This time of year, along with the constant reminders of flash sales and special door buster deals, my inbox starts to fill with pleas to give. Charities and organizations local, national, and international know this is a time of year people feel generous. Today, I’m joining them in asking you to give if you have the capacity to.
But I don’t ask that you give indiscriminately. I take the view that concentrated resources are more valuable than those spread out when it comes to dealing with a crisis. And this year, we must all admit there is no shortage of crises. Instead, I ask you to build a portfolio of giving that you maintain year to year.
A Portfolio of Giving
For my wife and me, we looked at what we cared most about and found charities, local, national, and international that supported those subjects. As a result, we have about 8 charities we give to each year, sometimes more, sometimes less, but never more than a dozen. It’s my belief that by giving more to a smaller number of charities, each gift has more impact and therefore more likely to make a difference.
For us, the subjects we focus in on are literacy, women’s rights, and food insecurity. We came to those three after a few thoughtful nights of thinking about where we wanted to make an impact in the world, and these were what we agreed upon. It will likely be different for you and yours, but make sure it’s something you care about. Caring can make all the difference when it comes to giving again next year.
But Remember Your Personal Contribution
But while I’m mainly talking about giving money, don’t forget about giving time and expertise. Most local not-for-profits are hungry for volunteers, both at the program and board levels. If you can find an organization you can volunteer for and it fits your portfolio, do it! In addition to making a meaningful difference, you’ll also learn and grow as a person. Plus, you might even make a new friend or two!
Of course, it goes without saying, you should have a budget for your giving. And when you combine this portfolio approach with a dedicated budget you can be a pillar of support to a charity now and into the future.
If you’d like to talk more about strategies for giving, contact me. And in the meantime, I ask you all to try and leave the world a better place than you found it!