December 12, 2009
Charitable Giving -- The Good Card, Kevin Bacon and Taxes
Posted by Christine Hurt

My friend and colleague Suja Thomas featured The Good Card on her blog The Give Blog this week.  With this card, touted by Kevin Bacon, you can easily give someone a gift card, which they can then use to donate to the charity of their choosing.  It's not quite like a universal gift card -- it has to be used for a charitable donation.  This could be a little easier than making a donation in someone's name, especially if you don't know which charities that person supports. 

Of course, since I'm a frustrated tax geek hiding in a corporate law professor body, my first question was "Who gets the deduction?"  If I make a donation in my sister's name, then I get the deduction.  This isn't why I do it (I hope), but I'm sure a lot of December charitable giving has the charitable tax deduction idea floating around it.  Well, the answer is that the gift card buyer gets the deduction, which I think is the best incentive policy, if you want people to buy the gift card.  The gift card recipient either uses or looses the earmarked funds, so they need no further incentives.  Anyway, just curious!

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