Ways to Make Donations this Season
If you are going to give, it makes sense to do it wisely and for the right reasons. We have provided several ways to ensure your donation goes to a cause that reflects your values and will have a positive impact.
Research the organization.
Have you heard of CharityNavigator.org? Their site rates charities based on many criteria, like CEO salary, percentage of money directly benefiting those in need, and dollars raised per year. Taking these into consideration, Charity Navigator assigns a grade to different organizations. Conducting research first helps you make an informed decision on where to make your donation.
Think about why you’re donating.
The only reason you should donate to any organization is that you believe in its mission. Suppose you’re doing it because you feel pressured into it by someone or because you’ve been receiving excessive sales pitches from the organization. In that case, it’s okay to opt-out, especially if you don’t believe in the mission. A part of making donations is feeling good about contributing to a cause you support.
Consider donating your time if you’re on a budget.
Organizations need money to function, but they also need volunteers. Donating your time can be even more rewarding as you will meet new people and be hands-on involved in the mission. Your local shelters are always in need of volunteers to help distribute food, and there are local organizations, like Feeding America, that provide meals to those in need. You can also take a look at Americorps, United Way, and VolunteerMatch for ways to help.
Donate your talent.
If you have a skill that you can share with an organization or individual, consider donating your time and talent to help someone in need or simply brighten someone’s holiday. Sharable talents such as tutoring, music lessons, photography, and graphic design are but a few examples of how you can invest in someone else this holiday season.
Donate your items.Before you fill your home with presents, consider sweeping your house for donation items. The winter months are an excellent time of year to donate warm clothing to shelters and other organizations that help clothe the community.