We have Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Lazy Sunday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday.
Being charitable is a good thing – especially if it will get the guy next to the red kettle to stop testing your eardrums with his bell.
Some people “tithe” – which is giving 10% of one’s income. It’s like God is their agent and that is his commission. I can hear Him now, “I put you in America, how about a little something for the effort? Thank you. Me Bless.”
We hit the lottery just by being born in the good ole US of A. Everything else is gravy. Still, some folks here have legitimate needs.
It’s great to do things for charities. If you were looking for ways to be able to give more to charities, I have a few suggestions that have worked for me.
- I have a savings account at my bank that I call my “Donation Fund”. Every month I have an automatic transfer from my checking to that fund. The savings account pays interest, has no minimums and no monthly fees. It’s amazing how fast those funds will grow, little by little, month by month.
- Now that I have my Donation Fund, when I get a request to Save The Tatas, Bike For… this or Walk For… that, I have money ready to send. For whatever reason, I did not get many requests this year, so I have a lot of money in there. I’ll donate it all, but seriously doubt I would write checks for that amount had it not already been set aside.
- If you don’t know where to donate, CharityNavigator.com is a good place to start.
- Corporate Matching – Sometimes companies will match donations. Talk to your company’s Human Resources department to see if they’ll match what you kick in.
- Private Matching – Someone offered to match what my friends’ Pardcast-a-thon brought in. A benefactor offered to match any increases in donations at my high school community service teacher’s Paul Lammermeier Foundation. Ask your favorite charities if anyone has made a matching offer. Maybe this is the year you sweeten it a bit!
- I also like to throw a few bucks to the Little Sisters of the Poor in my hometown. They have run a nursing home for over 140 years, where “thousands of elderly Cincinnatians from all walks of life, all religions and beliefs, have made their home with us.” REMEMBER: It can’t hurt to have a bunch of nuns praying for you! Even heathens know it’s smart to hedge a bet, just… in… case.
- As I explained in “Ol’ Tax Dodge Donation Double-Dip”, it is very easy to donate appreciated stock to avoid paying the capital gains tax on the stock’s appreciation. You also get to write off the full value of the stock at the time of donation (not just what you paid for the stock many moons ago). It’s a win-win!
Many charities take credit cards, which is a nice way to meet a spending requirement if you are shooting for a big sign-up bonus! Click on “Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers” at the top right side of this website for up-to-date deals, terms, and conditions on my favorite cards with big sign up bonuses. Email me if you have any questions about which card might be right for your situation.