Thursday, December 22, 2016

Last-Minute Tax Deductions

So in yesterday's post, I had actually meant to list some organizations you might think about donating to before the end of the year. But then I got sad all over again about David Bowie and Alan Rickman, so I didn't.

My personal goal for the next four years is to pay as little tax as I legally can. Part of that goal is to choose organizations which are important to me and to Mr. ShellHawk, and to help them survive what is going to be a rougher time than they do, already. We're not part of the 1%, or even the 20%, but we've been fortunate in many ways, and helping out worthy causes is important to us. So I started getting a list together of organizations both in the United States and abroad. There are many more worthy charities than I can list

I want to make it clear that I haven't vetted all of these to see how much goes to admin costs vs. getting to where they need to go, so if one of them takes your fancy, look into it very carefully to see if it's where you can make your donation do the most good. Also verify if you will get a tax deduction here in the U.S., if that's a huge drive for you.
A Kenyan Wildlife Ranger, fighting against the illegal ivory trade.
I was reading this article by The Guardian about the lives of wildlife rangers in Africa and around the world. These are guys who are doing everything they can to prevent poachers from exterminating entire species for ivory and other "prizes" sought by morally bankrupt people with more money than conscience. It's an extremely dangerous job. So dangerous, that over the last ten years, 1000 have been killed by poachers. These rangers get very little recognition or compensation for risking life and limb, yet they keep on going. To support them and their families, head over to The Thin Green Line and make a donation.

If you love elephants and are concerned about their dwindling numbers, take a look at this list of charities promoting conservation of elephants and discouraging the ivory trade. Personally, I like the idea of getting in there and kicking some serious poacher ass in order to save these majestic creatures.

If the oceans are your thing, my personal favorite protectors are the dedicated people at Sea Shepherd. These people put themselves between the wildlife they're protecting and those who use it for financial gain. I like them because they're out there, doing, instead of talking about it.

Closer to home, if you're into space exploration and want to support the science behind it, you might want to donate to The Planetary Society, whose CEO is none other than Bill Nye, the science guy! Since it seems we're in a society which actively discourages the sciences, I like the thought of nurturing new science and technology.

Along those lines, you can also donate to the Union of Concerned Scientists, who promote renewable energy, sustainably grown food sources, study climate change and other things.

Other organizations:

I believe with all my heart that all of us have something to give, even if it's only $5. And I believe that spreading kindness is what we need now, more than ever.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the list. Even on a very limited budget it's possible to give a little. Giving just a bit when I was quite young is what has given me the habit of giving.


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