Tis the season for giving

October through December is unofficially known as “the giving season” by non-profit corporations. According to Winter 2011 issue of the Nonprofit Fundraising Survey, over half of non-profits say they receive at least a quarter of their donations during this time and 16% of organizations in the survey said they receive closer to half of their annual contributions during these last three months of the year.

Making charitable contributions has a lot of benefits. Not only does donating to a non-profit make you feel great, but it allows you to have an impact on a social issue you care about. And let’s not forget the tax benefit. Generally, you can deduct 100% of cash donations from your adjusted gross income–the amount of earnings you must pay tax on) up to 50% of your AGI.

If you are looking for a way to reduce your tax bill and feel great about supporting a worthy cause, consider contributing to an organization dedicated to improving the lives of those living with Type 1 Diabetes, or supporting one of the many research projects seeking a cure or improved medical treatment for T1D. Here are some great options:

JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation)–JDRF is one of the only non-profits dedicated to funding research on Type 1 only (not Type 2). Charity Navigator rates the organization 3 out of 4 stars and notes it directs 78.8% of its donations to research and education. To donate, go to http://www.jdrf.org.

The American Diabetes Association works tirelessly to raise awareness of all forms of diabetes…many in the T1D community (myself included) have been critical of the ADA because it often conflates Types 1 and 2 in its Public Service Announcements (PSAs). Still, its cause is worthy. Charity Navigator rates the ADA 3 of 4 starts and notes it spends 67.1% of its revenue on its programs. To donate, go to www.diabetes.org.

Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation (that’s a mouthful) funds medical research related to diabetes. Charity Navigator rates the organization 4 of 4 stars because more than 96% of its contributions are given as research grants to universities and independent researchers working in diabetes. Two of the projects DAREF has helped fund include Dr. Faustus’ research of a generic prescription drug to reverse Type 1 and Virginia Tech’s research investigating whether a gluten allergy might trigger T1D. To donate, navigate to www.diabetesaction.org.

Joslin Diabetes Center, affiliated with Harvard Medical School, was established in 1898 and has dedicated itself to prevention, treatment, and cure research ever since. It has been at the forefront of diabetes research for over 100 years. It is ranked 3 of 4 stars and 78% of its funding goes toward research. To donate, go to www.joslin.org.

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