Make a real difference with your charitable contributions

July 12, 2008

Have you ever given money to a charity that you were unsure of?  Do you know what the money will be used for?  How much will actually go toward the cause?  Do you really support their cause?  I have seen many clients bring in a stack of receipts for $10 here and $50 there that look like they supported every charitable cause that came to their door or stopped by the office.  I urge each of you to take a look at your contributions and make sure your money is supporting the causes you think it is.

Many of my clients work at Bank of America or Wachovia Bank (the two largest employers in the Charlotte area).  Every year, the banks have huge campaigns to “encourage” their employees to support the United Way and the Arts and Sciences Council.  I really think they send around a list of anyone who does not contribute to make sure they are not up for a promotion.  After their campaigns are such large “successes”, each of the banks puts out press releases to tell the world how “generous” they are.

I guess their campaigns for the United Way have been extremely successful since the recent reports of the compensation from their recent fiscal year end for the Charlotte area President have been in the news lately.  The Charlotte Observer recently reported that the President, Gloria Pace King, received compensation of over $1.2 million in the last year.  That is up from $108,590 in the previous year.  Wow, that is quite a raise.  Homelessness and hunger must have been solved if she is receiving that kind of an increase in her salary!

The United Way is basically a large organization that distributes funds to lots of smaller charitable organizations in their local area.  I urge all of the Bank of America and Wachovia employees, as well as each citizen who contributes to the United Way to re-think their charitable giving plan.  Don’t give in to peer pressure.  Reach out to the organizations that you believe in directly.  Support and help them directly rather than funneling your contributions through the bureaucracy of the United Way and other large organizations that operate in a similar manner.  Make a list and designate the amounts you want to give and stick to it.  You can check out the organizations you contribute to through the IRS website or and make sure that the majority of your contribution helps the cause – not just the officers of the organization.

Donna Bordeaux, CPA with Calculated Moves

Creativity and CPAs don’t generally go together.  Most people think of CPAs as nerdy accountants who can’t talk with people.  Well, it’s time to break that stereotype.  Lively, friendly and knowledgeable can be a part of your relationship with your CPA as demonstrated by Donna and Chad Bordeaux.  They have over 50 years of combined experience as entrepreneurial CPAs.  They’ve owned businesses and helped business owners exceed their wildest dreams.   They have been able to help businesses earn many times more profit than the average business in the same industry and are passionate about helping industries that help families build great memories.