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      Giving during the holiday season

      For many, the holiday season is all about giving, and that also includes charitable donations.So, when it comes to giving, where are some of the best places to go? Many times people choose a place like the Keweenaw Community Foundation which offers endowments for different organizations within your community."Some people like to give cash to an organization, let's say, like Little Brothers, and some people prefer to have a lasting gift given. Endowments are lasting gifts. They're there forever,â?? said Barbara Rose, Executive Director of the Keweenaw Community Foundation.

      The Keweenaw Community Foundation has 67 endowments linked to various organizations. The foundation invests the money given to each organization."Then each year, grants are given from it or a certain amount of the interest is given back. If that group wants it, they use it and spend it. If not, and they really want to build their endowment larger and larger so that they have important amounts of money, they'll roll it back,"Tax manager Pete Negro says if you decide to donate, there are some things you should know."One is you itemize deductions. Your total itemized deductions would have to be greater than your standard deductions in order to get a tax benefit, and if that's the case, then it depends on which tax bracket you're in as to what your benefit is going to be," said Negro. So if you give a $100 donation and youâ??re in the 25 percent tax bracket, you'd save $25 on your federal tax.Negro says you will not see a benefit within your state taxes because most of the credits were eliminated at the end of last year. He also adds you'll want to make sure the organization you donate to is eligible to receive a donation, usually known as a 501(c)(3)."You'll have to fill out Schedule A on your tax return, and that might get a little bit more complicated. You have to file a long form. You can't file Short Form or EZ Form," Negro said.If you can't find a charity that best suits you, you can always start your own.