Life is a boomerang. What you give, you get.Anonymous
Today I’m celebrating Giving Tuesday by talking about a few of my favorite charities as well as what I’ve got planned this month to give back to YOU!
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December is typically a peak month for charitable giving. Some reports indicate a full 15-20% of contributions are made in December. With that in mind, it’s a good time to make sure your donated money is being used well and efficiently.
Tips for Selecting a Charitable Giving Organization
- Use a site like Charity Navigator to help you assess the effectiveness of various charitable organizations. Charity Navigator uses an star scale that rates charities on things like percentage spent on administrative costs, cost of fundraising, etc. The mostly highly rated will spend 75% or more on the their programs, indicating a higher amount of your charitable dollar going to the cause you intended.
- Beware of sound alike names! The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is a highly regarded charity. It’s sound alike, the United Breast Cancer Foundation, is not.
- Check to see if your employer offers a match for charitable donations. If they do, be sure to donate only through your employer’s portal. It’s silly to leave “free” money sitting on the table and it’s such a fantastic opportunity to increase your impact.
- LOVE giving but short on cash? Consider giving the gift of your time instead. Organizations like Volunteer Match can help you find local agencies in need or, just contact a charity that you’ve had an interest in directly.
Celebrating Giving Tuesday: A Few Favorite Charities
The Salvation Army
I never knew much about the Salvation Army, aside from seeing the red kettles when out and about, until my mom started volunteering there in her retirement. At that point, the holiday packing program became a family affair. My mother-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephew and friends have all taken time to participate. It’s always fun to play a role in making a child’s Christmas dreams come true.
The Salvation Army offers a wide range of community programs. Everything from addiction assistance to sheltering the homeless and assisting disaster survivors. They are often cited as having some of the lowest administrative expenses among various charitable organizations!
Heifer International works to end hunger and poverty by providing communities not only livestock but agricultural training. This two-pronged approach not only helps alleviate food source concerns but paves the way for citizens to grow their income via products that come from the livestock (milk, wool, eggs, honey). Providing recipients with the tools to shape their own destiny is my favorite aspect of this program!
Kiva.org helps people around the world by encouraging them to create their own opportunities via small businesses. It works by matching up donors and participants. You, the donor, lend money to the participant that helps fund their enterprise. When the loan is repaid, you can reinvest. Kiva boasts a 96.7% loan repayment rate from people in the program. I love that it creates a continual cycle of giving!
Related post: Life Lately & Holiday Acts of Kindness
It’s Giveaway Time!
🎁 Be sure to follow @nattygaldotcom on Instagram so that you can join in all my giveaways! I’m currently hosting one in partnership with @ohiowines. The prize is an assortment of non-alcohol related products from wineries across the state! Think t-shirts, gift cards, wine charms and more! You have until midnight, Saturday, December 7th to enter HERE. And later this month, I’ll be giving away a little something for the home 🏠. Great to gift someone else or to keep and enjoy yourself! 🎁
I’d love to hear about how you celebrate Giving Tuesday in the comments below! Are you passionate about volunteering? Love to support many causes? Or do you focus your attention on one or two main charitable groups? Have a terrific Tuesday, friends and thanks so much for stopping by!