Yesterday I wrote about what I am Thankful for. Today I am going to address the “giving” part of Thanksgiving. As I’ve thought about writing this post in my head it occurred to me that giving is every bit as tabu a topic as religion, politics and how much we make. Regardless, here’s my personal take on giving in 2010.
Tips for giving
Keep it close to home – and by home I’m not necessarily speaking of geography. Invest in (give to) causes you believe in, understand and are close to.
Trust someone associated with the charitable organization – sometimes people you trust will ask you to support a cause they believe in. This also seems like a pretty safe way to be sure your giving to (investing in) an organization that is sound.
Non-profits with no paid staff impress me – Small local organizations with 100% volunteer staff normally equates to a high percentage of your contribution dollar going to serve the cause. That’s not to say there is anything wrong with paid staff at a charitable non-profit – it’s just that I want to be darn sure an extremely high percentage of contribution dollars are going to the cause.
Types of giving
Financial – If you have the means this is in many ways the easiest way to give. Financial support is also crucial to almost every non-profit venture.
Your stuff – Extra food for food banks, all your gently (and not so gently) used clothing, etc. to organizations that recycle it like Goodwill and Disabled American Veterans. Better yet, the family down the street that you may know is down on their luck.
Yourself and your time – Whatever your skill set there is 100% volunteer organization that can use your skills. Maybe it’s your son’s scout group. Perhaps it’s the local food bank. It could even be a financially strapped friend trying to start a business. Imagine the feeling of helping someone achieve their own financial independence by helping them get started. This is without a doubt the most challenging giving for most of us. Our time is of course finite and ultimately more valuable to us than our stuff and our financial resources.
That’s my take on giving, what’s yours?