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For Year-End Charitable Giving, Remember the Environment

As employers start matching gift programs, make your gifts count for the Earth.

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By Brian Clark Howard

Many people plan their charitable giving at the end of the year, when the holiday season abuts tax season. And it's also this time of year when employers promote matching programs for employee charitable gifts. Check with your Human Resources department or manager and take advantage of any matching gift programs your employer offers.

If your workplace takes part in EarthShare, making charitable gifts to environmental causes is easy. Making a gift to EarthShare means spreading your contribution among environmental organizations that work for clean air, clean water and healthy wildlife and landscapes, and each organization that receives gifts must meet standards for spending donations responsibly. You can also designate your gift to the specific cause you champion, whether it's oceans, rivers or African elephants.

Many employers use the United Way to manage their gift programs, and many times employees still have the opportunity to select qualifying non-profit organizations to receive their gifts. That includes environmental groups.

If you're employed by the federal government, take advantage of the Combined Federal Campaign, which facilitates year-end charitable giving to approved charities, including dozens of environmental organizations. If you're employed by your state government, look for information about your state's program, like New York's State Employees Federated Appeal.

Most of these programs make it easy for you to designate a donation from each paycheck, sustaining the charities you love over the course of the year in a way that you likely won't even notice from paycheck to paycheck.

At this moment in history, there are many charities worthy of support, and many that need help. Remember the environment in your charitable giving plans.


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