How to Make an "In Loving Memory Of" Donation

How to Make an
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Americans are pretty generous. In 2020 alone, people gave $471.44 billion in donations, which is impressive considering the negative financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is one thing to give to charity as you normally do, and another to give in memory of someone.

Donation in Memory of Loved Ones

The U.S. loses about 3.3 million people in a given year. So, the chances are high that at some point, you may end up losing someone you care about.

When a loved one dies, you can choose to make a donation in memory of them. Doing so is an excellent way to honor what they stood for. Also, it helps to keep their memories and names alive for longer. In addition, a donation in memory of loved ones could become a way of creating an awareness of an issue, especially if that issue played a role in their death.

You can donate anything you want, including money, jewelry, real estate, vehicles and even life insurance. It depends on what kind of assets you own.

When donating in memory of someone, you could choose to use only what you have or create a fundraising campaign that ropes in other people to contribute toward a cause. Everything depends on your approach.

Setting Up a Memorial Fund or Foundation

Memorial funds or foundations are meant to accept donations in loving memory of someone you care about who has passed away. Most are meant to be permanent, though some have temporary goals. You can use the monies in a memorial fund or foundation to donate to other charities, sponsor needy students, advocate for people with similar issues that the deceased faced, support the deceased’s dependents, etc.

However, regardless of how and why you choose to create a memorial fund, you need to ensure that it channels the money where it was meant to go. That means creating a separate bank account with the memorial fund title and obtaining a tax identification number for the fund.

Charitable Organizations and Memorial Donations

Charitable organizations recognize that some of their supporters want to donate in memory of loved ones. For that reason, many of them provide an option for the creation of memorial funds or a donation in memory of loved ones. You could use these options instead of creating your own charitable organization.

For example, if your loved one loved Red Cross, you could use their “Donate in Honor” option and donate on their behalf. Red Cross enables you to give one-time or monthly funds, while providing the name of the deceased to honor them.

The American Cancer Society also provides a Memorial and Honor Giving option that enables people to support the organization on behalf of their loved ones who passed away. So, you can provide their names and honor their memory.

Donations and Tax Implications

When you donate to qualified charitable organizations in memory of a loved one, you can enjoy tax deductions. If you use standard deductions, you can deduct up to ​$300 ​per individual taxpayer or ​$600​ in joint returns for cash donations to qualified charities. Otherwise, you could deduct up to ​100 percent​ of your qualified contributions if you take itemized deductions.

If you donate ​$250​ or more, you may receive a notification message or letter acknowledging your generosity. Ensure you keep that information for tax filing purposes.