What is Best to Donate to a Charity?
With the Holiday season practically in full swing, you can expect to start getting hit up for charitable donations to a variety of charitable foundations. While the continual donation requests grow old quickly, you should realize there are other ways you can donate that do not require cash or check.
Many people wrongly assume that charities simply need money in order to continue their positive efforts. While money is a necessity, it is often not the only thing a charitable organization is in need of. Unfortunately, some charities are not as responsible or transparent with their monetary spending as they should be. Therefore, donating something other than money can still go a long way in ensuring that your donation does the most good.
One of the first things you should consider is what charitable causes and nonprofits you best align with and want to support. Once you have identified the charities and causes you care most about, you can easily say no to some charities because you will have sufficiently donated to those you completely care about.
In addition to selecting causes and charities you align with, it is recommended that you set aside a monthly budget to support that charity rather than making one annual contribution. The monthly contribution and support will keep you in the loop with those you donate to and will make you feel as if you have contributed more than just money.
Some charities, such as Goodwill or The Salvation Army, definitely could use financial donations. However, they need physical goods to donate. There are undoubtedly some clothes in your closet you no longer use, some gently used electronics or common household items that others could use. Rounding up a car load of these goods and clothes has the potential to make an enormous difference for charities that sell goods donated to them. You can even purchase groceries to donate to your local food bank or shelter.
Finally, one of the most important assets we have to donate to a charity or nonprofit is our time. In many regards, our time is more valuable than money, therefore donating it means so much more. Regardless of our profession, there is no finite limit to the financial resources we stand to make. With that in mind, you can donate as much money as you are comfortable with. Once donated, you can earn more.
With time, though, no matter how much you donate, you cannot get it back. A close friend of mine donates his time regularly to a charitable organization, Kyäni Caring Hands – a charity focused on feeding underprivileged children around the world. He mentioned that volunteering his time has been one of the most impactful things he has done in his life.
Beyond being free, volunteering your time brings you more of a sense of purpose and happiness than you realize. Additionally, you will start to feel more connected to others and start experiencing the desire to more good. Finally, you will find that you are somehow less stressed when you are volunteering. Serving others somehow puts everything in your life into perspective.
Over the past few years some 62 Americans donated an estimated 7.9 billion hours to various nonprofit organizations and charities. Those hours total up to a staggering value of $184 billion. We naturally gravitate towards volunteering our time and talents because it actually makes a difference.
Once you have selected the charities which you want to align with and plan out how much you want to help, you will now know the best way to donate to them.