Carmen and Ginger was able to donate $200 to The Forgotten Cat this year! Never did I think we would achieve that great of a result by taking 10% of gross profits of Christmas items as a donation but we did! Thank you to all who made Christmas purchases from both Carmen and Ginger and Hang Out a Shingle this year. Each one of you contributed to this result. We are so excited to be able to provide this gift to the organization. It is tiny, and, while $200 seems large to us, it truthfully only pays for a spay, a neuter, some vaccinations and tests and supplies. For the people who usually pay for all of this out-of-pocket, however, and the animals they help, it is a lifesaver.
I am posting about this today for a reason. Carmen and Ginger made our final donation to The Forgotten Cat today so that we can include it in our 2009 tax filing. Many people in this country also look to make donations by today in order to deduct them from their income taxes for 2009. I am not a tax expert, so, am not here to advise you about how much to donate or how to file. What I can tell you is that there is a small amount (I believe $250 for the past few years) up to which you can donate without completing any additional paperwork, then, I think a level beyond that which requires a special form. I also believe the organization must be registered as a non-profit. How these donations help you with regard to your taxes varies depending on whether or not you own property, your income, etc. You would need to look into these details to know how a donation would affect you with regard to taxes. What I can tell you is that any donation to a worthy cause will both a) help the recipient and b) make you feel better heading into the New Year. If you are looking for some ideas here are some options:
Alley Cat Allies is a wonderful organization with high ratings from watchdog sites. Their web-site is very comprehensive and if you are looking to do more than just donate, it can help you to connect with people working with Feral Cat populations in your own area.
Lange Foundation - Los Angeles
I used the search and ratings system at Charity Navigator and easily found the three four-star rated organizations in three different areas of the country above. This site is easily searched and provides ratings of organizations along with their income reporting, a breakdown of how they spend their money, and all sorts of additional supporting information to help you make an informed decision about how to donate wisely. There are other ratings agencies out there, but this one is exceptionally good, a not-for-profit organization, and, provides data equally to all interested parties and politically slanted media groups. They have no agenda other then to provide accurate summaries so that people can make informed decisions.
I hope you will consider a donation - of money, time, or advocacy - to a cause that is important to you as we head into the new year. Cats are not for everyone, so, I'll understand if they are not your thing. But look how cute they are...when sleeping that is!