It’s the season of bell-ringers, phone solicitors, and end-of-the-year asks from charities everywhere. But if you’re only giving to charity when you’re asked, you might not be getting the most of your donations.
We’ll show you how to figure out what charities are most deserving of your dollars, and put together a proactive charitable giving plan that puts you in the driver’s seat.
Set Some Giving Goals
In every aspect of your financial life, measurable goals are a good thing. If you want to get out of debt, for instance, you would first figure out how fast you want to clear the slate and how much it’ll cost you each month to achieve that. Successful giving works similarly. Ask yourself (or sit down with your spouse) and discuss how much of your income you’re comfortable giving away. On average, Americans give about 2 percent of their incomes to charity; people who tithe often give 10 percent. Aim to set a goal that you can actually achieve.
Decide Where You Want to Make an Impact
“The most important thing you can do as a donor is to choose your outcomes,” says Elijah Goldberg, co-founder of Impact Matters. “Figure out what change you want in the world: Less homelessness? Better healthcare for new mothers? What do you want to see be different after you give money? That’s your most important decision from day one.”
And if you’re not sure what outcome you want to achieve? Have a look at GivingCenter.org . Giving Center’s mission is to help a wide variety of individuals, families, veterans, the homeless, rescues, other nonprofits, and so much more. They go above and beyond to help others across the United States. “Much like investing, where you can pick individual stocks, you can pick charities and add them to your portfolio,” explains Angela Campbell, the organization’s co-founder and CEO.
Filter Organizations for Effectiveness
No matter what you decide to support, the million-plus charities in the U.S. alone dictate you’ll have a choice of organizations. The best way to choose among them, Goldberg says, is to screen for effectiveness and for that you have to use data. “Most people give [based] on anecdotes,” he explains. That works when you’re choosing a plumber or electrician — the experiences of your friends and neighbors mean a lot — but it’s not as reliable when you’re choosing a charity. For that, says Goldberg, “we have to use more rigorous data.”
Donate What You Can
There are lots of ways you can make a difference this holiday season. If you can’t donate financially, Giving Center accepts other types of donations as well! Here is a list of donation options:
If you have any questions and would like to speak to a live representative please feel free to contact us at 888-228-7320 or visit us online at Givingcenter.org today.