Charitable giving makes a difference in your life and in the lives of those who benefit from your generosity. No matter your financial situation, you can participate. Charitable giving is not only limited to giving money. A contribution of time can be equally important and meaningful.
Some of you may give money because it makes you feel good; plus, it provides a tax deduction. There is nothing wrong with that. The charity you choose to support financially is, no doubt, grateful for your contribution.
For others, like me, it’s about much more. Charitable giving of both my money and time connects me to the causes I am passionate about and helps me know that I’m making a meaningful impact. It brings me joy to know that I can touch and change lives in a way that aligns with my values.
What about you? How has charitable giving affected your life? How have you been positively impacted by someone else’s charitable giving? How do you feel when you give of yourself, your dollars, or volunteer hours, to help others in need?
Here are four questions to ask yourself as you consider charitable giving.
WHICH VALUES ARE MOST IMPORTANT TO ME?
What are you deeply passionate about? Take time to consider your life experiences, values, and motivations. Think about how to align them with your charitable giving.
WHERE CAN I DO THE MOST GOOD?
Think locally. Think smaller charities, the unsung heroes working day in and day out who are making a positive difference in your community. Is there a cause dear to your heart that is consistently underfunded or understaffed? Not only do these organizations need your dollars, but they also need you to volunteer your time.
WHICH ORGANIZATIONS ADDRESS THE ISSUE(S) I WANT TO SUPPORT?
If you have been on the receiving end of charitable giving, how did that impact you? You have a unique insight that allows you to relate to others who find themselves in a similar situation; share your story. Consider seeking out opportunities to serve, and connect with an organization like the one that assisted you.
If not, which organizations are most effective at solving the problem(s) you want to address? How transparent are they? Do your due diligence before giving. Focus on groups that know what they are doing – and that clearly tell you how your giving will make a difference.
WHAT EXACTLY DO I WANT TO DONATE?
How much money can you afford to give? What about your time or distinctive skills, things like construction, accounting, or graphic design? Volunteering your time to supply a needed service is a great way to donate. Do you have any appreciated assets you no longer need? How about funding a life insurance policy with your charity as the owner and beneficiary?
As 2022 heads to a close, many people are looking for tax deductions. I’m a board member for two local charities. I know firsthand that such organizations would appreciate a donation to their cause. I encourage you to contact the local charity of your choice and ask to schedule a meeting with the executive director. I can guarantee they would be glad to meet with you to share more about their organization and how you can help their mission. Giving your time or money to a cause you believe in would be a great way to end your year.