund

University of Pennsylvania
Office of the Treasurer
PO Box 71332
Philadelphia, PA 19176-9913

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 The Field Center is not on the list: that’s because it’s affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania. The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania 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.

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.

For other charities in the series, see:

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

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