Well, it is that time of year again. The time when every non-profit you have ever heard of, and many you haven’t, comes out of the woodwork asking you for money, toy donations or to volunteer your time. Am I right? And the only thought in your head is ‘why on earth should I give my hard earned money to a charity when I barely have enough to pay my own bills’. I know I’m right because I have thought the same thing.
However, let me give you something else to think about from my experiences in giving. I used to hate going into a store at the holidays with one of those red buckets outside because I felt pressured into giving something or felt guilty if I didn’t. We’ve all been there, but my attitude about giving has started to shift. During a time when I was living paycheck to paycheck and not always making it at that, I started just tossing a few coins in those buckets during the holiday season with the wonderful, giving attitude of, “It’s not going to do me much good at this point so they may as well have it.”
As that holiday season wore on – and it was a tough one financially for me – I kept throwing whatever loose change I had in my purse whenever I passed a bucket. I eventually decided that I wasn’t going to pass one without putting at least a few cents in. It became my own personal competition; still not an awesome motive for giving but that is where I was at that point. In keeping with my overly competitive spirit, I started throwing in a dollar bill here and there too. Now, contrary to where you think this story might be going, I did not end up with some sort of windfall of money after all my “sacrificial” giving. My financial state was the same as it was when I started my one person competition, but the difference was my attitude toward my finances.
My Charitable Giving Turning Point
As I gave, I realized that even though it may be a very tiny amount, I did have some disposable income. This realization made me start looking harder at exactly where my extra spending was going and, while I thought it was impossible, there were some little things I could cut back on that would add up to an amount that made a slight difference in my budget.
Beyond the selfish benefit of my giving with a not-very-thankful-heart, giving also eventually made me look up from the stress and worry of my life and see that there really were people, organizations, animals and a lot of other things that were in a much worse situation than I was. Giving is an unselfish act, even when done with a selfish motivation, and you can’t help but be affected in a positive way by it. Without all of us giving there would be a lot of non-profit organizations that could not take care of people and animals in horrible situations through no fault of their own. But even for those that are having a tough time because of a decision they made; well, we have all made poor decisions at some point in our lives. Why not give a hand to someone else that made a decision they should not have made? One day you may find yourself needing that same hand to help you.
There are plenty of great non-profit organizations out there to start giving to this year. If you have an issue near and dear to your heart, you can find an organization that feels just as strongly about it as you do. Start giving to those organizations – even if it is just a little bit.
At the digital marketing agency I work for, Advice Interactive Group, our founders have created a non-profit organization called TryMunity. TryMunity is an online community for survivors of Traumatic Brain Injury, their caregivers and families to share and support one another. This year, TryMunity has partnered with Tree Classics, charitable giving campaign.
Tree Classics donates a percentage of each sell to a charity chosen by their customers. TryMunity is one of those charities that you can choose to donate to when you purchase a Christmas Tree from Tree Classics. Each participating non-profit gets a minimum donation of $500. If you don’t need a Christmas tree, you can still make a donation on Tree Classics website, which helps the selected non-profit.
However, you choose to give your time and/or your money, just do something. Even if you don’t have the perfect attitude about it – just do something. You will never regret it. (BTW…. supporting a charity helps your brand, in case you forgot read how.)
“No one has ever become poor by giving.”
~ Anne Frank, diary of Anne Frank
I would also love to hear your comments on your giving experiences! Share below.