50%, 30%, and 20% Limits on Charitable Contributions
* Generally, you can deduct cash contributions in full up to 50% of your adjusted gross income.
* Generally, you can deduct property contributions in full up to 30% of your adjusted gross income.
* Generally, you can deduct contributions of appreciated capital gains assets in full up to 20% of your adjusted gross income.
Charitable contributions in excess of these limits can be carried over to the following tax year. The excess contributions can be carried over for a maximum of five years.
With that in mind:
If you make $209,000 and pay regular tax, your tax would be $68,970 netting you $140,030
If you instead give $5k to tax-deductible donations, your adjusted income is $204,000, tax is $58,520 netting you 141,480
If you had donated just a couple hundred dollars, you would have profited several thousand dollars.
Really, it's a nice little way of making an extra buck if you are near a bracket mark.
Businesses have a lot more leeway with this too, but I don't know the details. It's something we took advantage of when I worked at the Boys and Girls Clubs.