What Exactly Is a Qualifying Charitable Organization in Arizona?

If you are just hearing about the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit for the first time, you may not yet feel confident about moving forward with directing your tax credits. There is a lot of terminology to be aware of, so it’s understandable to want to seek out more information. One thing that many people may not fully understand is who you can actually direct your tax credits to. In this article, we will summarize the tax credit and provide some clarity about who benefits from it.

What Is the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit?

The Arizona Charitable Tax Credit allows taxpayers to make charitable contributions and receive dollar-for-dollar reductions in their Arizona state tax liabilities. According to Phoenix Children’s Foundation, the tax credit for gifts to Qualifying Charitable Organizations (QCOs) began in 1998 Back then it was referred to as the “Working Poor Tax Credit.”

As opposed to directing funds straight from your pocket, giving items like food boxes, or using your time for volunteer opportunities, the tax credit allows people to direct their tax credit to a working poor charity in Arizona. The specific charity that you donate to will depend on whether or not they are certified as either a Qualifying Charitable Organization or a Qualifying Foster Care Charitable Organization (QFCO). You can inquire with your CPA about this at any time of the year, but be sure to bring it up around tax time!

What Makes a QCO a QCO?

According to the Arizona Department of Revenue (ADOR), a QCO is a tax deductible charity that offers immediate assistance in the form of basic needs to Arizona residents who are given TANF benefits — temporary assistance for needy families. These residents must be low-income and live in Arizona, or they may have a child suffering from either a chronic illness or living with a physical disability. These organizations must utilize at least 50% of their yearly budget towards services for qualifying residents of Arizona.

As a tax deductible charity that provides local residents with necessities such as food, clothing, and more, Paz de Cristo is proud to qualify as a QCO under Arizona law. When you direct your tax credits to us, we make the most of them by hosting daily dinners, helping with resumes, providing bus passes to help with transportation to and from interviews, and more.

To learn how you can use your tax credits to help our Qualifying Charitable Organization, reach out to us today or speak to your CPA!

Here’s What You Need to Know About Planned Giving

According to Nonprofitsource.com, approximately 63 million Americans volunteer their time, energy, and talents to make a difference. However, in our busy schedules, it can be hard to set aside time to give back in the ways that we want to. We can’t always take advantage of volunteer opportunities or put together food boxes. With that in mind, there are other ways that you can give back. Many people who are further along in their career consider planned giving. But what is planned giving, and is it right for you?

What Is Planned Giving?

A planned gift is considered any major gift to a charity, made either in life or death, as a part of a donor’s financial and/or estate plan. You may be familiar with donating to annual funds or paying membership dues to a nonprofit, but that would not qualify as planned gifts. Planned gifts are a more calculated aspect of a comprehensive financial objective.

What Are the Types of Planned Giving?

Planned giving can look like a few different things. Firstly, you can gift outright items that use appreciated assets as opposed to physical money. Secondly, you can give a gift that returns income or other financial benefits to yourself as a donor. Thirdly, you can set up a payment or items to be gifted upon your death. This would be arranged previously in your will. Under Paz de Cristo’s “Planned Giving” page you will find more information about specific methods of giving, such as beneficiary designation gifts, a charitable remainder unitrust, and more. We try to make information as clear as possible to help you with your mission to give back.

What Can Be Given?

Many operate under the misconception that you can only donate either physical items or cash to working poor charities like Paz de Cristo, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth! We accept a wide variety of gifts under our planned giving. To learn more about donating options, be sure to visit our “Planned Giving” page.

Who Can Accept Planned Gifts?

Finding a working poor charity to donate to is easier than you may assume. According to the Internal Revenue Code, you can participate in planned giving to any nonprofit! This includes charities of all sizes that serve any cause. While it may take effort on the part of the charity to make the most of your gift, it’s easy for you as a donor. At Paz de Cristo, we make the process simple.

To learn more about what planned giving is and how you can utilize it to benefit the work that we do at Paz de Cristo, reach out to us today!

What Should You Consider Donating to Charity?

With nearly 30% of our neighbors living on paychecks that barely cover their necessities, there are always ways to give back to those in need within our community. If you are someone who has considered providing help but hasn’t had the chance to do so, now is the perfect time to learn what you can do to make a difference. Donations are a major component of what we do here at Paz de Cristo, but it can be tricky to know what is appropriate to donate. Here are three types of donations you can make that will help our cause here at Paz de Cristo.

Food Products

At Paz de Cristo, we pride ourselves on the work we do to ensure that those who struggle to put food on the table are not going hungry. With a mission to feed, clothe and empower, food is one of the most necessary pieces to the success of that mission. Every night of the year, we serve dinner in our dining hall. Volunteers prepare hot, nutritious meals for those who are struggling within our community. Donating food products like jelly and pasta noodles helps us prepare more hot meals and also helps us fill our food boxes. Not only do we serve hot meals, but we also prepare emergency food boxes that are given out every day of the week. A food box is generally filled with necessary items like bread, fruit, and other nutritional foods. Anybody in the community is welcome to come in and pick up a food box when needed. We provide over 50,000 meals every month so we never want anyone to feel reluctant about coming in for help.

Clothing and Cosmetic Products

Another piece of our mission is to clothe. This doesn’t just mean we want to hand out clothes for no real reason. We want to provide our guests with a fresh start. Here at Paz de Cristo, we give our people in our community the opportunity to take a hot shower with soap and shampoo. Professional cosmetologists and barbers are also onsite to provide free haircuts. We know how important a fresh new look can be when trying to get back on your feet so we like to provide ample opportunity to do so. The main reason why we provide these cosmetic services is to give job seekers a new level of confidence when they go into interviews. We also try giving those job seekers professional attire for their interviews. If you have professional clothing that you are willing to donate, we are always looking for more. Our goal is to give our guests a whole new frame of mind and your donations could help make that possible.

Your Time

Arguably the most important form of donation you can make is donating your time. We are always looking for volunteers to organize donation drives, prepare hot meals, and hand out food boxes. With the widespread needs of our community, the more help we receive the better! There is always some kind of volunteer opportunity and we want everyone who considers donating their time to feel welcome to do so. We value the help we receive from volunteers so much that we highlight them on our website. If the amount of volunteer help we receive continues to rise, we can continue to provide the help that our community needs.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask about all of our community service opportunities. There are always things to do and ways to help, so if you have the time or resources, we would love your extra set of hands. If you are interested in volunteer opportunities or making donations, call Paz de Cristo to get started right away!