Based on the guidance of public health officials and the state government, the Center for Financial Independence will be temporarily suspending in-person events and personal finance advising appointments. During this time, you may still contact our office via email and we will be happy to assist you. Information on virtual advising sessions and events will be forthcoming. Please continue to monitor our website for any updates. For additional information about how Northeastern is preparing for COVID-19, please visit

Together: Staying Engaged Through Financial & Social Activism

By Zaheer Ali – Personal Finance Advisor at Thrive

With everything happening in the world right now, students and young adults across the nation are heeding the call to action to make important changes in their communities. Although it may seem as if the world is in constant freefall, taking a more active role in your community is a great way to help make the kinds of change you want to see. Even though many of us are socially distancing at home and away from our friends, family, and communities at large, there are many ways to take a more active role and beof service to causes you believe in – even if it must be done from afar. Donations to charities and nonprofits have skyrocketed in recent weeks and Thrive is committed to empowering all our students with the knowledge needed to make smart decisions that will lead to lasting impacts in their communities and their personal finances.

Many food banks, community centers, and nonprofits working to help local citizens are in need of support. With both the COVID-19 pandemic still underway and calls for social justice reform happening across the nation, these organizations are being stretched thin. If you feel compelled to help, you are not alone! Identify a few causes you want to support and decide if you will give that support in the form of monetary donations, active involvement with the organization, awareness campaigns, or some combination of all three. Use your voice to reach out to your friends and family and ask them to join you.

If you choose to make monetary donations, check and see if your donation is tax deductible. Religious and charitable organizations that are registered with the IRS and fall under section 501 (c)(3) are eligible to receive tax deductible donations. Be sure to keep your receipts! If you meet the requirements for deducting your charitable donations on your income taxreturn, it will allow you to reduce your adjusted gross income (AGI) for the year – potentially putting you in a lower tax bracket and giving you a larger tax refund. This is a win-win for both the causes you choose to support and your personal finances! One thing to remember is that donations made to crowdfunding sites are typically NOT tax deductible.

Many people across the country right now are out of work and are scraping by on reduced budgets. You can still get involved with the causes you want to support even if you find yourself in a difficult financial situation at present. Use your social media platforms to spread awareness, write letters to your elected leaders, engage in thoughtful discourse with those around you, or volunteer your time with community groups. Even if you can’t afford to financially support a certain cause right now, there is so much you can do to lend your support in other ways!

As a reminder, Thrive is available to assist you throughout the summer.For additional information on how to take advantage of tax deductible charitable contributions, please take a look at this resource from the IRS.

You can also schedule a PFA with one of our Personal Finance Advisors here: Lastly, be sure to follow Thrive on Instagram and Facebook for all of our latest updates! Be well and stay safe.