Many Americans choose to give back during the holidays. In fact, 31% of annual donations happen in December, with a 12% of total donations happening on the final three days of the year. As you celebrate the holidays, look forward to the new year, and start planning for taxes, it’s a great idea to think about donating to causes near and dear to your heart.
While all holiday donations are admirable, there are a few ways to ensure you have the most impact. From selecting a charity to determining your method of giving, there’s a lot to consider. Explore the important considerations and questions you should think about when building your holiday donation plan.
Discuss Giving as a Family
Your holiday charitable contributions are a perfect opportunity to discuss giving back with your kids or partner. Start by discussing different issues in the world and your community. Then, brainstorm ways to solve them together.
There are a few easy ways your kids can get involved in financial literacy and charitable giving this season:
- Bake cookies (with an adult supervising) to sell for money to donate to a cause
- Clean out old toys and clothing to donate to those in need (also a great way to make room for Christmas presents)
- Learn how to compost through back2earth’s resources
- Volunteer for a local organization together
If you don’t have kids, this is still a great way to reconnect with your partner or family you no longer live with. Talk about the causes you care most about and why they’re so important to you. Make plans to take action together.
Do Your Research
Any time you give to a cause, it’s important to do your research. Tools like Charity Navigator, GuideStar make this easier for you by transparently sharing impact data from different non-profits. There are a few things you should look out for when doing your research:
- How much do they spend on initiatives vs. administrative costs? Some amount of administrative expenses are to be expected, but most funds should be spent on programs and initiatives.
- What recent initiatives have they completed?
- Do they transparently report on progress and costs?
Diversify Your Donations
While you may decide that environmental initiatives are most important, consider diversifying your donations. Even if you donate just a small percentage of your total amount allotted for giving, you can make a significant impact at many organizations.
Explore how you can donate financially to a few organizations and volunteer your time at a few others.
In particular, many Arts & Culture organizations were heavily impacted by COVID-19 and are in dire support of financial support. Be sure to check out some of our partners within the Arts & Culture realm – Music for Life International, Golden Gate Men’s Chorus, and Movikarma.
Consider Donating Your Time
Making a difference is about a lot more than just financial contributions. In fact, volunteering can be a great way to get your kids involved in an initiative and can give you a behind-the-scenes look at how an organization is making a difference.
One great organization we’ve partnered with is TurnOut, a nonprofit organization that helps locate LGBTQ volunteer opportunities. Additionally, if you happen to reside within the Casa Grande area of Arizona, be sure to take a look at volunteer opportunities at the Casa Grande Alliance – a nonprofit that’s taking a modern approach to educating the youth about substance abuse.
Be Mindful About Your Spending
Donating to charitable organizations is valuable, but it’s also worth evaluating where else you’re spending your money. Instead of ordering gifts online this year, consider buying local. Look into the corporations you’re buying from to understand how they take social and environmental responsibility.
Your Money at Work
bunny.money is a member of 1% for the Planet and a Certified B Corporation™. As a 1% Percent for the Planet member, we’re committed to giving 1% of all proceeds to environmental causes. We recently received our B Corp™ certification, which means we rank well for social and environmental responsibility, transparency, and accountability.
Spread Cheer Throughout the Year
Donating at any time is beneficial and admirable. However, micro, recurring, and passive donations have exponential power. For example, if you anticipate giving $2,500 in the holiday donation season, consider breaking that up over the entire year. This will help the causes you support have a greater impact, sooner, and will make it easier for you to make it part of your budget.bunny.money makes it easy to make sustainable donations with our app that allows you to save for your future and donate to causes you care about, all in one place. You can even set up micro recurring donations so you can support your favorite charities automatically. Request early access to bunny.money.