Do you have a giving heart? Most people want to donate some of their time, talent and treasure to a worthy cause, but they just don’t know where to start. There are different reasons you may want to give. Philanthropy could be for a religious belief or moral duty. It could be that you just want a tax write-off.
Your desire the promote the well-being of others is the core of philanthropy. Giving your time, talent, and treasure will enrich the lives of those you are supporting and your own life. Always give with a happy heart and know that you positively change the world.
Whatever the reason, you see the value in helping others is the key. So how do you get involved in philanthropy? Here are seven ideas to start your giving.
1. Find a Cause
Most of us want to support an organization we feel connected to. It could be a particular disease, the environment or even education. Look to your interests and see similarities with a charity you can support. It doesn’t have to be just one either. Let your heart move you and make a connection to a need that you can get behind.
2. Consult Your Network
The people in your life have their ideas around philanthropy, and you should talk to them about their charities. There are causes that you may not have heard of or ones that have deep meaning to your loved ones. You could help by supporting what they are and even brainstorming about other places that need assistance. If you want to make a bigger impact with the charity you want to get involved in, talk to your friends and family about it. They may get on board and be part of the solution.
3. Donate to Your Local Church
If you struggle to find a charity to help out, why not see what your local church supports. Churches like United Church of Canada do amazing work with local and international philanthropy. So, you may want to get involved with them. Even if you are not a church member, you can attend a service to see what charities they work with. You may just find a welcoming place with people that want to live as you do.
4. Start with Volunteering
You may not have much money to give or are a little leery about handing over cash. This love of humanity is generosity in all forms, and if you have time to donate, many places need it.
Consider volunteering at your local food bank or homeless shelter. There is an immediate need right in your neighbourhood, and if you can spare a few days a week, it will make a huge impact. The Special Olympics is also the perfect place to donate time. You can help coach athletes or just be a support person at events. Take a close friend or family member with you and double the support. You can even man a kettle for the Salvation Army at Christmas. These charities need your help and will never turn you away.
5. Consider Long-Term Giving
Do you want to make a real impact on a cause you believe in? What not give ongoing support to your charity? Get to know the causes you want to support and see how your extended commitment could benefit them. You can give monthly or make a yearly contribution. Establish trust on behalf of a loved one you lost or even for after you have passed. Charities that have the strong support they can depend on will make a bigger impact in the lives of those in need.
6. Evaluate Your Philanthropic Contributions
Giving is a great thing, but you should keep tabs on the charities you support to make sure they still align with your beliefs and principles. You may support a certain outreach, but as they change their focus, it might not be something you want to give to.
You could have a more pressing need to help out, and you can also divert some of your money to them. Do a monthly philanthropic checkup to ensure your donations have the biggest impact.
7. Spread Awareness
While your donation goes a long way to help a charity, being an advocate for them can reach well beyond you. Lead others to donate to your cause by spreading public awareness. You can start a campaign on social media and share it within your groups to help make your videos go viral. Other ways you can spread awareness include:
- Hosting a fundraiser
- Selling t-shirts
- Starting a GoFundMe for crowdfunding
- Challenge co-workers, family and friends to donate
Getting people excited about giving may be in your skillset, and you can make such a huge impact by having others join in your philanthropy.