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You can give money to charity when you shop through each of the following methods:

  • Make purchases from a disease related organization. 
  • Make purchases from a retailer which in turn gives money to a charity.
  • Using affinity credit cards.

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Charity: Ways To Help

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Reasons To Give To Charity

Purchases From A Disease Related Or Other Charitable Organization

Most major disease-related organizations have their own catalogs on their websites. For example, with respect to HIV/AIDS, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has a store at offsite link.

A tax deduction is only available to the extent that the cost exceeds the fair market value of goods or services provided.

Purchases From A Retailer

Many retailers give a percentage of each sale to charity. The percentage can be substantial - for example, ranging from 12.5% of the amount you spend to 20%. 

As a general matter, the retailer gets the deduction for the charitable donation - not you.

Before buying from a retailer for this reason, check to see how much the retailer takes off the top as a fee. (The "merchant's fee"). Some retailer give 100% of the merchant's fee.

You can locate local retailers who have this kind of program by paying attention to local ads on television or in your local newspaper.

You can locate web retailers who engage in this practice through such sites as:

Affinity Credit Cards

This type of credit card gives a small donation to a charitable group for every purchase you make with the card. There are cards which only give to one charity. There are also general purpose credit cards that allow donations to a number of charities.

It is advisable to check to find out whether the entire amount goes directly to the charity, or whether a part goes to the card sponsor. Also note the amount of the interest rate and other fees. Affinity credit cards tend to have higher interest rate and fees.

Unlike other forms of charitable giving, the amount of the donation cannot be deducted for tax purposes.

To locate an affinity credit card, check such web sites as offsite link