A gift to charity is simply a gratuitous transfer of property to a charitable organization. The key is that your gift must be some kind of property–your time or personal services do not count.
Through tax legislation, Congress has attempted to encourage charitable giving because it is good social policy.
There are several different types of property that can be donated to charity, and a gift is limited only by your imagination. Are you the type who wants to donate cash, stock, or your lunch box collection from a 1960s sitcom?
The decision to donate to charity is a personal one. Although the IRS does not require that you have any charitable motivation when you donate to charity–you can do it strictly for the tax benefits–most people who decide to donate to charity have a charitable intent.
There are an infinite number of charities from which to choose. Most people have a particular charity in mind when they decide to make a contribution.
Through tax legislation, Congress has attempted to encourage charitable giving because it is good social policy. Most every charity depends on individual contributions to remain financially solvent, especially in this era of fewer direct government dollars. As a result, charitable giving has become interconnected with the tax laws, which have grown more and more complex.