Sunday, September 24, 2017

How to Make Your Charitable Donations Go the Furthest

Good news, we've paid off the mortgage! Bad news, we can't itemize on our taxes any more. So when I give money to a charity, there's no writing off the tax deduction. I'm a thrifty woman, and when I give money, I want it to go as far as it can, so here's a methodology for getting the most out of your charitable giving.

First, September 25th to October 1st is Diaper Need Awareness Week. I got interested in donating to diaper charities after a friend described what it was like when she was young and she didn't have enough money to buy diapers, so she had to use t-shirts. It's an odd image stuck in my head, but there it is. So, I found a charity that I like in Rochester, NY, called ROC City Bottoms Diaper Bank. They collect unused diapers and donations to buy diapers, and then they distribute through local organizations and agencies.

So, last year, I tried to figure out the cheapest way to buy diapers to donate. I looked at buying in bulk online through companies like and, I looked at buying locally at places like BJs with coupons and rebates. When I came across diapers at garage sales, I bought them. In the end, I concluded that it was most cost effective to buy during special events like Diaper Need Awareness Week at, because matches your donation 100%. Yep. 100% (the first $50,000). Not every day, mind you, but during Diaper Need Awareness Week. And last year they did it during Giving Tuesday in November. So right off the bat, you're getting twice as many diapers for your buck as you would otherwise. But here are a few ways to take that money even further.

1. Are you a member of or This week, is giving a rebate to members of 1% back when you make a purchase at, and is doing 2.5%. Donate $100 through one of these rebate sites, and you get a $1 rebate or $2.50 rebate, respectively. Straight to you. Just for being a member and going through their site. Does $1 not seem like very much? I'll admit, I see those commercials on tv, I think for, where an excited consumer says, "I just made $100, and all I did was spend money!", and I cringe. She didn't earn it, she clawed it back. But still, I'll take my rebate money, thank you very much, and over time, since I do much of my spending online, it does add up.

2. Do you have a rebate credit card? I get 2% back on one of my cards. So, I'd start at, snag my 2.5% there, then use my 2% card to pay for it, get 2% there, make my $100 donation and double the impact between 9/25-10/1 there. And that's it. I spent $100, got $200 worth of diapers for my charity, and got $2.50 back plus $2.00 back. If you itemize on your taxes, then you'll get an additional bit back for that. NOTE: You don't have to donate $100. Donate $35! Someone else will donate $35, and someone else, and before you know it, there's enough to buy a whole lot of diapers. Note that on's website, if you look for ROC City Bottoms Diaper Bank, it shows $500 for the donation amount. Never fear, there's a pull down that shows alternatives from $35-$500.


3. And here's one more thing. When I tried couponing to get the best deal on diapers, I had to spend gas to drive to the store. And then I had to pay sales tax. Because even though groceries aren't taxed, diapers are. If you ask me, that's unfair, but the way around it is to do a donation through which will designate the money for ROC City Bottoms Diaper Bank, who are a charity, so they won't pay sales tax when they make a purchase, and they'll pool all their donations so they'll certainly buy more than $35 worth of diapers and get free shipping, and, best of all, they know what size diapers they need, so you don't have to guess. They'll get exactly what they need to support the people out there who need diapers.

Bada Bing

Note that you don't have to donate to my preferred diaper charity. If you look on, you'll see a whole slew of organizations from around the country who can take your donation.  

If you're trying to figure out where to click on to find the list of diaper bank donation sites, go to the bottom of the screen and click on JetCares, which is in a list on the left side of your screen. Then click on this image to get to the list of diaper charities:

ADDENDUM - Well yippity, skippity. I started out at, who had a 2.5% for purchases, then had it take me to and I donated $100, and then I paid with a credit card with a 2% rebate. So for all that, assuming matched my $100 donation, then I got $2.50 back from ebates, $2.00 from my credit card, and has a special going on where you get 5% in credit for purchases, so I got $5.00 in credit for that. I wasn't expecting to give me the extra credit, but I won't turn it down. $9.50 back to me, and $200 to ROC City Diaper Bank.

Bada Bang.