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Give and Let Give

Saving money?  I am a fan.   Wasting money?  I abhor the thought.  But there is definitely something to be said for making charitable donations.  There is much benefit in learning to give away a portion of your hard-earned money.  You have to be smart about it though, use caution, and make sure you are doing it right.  Be positive that your money hits where you aimed it.  Here are a few helpful hints:

One of the first steps you need to take on the road to giving is to decide what percentage of your income you would like to donate, whether that will be per paycheck, over a year’s time, or what have you.  And make sure you figure it into your budget.  Be certain that you can afford it, that you are not overextending.  Let’s not go to the poorhouse trying to save the whales.

Check out DoTopia.com.  It helps you set up your own charitable foundation and donate instantly to more than 1 million charities (all IRS-approved for tax write offs!)  Earn even more cash for your favorite causes just by shopping.   The site’s mall boasts hundreds of venders that give returns up to 40 percent of the cost of your purchase to your cause.  Also, for instant giving gratification, your company can join the [email protected] program making it possible to deposit funds automatically from your paycheck.

One helpful website to check out before getting your philanthropy on is charitywatch.org.  They have researched and gathered tons of information on many charities including what percentage of your donation goes to administration and what actually goes to the cause.   They grade charities on other criteria as well and have lists of the best charities to give to, in their opinion.  It really helps you make informed decisions about donating your money.

Maybe you want to make a difference but it is not a good time to part with your cash.  If you can’t give money to a beloved charity you can always give time.  Most charitable organizations are eager for passionate volunteers.  There are countless positions doing a variety of services for charity.  Long term, short term, even one-time gigs if you are looking to try charity work on for size.

And lastly, just for fun, I want to introduce you to the idea of an anticharity.  Your personal anticharity would be an organization or cause that you pretty much despise, one that the thought of donating your big bucks to makes you cringe.  Let’s face it people, money motivates like nothing else, for good as well as evil.  And there are websites like stickK.com that use money to set a fire under you to meet goals and make changes in your life.  Basically, you set a goal, set stakes, and allow money to be taken from your credit card and given to your anticharity when you fail.  So whether you want to lose weight, quit smoking, or call you mother more often, use an anticharity to make your slip ups really hurt.  Vehemently opposed to guns?  The NRA would love to accept your generous contribution.

Are you a regular charitable donor?  What philanthropic wisdom do you have to share?

Article publié pour la première fois le 09/07/2012