Today is Giving Tuesday. It’s hard to believe, but it’s only been around since 2012. I can’t think of another unofficial holiday that has spread so fast.
Before we dig into Giving Tuesday, I have a little blog housekeeping from the last couple of weeks to catch up on. You may have noticed that I haven’t been writing as much. I went on vacation which blurred right into Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. I intended to write articles about all the deals, but I didn’t find a lot this year.
Well, I should clarify that. I found a lot of deals, but they were short-term deals. They were also on things that were interesting to me, but maybe not the general public. For example, I got a Nintendo Switch from a military online story – most of you probably don’t qualify to shop there. I got a couple of Switch games, but they sold out in about an hour.
I think my plan for the rest of the year is to review the decade as it comes to a close. I expect to share blogging highlights from each year as well as personal financial progress we’ve made.
Now, let’s get back to Giving Tuesday. I have a smorgasbord of charity thoughts that may help guide you.
Let’s start by maximizing our donation dollars:
Make the Most of Matching Funds
One of my favorite ways to multiply my giving is to look for charities who are looking to match gifts. Essentially these charities have donors who are looking to boost the giving for the charity overall. At the bottom of this article, I’ve got a couple of examples of how that works with two charities that I’m giving to this year.
Someday, I hope to be one of those donors who are offering to match gifts. However, it’s usually a rather large donation. I think we’ll have to get the kids through college before we can tackle something like that.
Make Your Dollars Go a Long Way
This is one of the best ideas I’ve seen regarding a charity donation. It comes from Dollar Revolution:
Rethought my answer, I’d likely buy $1million of medical debt & forgive it. You can sometimes buy it incredibly cheaply (which shows how inflated it can be).
Depending on each individual debt, that could erase over $100million in debt, freeing over 10k from that ball & chain.
— ? Dollar Revolution ? (@dollarrev) November 10, 2019
You and I probably don’t have a million hanging around, but I’d love to explore this further and see what can be done on a smaller scale. Or maybe we can combine into a charity that does have a million to do just this. It’s a fantastic way to impact a lot of people in a great way.
Some Giving Tuesday Ideas
There are many organizations that are looking for your charitable contributions today. Personally, I like local organizations such as food banks. However, there are many worthy charities around the world. I also like supporting the military, but that’s because I see firsthand how awesome organizations like the USO are.
I have quite a few reward points companies looking for me to donate points. So if you are short on money and have some points, that’s another route you can go. I don’t know what the Red Cross does with a lot of American Airline miles, but I’m guessing they can figure it out.
Is This a Good Charity?
Sometimes it can be hard to know which charities are reputable. Every now and again, you read stories that only a small percentage of the money actually makes it to the people it’s trying to help. The rest of it gets eaten up in high salary C-level execs and other expenses. In some of the very worst cases, some scammers will purposely name their charity similar to a legitimate one in hopes of getting some free money from the confusion.
There are three great places to review charities:
Can Deduct My Donation to this Charity from my Taxes?
As with any area of taxes, it is best to consult your tax advisor before doing anything that I might suggest.
A charity needs to qualify as a 501(c)(c) orginization for you to be able to deduct it on your taxes. How can you figure that out? Fortunately, the IRS has an easy charity search for you
Who I’m Giving To this Giving Tuesday
This is a little difficult to write, but I’m going to do it anyway. We’re giving to my kids’ private school. It certainly doesn’t scream as a need such as many food and health charities. I’ll start by explaining why we’re giving to the kids’ school and then ask you to suggest some charities in the comments.
There are four main reasons why we’re giving to the kids’ school today:
- We Do It Every Year
We give to the school every year. It’s enormously helpful for them to seek other donations when they can show that all the parents care to give. They are mostly focused on participation, so the gift doesn’t have to be big. Last year, they got to 100% participation for the first time in the school’s 80 year history.
- Matching Funds
The school has 3 other donors matching funds up to $10,000. Our donation on this specific day helps ensure that the school will get close to $40,000 and maybe even more.
- Local Community
For the most part, the money stays in the local community. The largest expense for the school is the staff.
- I’m a Little Selfish
This is at the bottom of the list for a reason. There’s some personal gain with the donation. It’s an investment in my kids’ education.
I also gave to my alma mater which had a similar target goal of getting a set number of donations. My wife shamed me a bit because I didn’t give much, but I want to help them unlock those matching funds.
This is where you come in. I’d like to help people who are in need in addition to schools with large tuitions. Leave a comment about your favorite charity that fits the bill and why I should give to it. I’ll give extra consideration if it has matching funds.
If I don’t get any comments, I’ll give to Lucy’s Hearth as I did before. It’s a local charity that aims is “a 24-hour emergency and transitional shelter for mothers and their children who are homeless due to economic hardship, family crisis, divorce, eviction…” It checks the box of being local and helping people “in need.”
What are your plans for Giving Tuesday? Do you have some unique ideas of your own? For example, are you setting up a fundraiser for your kid’s school? Who will you be donating to? Share your thoughts and ideas by letting me know in the comments.