Smart Strategies for Giving to Charity

Some taxpayers will need to find workarounds in order to write off charitable donations under the new tax law. Here are three.

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For years, Ann Gerhart of Shaker Heights, Ohio, was a shoebox saver. She documented every donation, no matter how small: Extra change dropped in a church basket. Dollars tossed into a hat at a charity event. A small contribution given to the public library. And now, with all four children grown, Ann and her husband, Peter, feel ready to give more to charity, including supporting the 10 different schools that her family has attended, plus other religious and cultural causes close to their hearts, such as the local museum and orchestra. “It’s always been important to us to make charitable gifts,” she says.

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Mary Kane
Associate Editor, Kiplinger's Retirement Report
Mary Kane is a financial writer and editor who has specialized in covering fringe financial services, such as payday loans and prepaid debit cards. She has written or edited for Reuters, the Washington Post,, MSNBC, Scripps Media Center, and more. She also was an Alicia Patterson Fellow, focusing on consumer finance and financial literacy, and a national correspondent for Newhouse Newspapers in Washington, DC. She covered the subprime mortgage crisis for the pathbreaking online site The Washington Independent, and later served as its editor. She is a two-time winner of the Excellence in Financial Journalism Awards sponsored by the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. She also is an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University, where she teaches a course on journalism and publishing in the digital age. She came to Kiplinger in March 2017.