‘Tis the season for giving!
Donating to charitable organizations should be done throughout the year. David Bach, author of The Automatic Millionaire, among countless other books, wrote that donating, or tithing, should be done automatically. I believe he said 10% is a good amount.
I did find this on smartgivers.org:
The Numbers Game: Although traditionally, the church recommends giving a 10 percent tithe (glossary) to charity, the average American gives at the level of 3.2 percent of his or her income (pre-tax). The average household donates $1,620 a year, which translates into less than five dollars a day.* However, some organizations, such as the Twin Cities-based One Percent Club, ask Americans to consider donating 1 percent of their net worth each year to charity.
This time of the year brings out an extra sense of charity and I want to share some information with you so that you do it thoughtfully. I started donating to the March of Dimes when I was in high school. A couple friends and I did the March for Babies March of Dimes walk around Eisenhower Park walk together one year. I was donating to that organization for a number of years until I learned that a very small amount per dollar was actually going to the cause.
1. Choose a cause that is near to your heart
My charity of choice now is the Make-A-Wish International. I know someone who personally benefited from this organization. She got her wish before she went into remission but ended up passing away early in her teenage years. Each Isagenix event that I go to has a special session dedicated to a Make-A-Wish family. Being able to contribute to a brief time of pure joy for a family that is going through the most challenging time in their lives bring such energy to the room. Thousands of dollars are made in mere minutes! Seeing the relief on parents faces while their children recount the adventure they were able to experience is, in fact, magical. I originally chose the March of Dimes because they help prevent premature births and help women to have healthy full-term pregnancies. A great cause, or so I thought. Which brings me to number 2.
2. How is your donation being spent?
Whether you make donations of time, finances, or used items from your home, others will benefit greatly from your generosity. Finding the right organization is just as important as finding an important cause. Charity Navigator is the resource to check out where you should be donating. Make-A-Wish is rated 4-star. You can see how much the top executives earn, how much of your donation goes to the cause, and how advertising money is spent among other points.
3. You can get a tax deduction
This is not the reason to donate, but it can be a nice benefit. Giving your money to a specific cause can feel a lot better than paying taxes and not knowing where all your hard earned money is going. Head over to the IRS website to learn more.