Sheridan makes it both incredibly easy and incredibly difficult to give.
On the one hand, the many nonprofits and charity groups available to give to is plentiful and overwhelming. On the other hand, choosing one or a few out of that mass can be a difficult task.
Gifting a portion of what you earn has many facets, but choosing to whom, how often and how much to give are all important considerations before diving in.
After all of the consumer-minded “holidays” pass by — Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday — Giving Tuesday and thinking about the needs of others falls as an afterthought to thinking about self.
I encourage you to make giving your first thought and plan giving before the season begins by running through these helpful tips, taken partially from a list of reasons to join a nonprofit board created by Amy Albrecht of the Center for a Vital Community and partially from my own learning through mistakes.
1. Decide how much of your budget you can commit to giving to one or more organizations of your choosing. Ensuring you can pay your bills before giving is important, but stretching yourself in what you give is a challenge worth taking on.
2. Discover the causes for which you hold a passion.
Figure out the thing that tugs at your heart strings. For some, it may be adorable kittens and old, cozy cats. For others, it may be eradicating homelessness.
3. Determine what kind of impact you want your giving to make.
Are you a big-picture person and believe in a large and effective system, or do you like to see your dollars make an impact on a more local level? Both options have positives, it just depends on where you want your focus to lie.
4. Find global, national, regional or local organizations with an impact in your area of passion determined in step one. Then, make sure that organization aligns with your morals and life principles. Do your research.
5. Once you have chosen an organization or organizations, decide how much and how often you want to give. Most nonprofits have options for a one-time gift, semi-annual giving or even monthly automatic withdrawals from your bank account or paycheck.
Money is always needed for nonprofits or charities, but another option for giving if finances don’t allow it is to give from your budget of time.
Complete this task similarly to that of a financial budget: determine how much time in a week or month you have to give before committing to anything long term.
As you consider giving finances or time on this Giving Tuesday, keep these tips in mind.