Charitable donations are on the rise with more and more Americans giving to charity. While you may not donate to charity just for the potential tax deduction, it can be a bonus. You should always try to donate in a tax-efficient way. Here are a few helpful hints regarding charitable gifts: Know who you are donating to: Only donate to organizations with tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status. These are the only deductions that are deductible on your tax return. Before you donate to a charity check to verify its 501(c)(3) status. You can research tax-exempt organizations on the National Center for Charitable Statistics website.