A common thread I have heard from clients and Clovis Community Ed students is the feeling of overwhelm with requests for donations. If you donate to one cause, you're suddenly barraged with ten more requests. Return address labels and cards from various charities pile up along with guilt for not financially supporting them all. Does receiving a nickel in the mail require a $25 check in return?
Random acts of kindness have their place, but random giving based on guilt or obligation doesn't. Intentional giving reduces the physical and mental clutter associated with the plethora of requests and provides a greater impact. During this season of Thanksgiving, consider theTimely Tips below as you demonstrate your gratitude through organized, intentional giving.
- Make a list of the organizations, ministries, or causes that represent your interests and passions.
- Confirm that their programs and services also align with your values and goals.
- Do your homework so that you know what percentage of your donation is used for programs, fundraising, and administrative fees.
- To ensure your donations have a substantial impact, don't spread your giving too thin. Reduce your list so your gift goes beyond just covering the cost of their promotional material and processing.
- Ask the charity to not share your personal information with other entities.
- Ask to be removed from mailing lists that you're not currently giving to. (You can always start again if you choose to.)
- Give yourself permission to divert your giving for a season. One of my clients is providing some basic necessities for a local family in need until they're able to get established.
- For the "Top 10 Best Practices of Savvy Donors" and other helpful tips visit www.CharityNavigator.org. Just beware that they'll be asking for a donation too!
We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. --Mother Teresa