‘Tis the season for giving to worthy charities

Get the best bang for your buck when choosing a charity for your tax deductible contribution.

During this giving season, solicitations are plentiful and you want to make a difference. How do you get the best bang for your buck as you choose which charity to support? The Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance have guide star ratings and check lists for evaluating a charity. While all charities need to use some of the funds raised for administrative costs, there can be huge disparity between seemingly worthy organizations. Charities that put 80 percent or more of your contribution toward the actual cause are putting your money to work most effectively and should be at the top of your list.

One such organization is the Michigan 4-H Foundation, which supports Michigan 4-H Youth Development programming efforts. Through Michigan 4-H, youth ages 5 to 19, from cities, suburbs, towns and rural settings, can participate as county 4-H members across the state. In addition, adults can join as volunteers. Through their work, the Michigan 4-H Foundation supports a variety of 4-H program areas that youth are involved in, based on their interests and the availability of a knowledgeable adult in the community to serve as a mentor or leader.

Looking to learn more about Michigan 4-H? The four H’s stand for head (decision-making, setting goals), heart (compassion), hands (serving others) and health (actively taking care of mind and body). Michigan 4-H Youth Development also trains and supports adult volunteers to provide youth with opportunities that:

  • Build important life skills such as communication, problem-solving and critical thinking.
  • Help them learn in ways that are appropriate for their age and developmental stage.
  • Help them learn to make friends and work as a team.
  • Allow them to experience the value of diversity.
  • Offer an emotionally and physically safe learning environment for their educational development.
  • Help them grow as citizens through leadership development and service to their communities.

These outcomes for youth are what drive the guiding principles of Michigan 4-H Youth Development programming, which is part of Michigan State University Extension. 4-H also provides state, national and international opportunities for families to work and learn together.

Now that you know all that 4-H provides to Michigan’s children and youth, consider making the Michigan 4-H Foundation a recipient of your holiday giving this year.

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