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4 things to know about charitable donations at checkout

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HOUSTON – This has probably happened before while shopping – ask stores if you want to round up or add a few dollars to your total for charity. Recently, CVS was sued for its checkout donations. So we wanted to know where that money actually ended up and who benefited from it.

Registered donations really add up

60 cents here, 2 dollars there and the charity donations at the checkout add up. Many retail stores have launched point-of-sale fundraising campaigns in recent years. This year, in just one month, Walmart raised $33 million for Children’s Miracle Network.

Charity Fund 101. We answer your questions about giving at the fund. (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.)

Walgreen’s Red Nose Day, a charity that helps fight child poverty, raised $37 million, most of which went to the fund.

But CVS was recently sued for how the retailer managed registration donations to the American Diabetes Association. The money went to the charity, but the CVS lawsuit did not forward the donations directly to the ADA. Instead, it says CVS applied it to an obligation they already had.

“Well, anytime there’s someone in between your donation and the charity, there’s a bit more risk that your donation doesn’t get to the organization or it doesn’t get to the charity. not to the organization and in a timely manner,” said Laurie Styron, executive director, CharityWatch.

Do stores only use customer donations for their own tax deduction?

“If everything is above board, this store is really acting like an agent,” Styron said.

A few of you asked us about this, so we asked Laurie Styron to CharityWatch whether retailers use customer donations for their own tax deductions.

They really take your money and at some point pass it on to the charity if they file their taxes correctly. It actually has no impact on that store’s taxes,” she said.

She says you could get the receipt and use it to deduct the donation from your taxes.

“Most people don’t,” Styron said. “It’s usually such a small amount that you’re talking cents or a dollar and most people aren’t going to worry about writing it off their taxes.”

For it to be worth it, it would have to be greater than the standard deductionwhich amounts to nearly $13,000 for single filers and nearly $26,000 for married couples.

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What does the charity do with the money donated to the fund?

What happens to the money you donate to charity at the store checkout? Answers to your questions about the charity fund. (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.)

Charities will generally not have line items that specifically show money from recorded donations. You can see what they do with all the donations by looking at the public financial reports.

“It’s really important for you to do research on your own as a donor,” Styron said.

You can do this research on CharityWatch where charities are rated from A to F, looking at several factors including how they spend donations. It’s important to know what you’re looking at when you start doing charity work.

What if I see that a charity is not giving 100% of their donations to people in need?

Styron says you should see charities use some of the donations to run the organization. There are a few guidelines you can consult.

“Top-rated charities dedicate at least 75% of your donation to their programs and they maintain their fundraising ratio at around $25 or less to raise every hundred dollars for public support.”

Here is an example :

Answers to charity fund questions. (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.)

These financial reports and the breakdown of donations can be viewed on CharityWatch.

Do small cash donations really matter?

And if you’re in doubt about the real use of your spare change for charity, check out the Houston Food Bank. “Cause marketing campaigns,” like small donations at checkout, have totaled nearly $1.5 million at the food bank since January.

The Houston Food Bank benefits from cause marketing, such as charity cash donations.

It’s the really big donations that get the most attention. But the reality of most money is that the small amounts that come in over time really do add up to a lot,” said Brian Greene, president of the Houston Food Bank.

For example, right now on the food bank website you can buy a $10 card that will help provide 30 meals to those in need In our region.

Most nonprofits rely on the holidays for the bulk of their charitable giving, so that’s where it’s kind of your time of year. So it’s a big deal for all of us,” Greene said.

How to find the best charity for your donation

You may want to research a charity that matches your interests. places like CharityWatch, Give.Org, Charity Navigatorand the United Way Houston have options where you can search for topics and find charities related to those topics.

Answers to charity fund questions. (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.)

Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston – All Rights Reserved.