Inspire. Encourage. Love.
As 2017 chugs along, we're excited to continue our Year of Giving challenge.
February’s goal is meant to make cause-related contributions a seamless part of your life. Some of you may already make regular donations, but I (Liz) tend to make them during December or in reaction to a natural disaster. However, many organizations greatly benefit from consistent support all year long.
Common financial advice is to set aside a small amount of your paycheck each month to fund your 401k or pay off a loan. The idea being that you’ll be less likely to feel the impact to your daily budget when the money is automatically put aside. We want to encourage you to do the same in the spirit of giving – whether monetarily, with time, or both!
My family (Meagan) supports a child, Roton, from Bangladesh through Compassion International. Each month a small amount is deducted from our bank account, and several times a year we exchange letters or words of encouragement. We paired with Roton because he is the same age as my oldest son, and we really wanted our boys to embrace this opportunity. We pray for Roton and his family regularly. Although we can’t actually witness the physical benefits that our donations provide, we are hopefully instilling compassion and understanding in our kids and providing practical help for Roton, his family & education.
Our February challenge to you: Spend time this month researching causes that interest you, and give back in a way that fits your budget. You can enter a cause into CharityNavigator.org to find any associated non-profit organizations. From there, dive deeper to learn more about their operations and ratings. Once you identify 1-2 organizations you are excited to support, go ahead and make a contribution right now, before you get side-tracked! Charity Navigator’s “Giving Basket” feature allows you to select as many organizations as you’d like and set the frequency of your donation (once, monthly, quarterly, etc.). You will then have a record of all those donations in one spot. And if you can, sign up to receive volunteer opportunities for that organization as well. Whether you can help once a year or more often - every amount goes a really long way!
In that vein, if there is an organization that would benefit from your skills and enthusiasm, contact them this month to see how you can help. I finally got organized and contacted a local nursing home where I now volunteer weekly as a "friendly visitor." No special skills needed, just empathy and the ability to chat!
Lastly, for Amazon.com shoppers, take one minute to bookmark Smile.Amazon.com (vs. the standard URL) for your future shopping. You simply enter the charity name that you’d like to support, and it will receive 0.05% back from your purchases. If you are like us, this adds up faster than you think!
Let us know how it goes, or if you have any other tips. We’re all about /giv/ing made easy!
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