Small acts of kindness, gifts of time and money happen every day in the Charlotte region. As the holidays near, that inherent spirit of giving grows. Houses of worship prepare to serve more meals, make more beds for the homeless; parents seek ways to turn their kids’ focus from getting gifts to giving gifts; Angel Trees bloom; and toy and food drives multiply throughout the region.

As Charlotte’s leading philanthropic organization, Foundation For The Carolinas (FFTC) seeks to inspire and facilitate charitable giving. It partners with area nonprofits and regional foundations to help people find ways to give back in our communities and help those less fortunate. Here are just three ways, FFTC staffers say,  that you can make an impact this holiday season.

Feel good while doing good on #GivingTuesday and throughout the season:

Join the global giving community on Nov. 28 for #GivingTuesday, an initiative that harnesses the collective power of nonprofits, civic organizations, businesses, families, and individuals to encourage and celebrate acts of kindness, big and small.

SHARE Charlotte is partnering with local organizations to host community-wide events Tuesday. Drop into the McColl Center for free yoga and make a donation, or head over to 7th Street Public Market for a “Giving Makes Me Happy Hour” event, where vendors will give 10% of the evening’s proceeds to their favorite nonprofits. Share your act of giving on social media with the hashtag #GivingTuesdayCLT.

Give every day of the year:  Visit the SHARE Charlotte website to make a donation and find information on how you can help hundreds of nonprofits that work to better our community every day.

Volunteer your time and talents

Many organizations need volunteers to help during the holiday season and throughout the year. SHARE Charlotte lists nearly 300 volunteer opportunities, and you can also “Shop for Good.”

If you have limited time, Hands On Charlotte has many “done-in-a-day” projects; check out this calendar of upcoming volunteer opportunities. Longer-term, recurring projects are also available. You can even make volunteering a family affair. Learn more about how to get involved with Hands On Charlotte.

Give now — or later — and take advantage of tax breaks

Donating cash or other assets before the end of the year could reduce your income taxes, but if you’re still weighing which causes to support, FFTC’s Center for Personal Philanthropy can help you find the right charitable solution while maximizing your tax benefits.

One option is to open a Donor Advised Fund, which allows you to make a gift before year end. You can then make grants from the fund to your chosen charities at a later date.

Did you know you can take advantage of non-cash assets to support the causes you value while also maximizing tax benefits? For example:

• Appreciated stock: Giving appreciated stock to charity before selling increases your charitable impact and offers tax benefits. You won’t have to pay taxes on the gains and the charity will benefit by receiving the full value of the gift. You can deduct the current value of the gift.

• Real estate & business interestsDo you own a vacation home, real estate or a portion of a business? You can create charitable impact with these assets, too. Foundation For The Carolinas can accept the gift and create a fund with the proceeds once sold. You can then choose which charities to support.