Expert advice: Make giving a habit

3 MIN READ
Donating to charity for the first time can feel overwhelming: How much should I give? How can I balance charitable giving with saving? What will the impact of my donation be?  

Our donors make a difference in the lives of vulnerable community members every single day. We want donors to feel confident and informed when giving to United Way, so we can continue to make a difference in the lives of people who need us throughout the year.

With the 2020 charitable tax deadline fast approaching, we’ve teamed up with Brent Villeneuve, Investment Specialist at Scotiabank, to answer first-time donor questions. He has some advice for new donors who are looking to make a smart donation this holiday season and beyond.

1. Start small and make it a habit.

Brent asks new donors to reflect on what they can comfortably afford and encourages them to make donating part of their monthly budget, “whether it’s $5 or $50, every bit counts.”

"Start small. Then it becomes a habit, and you don't even think about it after a while."

Brent Villeneuve, Investment Specialist, Scotiabank
A photo of Brent Villeneuve

United Way understands first-hand the challenges that our communities have faced through COVID-19, and we encourage donors to work within their means to land on a donation that feels comfortable for them. 

The needs will continue long after the holiday season, which means it is even more crucial to think about how you can spread your budget throughout the year. 

“Whether it’s a percentage or a dollar amount of your take-home income, think about how you can make donating a part of your regular monthly expense,” says Brent. 

Donating regularly also ensures that when tax season rolls around, you have already accounted for your tax credits, making it easier to plan for what might be coming back your way.

2. Make the most of your charitable tax credit.

“I think the end of the year is a good time to reflect on how fortunate some of us have been. There are many who have struggled throughout the year. Also, with tax-filing just around the corner for 2020, making a donation now means that you’ll receive the tax credit when you file your taxes in the spring of 2021. Alternatively, if you wait until January 2021 to donate, you will not receive the credit until you file your 2022 taxes.”

Brent Villeneuve

Most donors receive about 32 per cent of their donations back as tax credits.† Depending on your financial situation, you might receive even more.

You have until midnight on December 31, 2020, to make a charitable donation to save on your 2020 taxes. Use United Way’s tax calculator* to find out how much you can save with your donation.

3. Think about the impact.

"It comes back to thinking of charitable giving as more than just, 'What am I giving?' but, 'Who am I helping?'"

Brent Villeneuve

With an increased need because of COVID-19 and as the colder months settle upon us, your support is even more crucial to the work United Way does each and every day. 

Through generous donations, United Way is able to support community partners in a range of efforts. Whether it’s tackling youth homelessness, supporting vulnerable seniors, making sure kids don’t fall behind, making mental health support easier to access, or working with the community to find long-term solutions to the social effects of COVID-19—United Way is constantly adapting to the evolving needs of our region.

You can help fuel the solutions our communities need right now.

Give today and your donation will be matched by Scotiabank, doubling your impact.

Together, we can keep our communities strong.

As we come to the end of a challenging year, we thank you for your constant support!

* Based on a $500 donation in 2020. This tax estimator is for information purposes only, and is based on a donor within Ontario giving to charity during the 2019 calendar year. Your tax returns will vary based on your income and the other deductions you might claim. United Way East Ontario recommends that all donors seek assistance from qualified tax professionals to understand the advantages of supporting charitable organizations. For more information visit the Canada Revenue Agency website.

† Your tax returns will vary based on your income and the other deductions you might claim. United Way East Ontario recommends that all donors seek assistance from qualified tax professionals to understand the advantages of supporting charitable organizations. For more information, visit the Canada Revenue Agency website.

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