Sign In or Register here


GET OUT AND GIVE BACK/Tis the Season for Giving

Jane Hess Collins
By Jane Hess Collins
Posted on Nov 19,2010
Filed Under News , Community,
Share  


A Salvation Army volunteer distributes donuts during the Holiday Season.
A Salvation Army volunteer distributes donuts during the Holiday Season.

ALEXANDRIA, VA. - Giving is down in both time and money, and need is up.
 
That’s what several philanthropy studies are reporting, and given some of the depressing economic news, it’s not a huge surprise.
 
Many charities, understandably, have stepped up their efforts to ask you to donate more of your time or dollars with them, and even the toughest of us have a hard time saying, “No, thank you.” Who wants to turn down the chance to offer food to a hungry child or rescue an abandoned puppy? 

Gifts that save the day, In this season of hope, give gifts in the name of your loved ones and provide help and hope to families in crisis all year long.
Gifts that save the day, In this season of
hope, give gifts in the name of your loved
ones and provide help and hope to families in
crisis all year long.

Nevertheless, no one can support all charities all of the time. Even the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation chose three areas (global development, global health, education) as its focus. So how do the rest of us decide when to say “Yes”?
 
I developed an acronym to help you out. It’s not an exact science but it will get you started. The acronym spells “GIVE” so, I hope, it’s easy to remember. Let me know if this is helpful to you.    
 
G = Give a set amount of time or money each month or year. How much is up to you. Generally speaking, larger donations to fewer charities carry more impact than smaller donations to many of them. But, once you have established your giving amount, whether it’s your time, money or both, stick with it.
 
I = Find a cause that interests you. This can be harder than it sounds, because most causes strike a chord with us somewhere and we don’t want to turn them down. Even small charities know how to tug at your heartstrings. Start by looking at where you normally give, and why.  Is the reason still relevant to you?  What interests you?  What do you love to do?  What would you do with your time and money if you had both in abundance? If you do turn down an opportunity to give, don’t feel badly about it. Someone else who believes passionately in that cause will say “yes.”
 
V = Value what you already do. Many people don’t realize that the youth coaching, scout leading and Sunday school teaching they do is part of giving back. For parents, any activity they share with their kids (or other kids) that helps them to grow up to be independent, responsible and generous is giving back at its best. Don’t try to add more to the schedule. You’re busy enough already.
 

E = Evaluate the charity or cause for its impact. What organizations give you the best return on your money and time? You can also look them up at guidestar.org and review their tax filings and other information. If you want to donate money, volunteer a few times with them first. Talk with the executive director or board members. They should be able to discuss their mission, impact and long term strategic plan. And most of all, listen for their enthusiasm about what they do. Your instinct is always your best guide.
 
Get out and give back (and good luck)!
 
Jane Hess Collins is a former Air Force colonel who writes to inspire people to contribute. She is also a coach, public speaker, conducts workshops for clients to discover their most intrinsic way to serve, and has established game nights for at-risk families throughout the country. You can contact her for speaking engagements or workshops at www.getoutandgiveback.com.
 



Loading Loading..


Shopping and Services Guide


Exclusive deals from the best locals!

Browse our highlighted partners
Spas, retailers, restaurants and…
so much more.