Planned Giving OptionsPerhaps the most human of all characteristics is our capacity for emotion. Feelings can be a powerful motivator when we are joyful, angry, frightened, or sad. Our ability to empathize with another person’s suffering is precisely what moves us to lend a helping hand or offer a charitable gift. What may come as a surprise, however, is the magnificent and substantial feeling of well-being that follows a gift of charity. It fulfills the soul and can even heal the broken heart in its darkest hour. In modern parlance this is referred to as a win-win situation, and there are more giving options than perhaps ever before.

Giving Options for making a Charitable Donation

            “I wish I could do more to help,” is something most of us have uttered when viewing one of those commercials that show hungry children, abused pets, homeless veterans, or abused senior citizens. We automatically think of giving money and how our strict budgets just don’t allow for anything to spare, but there are actually many ways to make a charitable gift that don’t involve cash. In the event of a recent death in the family, for example, you or someone close to you might find that you are left with an extra car, RV, motorcycle, or boat that you no longer need. Did you know that you can donate it to charity either online, or by fax, phone or even via mail in a couple of easy steps?

There are many different circumstances that leave people with belongings they no longer need: books, furniture, clothing, collections, and property, even life insurance can all be donated to charity! Or, for those who invest regularly, it is also possible to donate stocks and mutual funds and even receive tax breaks or benefits in exchange. A good charitable organization will be able to find a use for just about anything you wish to donate, so there’s no longer any reason to feel that you can’t donate just because you don’t have extra cash.

Donating one’s time, energy, or expertise are also some good alternatives to donating cash. There are innumerable opportunities to donate your time and energy by volunteering; or if you possess professional training such as a doctor, counselor, attorney, tailor, mechanic, teacher, or even a small business owner, you can donate your services. After the terrorist attacks of 911, for example, many professionals donated their services to the families of victims. After Hurricane Katrina there were several thousand good people who donated their time and energy to help repair and rebuild homes, schools, businesses, and churches as well as helping collection and delivery efforts. But you don’t have to wait for disaster to strike – there are likely to be programs in your area that need volunteers and services for children, families, seniors, and persons with disabilities.

No matter who or where you are, and no matter what you have or do not have, there is someone who needs your help and there is something you can donate. Instead of cringing when you see commercials or billboards for charity, hold your head up high and give yourself the gift of being able to say, “I am helping!”

Charitable Gifts made Easy and Giving Options Aplenty

Providing support and relief for southern Louisiana residents since the 1890s, Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans is everything you’re looking for in a charitable organization. They offer the maximum tax deductions available, can help you structure your donation to receive specific tax benefits, and are an Officially Recognized IRS 501 (c) (3) Charity, so all donations are secure. VOAGNO also handles the preparation and or legwork for you, so donating is usually a quick and simple process. To learn more about Volunteers of America giving options and volunteer programs in the Greater New Orleans area, visit or call (504) 482-2130 start giving today!

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