Does anyone have a good way to track their charitable giving throughout the year? I didn’t bother previously because I wasn’t in a place to donate all that much, but things have changed. Not looking to reinvent the wheel–I’m sure there are downloadable Google sheets for this purpose, but I know this forum is home to more than a few Excel Queensand I’m wondering if y’all have any tips/tricks/trackers to share!
Oooh great question: I tend to just try to remember where I’ve donated and then search my gmail for receipts, but that can’t be the best possible way to do it.
Post it note. Yes, I’m super techy why do you ask? Most of my donations are to a local food pantry and not itemized on taxes or anything, but I like to know how much it is for the year.
My Capital One credit card sends me a roundup email with what it’s AI thinks is donations and it’s not far off, but I know there are way more that I don’t do via that card.
Sometimes lo-fi is the way to go!
Nothing fancy here…I’ve got a spreadsheet with the name of the charity, the specific cause if applicable, the date, and whether it’s matched for work (this part lets me make sure I can max out matching through my company, the IRS doesn’t care). Email receipts from the charity go in the same folder, and at tax time I go through and enter them one at a time.
I don’t donate enough ‘stuff’ to make it worth tracking, generally, and the ‘round up to an even dollar to support XYZ’ get lost too…in other years I used to have mileage/dates in the same spreadsheet but since tutoring is all online currently that hasn’t been relevant for a couple years either.
I’m old enough I used to do this by putting a single sheet of loose leaf paper in my Taxes folder and noting the date, charity, amount and check number each time I made a donation.
Most charities will send you a statement either at the end of the year, or each time a donation is made, or sometimes both. I put those in the Taxes folder as they arrived too.
If you track expenses, consider designating a charity category. Then you can easily pull those transactions up when you need them.
More recently I put together a spreadsheet equivalent of taxable events. I’m finding this method to be less reliable than the pencil and paper method I used to use.
I put in as a budget category in YNAB and then categorize all the transactions as “giving”
I don’t put it on my taxes though so I’m not like trying to save receipts
A lot of my more recent donations are reoccurring monthly (automate or die!) so I bet I could do that already. Thanks!
My company matches a lot of stuff, so tracking my donations more formally will ensure I actually do the legwork to get it matched. Great idea, thanks!
I have a ynab category for recurring ones. Anything one off I add a ‘donation receipt’ tag in Gmail and tag the confirmation email.
A tag in gmail! This is genius!
I do this except with my manual spreadsheets because I’m that dork.
And same, I donate a lot but since I don’t itemize, receipts don’t matter. I do end up keeping them (both paper and e-receipts) for a while, but… ehhhh I don’t actually do anything with them.
Is there a reason you don’t itemize?
Sometimes I just wanna see EVERYONE’S spreadsheets!!
The standard deduction is better than itemizing for me – I don’t own a house or have high medical bills, so it’s only the donations that would be itemizable. I’d have to donate well over 10% of my gross income to make itemizing just for donations worth it (and I’m not quite there yet haha).
Hmmm me either!! I suppose I can get into the habit of tracking so I can keep getting my employer match where possible and just to have a pulse on things
I own a house and have a kid but we still take the standard deduction because it’s higher now. You can only itemize medical expenses if they exceed ~7% of your AGI.
You don’t have to itemize to claim a deduction for donations on the federal form. The deduction is up to $300 S, HOH or QW and up to $600 MFJ.
Not a lot but better than nothing.
Some states also have deductions for charitable giving even if you don’t itemize.
I use the Intuit tool ‘It’s deductible’, because they have a tool that estimates the value of clothing/item donations. I mostly remember to add other donations! I’ve tried other tracking methods but never remembered to Do The Thing.