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Giving better in the new year

With so many of my friends trying to raise money for so many good causes, social media has actually burned me out for charity. My goal for the coming year is to think ahead and give with a plan. 

Ideas42: ‘Tis the Season for Americans to…Give to Charity? 2018-Nov-20 by Sarah Welch

One reason Americans don’t give as much as we might aspire to is because we generally don’t take a step back to consciously decide how much of our income to dedicate to charitable causes. Without a moment of reflection, it’s easy for good intentions to get lost in the business of our daily lives. Case in point: Do you know how much you have given so far in 2018? If not, play a quick game—take a guess, and then look through your transaction history and receipts to find out if you were right! (Don’t be surprised if you were wrong. It’s quite common to feel like we give more than we actually do.)... 

While 85% of donors say an organization’s performance is important to them, only 3% actually give based on a charity’s relative performance. And it’s understandable why: there are a lot of organizations to choose from, and researching them is a hassle. But giving more is only the first step toward increasing your impact. It’s crucial to give effectively, and that means being informed about where to give.

You don’t need to conduct a literature review or write a research paper—with tools like Charity Navigator and GuideStar, you can get enough information to make an informed decision in just a few minutes. You can also check out Charity Navigator’s top 10 lists to find highly rated organizations. Also consider talking to people in your community about local organizations they donate to or have engaged with in the past.... 

Tackling these three simple steps today will help set you up to maximize a fresh start in January. Once you’ve done this thinking, don’t let it fade from view (and therefore your mind): write down your plan for becoming a generous, intentional, and informed giver, and physically display it somewhere you’ll see it throughout the year. (Yes, we know a behaviorally designed tool to help you do this would be great—stay tuned for future advancements as we seek to create just that!)

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