Cash - usually in the form of a check - is probably the most common and popular type of gift. Checks should be made payable to the Surfrider Foundation. When you itemize your deductions, your gifts of cash may be deducted on your federal income tax return. Amounts up to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income may be deducted; any excess can be deducted over the next five years. Your actual savings depend on your tax rate and other factors. Usually, the higher your tax rate, the greater your savings. Gifts of cash are completed when delivered or mailed.