Giving Wisely

The members of the Hartsville Community Development Foundation, a charitable organization incorporated under the South Carolina Nonprofit Corporation Act on May 21, 2012, represent a cross-section of institutional and community partners and are working together to promote social welfare by stimulating community and economic development in Hartsville.

As you consider your options with respect to making any charitable gift -- whether to the Community Foundation for a Better Hartsville or to other worthy causes -- we encourage you to act with appropriate care. The following guidelines are intended to highlight simple steps you can take to help ensure that your decisions are well informed.

Recognize that your gift -- your investment -- can affect positive change.
When you consciously value the growth or improvement your gift can facilitate, you will tend to make more discerning decisions, and your experience as a donor will be more personally satisfying. 

Ask questions.
If you want your investment to be a wise one -- one that will make the difference you seek -- take some time to learn about the organization before you make your gift. At first, it can seem impossible to distinguish between credible and fraudulent organizations, but there are red flags that should not be overlooked.  In general, reputable charities do not:

  • Conceal information about their projects and daily operations
  • Solicit for cash donations
  • Send requests for dontations formatted to look like bills or invoices 
  • Pressure donors

Understand the tax benefits of  your gift.
While most charitable donations are tax-deductible, the Internal Revenue Service requires appropriate docmuentation to ensure that the exemptions you claim are allowable. Be sure you receive a receipt for each tax-deductible contribution of $250 or more. 

Be aware of your choices.
Financial contributions are only one of the ways you can provide philanthropic support for the causes that matter to you.  Many organizations can receive property and other goods in addition to your volunteer service. Ask questions so that you don't overlook the opportunity to make a difference that best matches your present circumstance. Finally, take time to learn whether your employer will match your donation. It could be the quickest way for you to maximize your investment.

Stay organized and involved.
After you have selected the charity or charities you want to support, follow their work.  Read their reports; attend their events and meetings. The more you know about what they are doing and how your investment is being used, the better you will be prepared know how to help in the future.