The holiday cards, wrapping presents, and the onslaught of gatherings with family and friends during the season can be overwhelming and leave you at a loss for selecting just the right charity for your annual charitable giving.
Business philanthropy expert, Theresa Roemer offers the following tips that will help you find the right charity to give to this holiday season:
1. Research, Research, Research
Start by researching charities based on your interests. Find out if the charities you are interested in are large or small in scope; are they national or international? What makes them unique and what are their goals and mission, where does the money that they earn go? This research will allow you to narrow your interests.
2. Time Management
Philanthropic activities can be rewarding, yet time consuming, especially around the holidays which is why many people opt to write a check. If you choose to give your time in lieu of, or in addition to a monetary donation, first figure out how much time you can realistically give to this new commitment in your life. Like anything, you want to schedule this just as you would a business meeting or new project. These groups rely on the generosity of their member's free time, so if you cannot commit, do not take on more than you can chew.
3. Make it a Family Affair
Teach philanthropy to your children and grandchildren through your actions. Volunteer as a family during the holidays, make it a new tradition, where each year a different family member gets to choose the charity for the family to donate money to or everyone volunteers at a local location together. Volunteering as a family leads to holiday bonding and builds beautiful traditions.
4. Share Your Intentions Early
Let the organization you wish to work with know ahead of time that you plan to donate time and/or money. If they know they can count on you, they can plan accordingly. This will also make you accountable, and make it difficult to back out or change your mind if your holiday calendar fills up.
5. Gift GIVING
Another way to give back is through gift giving. We all have that friend or family member who has everything and is extremely difficult to buy for. Making a charitable donation in the persons name to a cause that is close to their heart is a great way to give a meaningful gift.