Finding Ways to Give Charitable Gifts in New Orleans

Planned giving, gift giving, charitable giftsIn today’s world giving charitable gifts offers as many different choices as there are ways to invest money. You want to be sure that your contribution goes to a worthy cause; you want to be sure that your contribution is being used to actually help people; and you want to be sure that your contribution is given securely. Giving options are much more versatile today than ever before with the internet having made it relatively simple to research an organization’s accomplishments and reputation, and online giving as easy as a few simple clicks.

Some Examples of Giving Options

While financial donations are perhaps the most traditional form of giving, there are now a multitude of choices for anyone who wishes to make a donation. For example, it is possible to donate stocks, mutual funds, or even property to a charitable organization. Many people also choose to include a charitable contribution in their wills and may bequeath a home, commercial property, car, truck, boat or business to an organization that helps people in need. Clothing, books, or collections such as coins or stamps may also be donated and can be used to help maintain places like women’s and homeless shelters, retirement and group homes, and foster centers for children.

Business owners can also offer donations of overstocked items that might be used in any number of community programs. There are always parks, playgrounds and shelters that are in need of everyday items such as toiletries, new equipment, computers, books, cars or other materials that might otherwise be discarded. A clothing store, for example, might donate several outfits to a battered women’s shelter. A cell phone service provider could donate pre-paid phone cards to a program for rehabilitating former addicts. A sporting goods store could donate footballs, soccer balls, basketballs and other recreational equipment to a foster care shelter. Most charitable contributions made from a commercial business are tax deductible, so there’s an added incentive to consider donating any leftover or unused materials or services.

Service is the one thing that anyone can donate. Usually people do not consider giving their time when thinking of donations, but many organizations have ongoing community improvement projects that need volunteers to utilize their donated materials. There are programs that help families, children, seniors and people with disabilities that all rely on volunteers to help achieve their goals. Programs that help illiterate people learn to read are always in need of volunteers to teach English. Retirement homes are always in need of volunteers to help care for and even entertain residents. If you’re considering a career as a stand-up comic or a magician, you could even get some valuable practice time onstage at a retirement home or a group home for the disabled.

In addition to the personal and emotional rewards that come from volunteering, it can also be a great way to explore potential new careers by gaining hands-on experience doing something different and challenging. You might discover a hidden talent for marketing by volunteering at local fundraising campaigns or ‘drives’ that target a specific population or area. You could even conquer your fear of social interaction by manning an information or registration booth. Donate your technical prowess by hooking up PA equipment, pass out water at a 10K, or call on your existing media contacts to help promote an upcoming charity event. There are literally infinite ways to donate time and/or services and have fun in the process!

Have Something to Offer? Here are some giving options:

No matter what you have to donate, Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans can use your help. Aiding Louisiana residents since the 1890s, VOAGNO has a long tradition of helping people in need of all kinds of assistance. After Hurricane Katrina VOAGNO was a leader in the disaster relief movement, placing over 20,000 volunteers in the area. Donations – including cars, trucks, boats and other vehicles – can be made online at www.voagno.org or by calling (504) 482-2130. Donations are also accepted by mail or fax. Giving has never been easier or more convenient so help Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans today! Here are some of their planned giving options.

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