The most extraordinary conversation I had this year almost didn't happen. The woman calling said her name was Lisa, and she'd called to thank me for a thank you letter I had sent to her for her recent donation.
If it's that time of the year when we search for tax write-offs for charitable donations in the year just ending, why not also make it the time to plan for the charitable "donations" you won't be able to deduct in the year ahead?
While many of us show our generosity throughout the year by donating to charity and volunteering our time to help causes we support, there's no better time than the holidays to get into the spirit of giving.
Following the buying frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday offers an important opportunity to complement our own holiday shopping with a day designated to helping those who may be less fortunate.
The holidays can inspire people to adopt a generous mood. You're thankful for the blessings you've received and want to pay it forward -- and you've also realized charitable giving can lower your taxes, as well.
I am grateful for this year's #GivingTuesday to coincide with World AIDS Day and to continue our workshops that teach children to value their own lives even when others do not. I am reminded of the valuable contribution and dedication of so many who work in the trenches across such organizations.
I have no doubt that those who give donations to charities or NGOs working in developing nations have good intentions and are trying to help; the problem is that, most times, this isn't the most effective way to help.
Nonprofits that are used to relying on super donors writing hefty checks need to learn to embrace a better way: The idea of crowd-funding, where numerous smaller donations add up, powered by social media marketing.
If you don't know about Giving Tuesday, that's because there's no giant corporation flooding you with ads about it. Why would they? They don't want you to give your money away to charity when you can use those credit cards to buy ugly sweaters.
Here are just a few of the ways some of our favorite celebrities and their families give back over the holidays. You can add some of this same star power to your Thanksgiving this year by getting together with your loved ones to help make someone else's Thanksgiving holiday special.
As Americans, we have much to be thankful for. As a City Council Member representing the East Side of Manhattan, I am deeply thankful to be a New Yorker. Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for the many blessings that we have, and #GivingTuesday is a time to give back.
2014 is quickly coming to a close. Before ringing in the New Year, take December to round out some quick and easy tips to lower your tax obligations and even boost your tax refund. And who doesn't want more money?