How to Give Smart this Holiday Season
St. Louis residents are generous givers year-round. As an example of their commitment to philanthropy, St. Louis was named the third most charitable city in the nation in 2017. Unfortunately, this makes the area even more susceptible to victimization by scammers.
During the holiday season, the time for giving is in full swing. According to the Blackbaud Institute Index, about 34% of all charitable giving is done in the last three months of the year – 18% of which is done in December alone. Many organizations depend on the holiday season for a large amount of their annual fundraising. Charity scams are especially prevalent during the holiday season. According to AARP, the most targeted communities tend to be those over the age of 65.
Giving is always good, but giving smart is great – always make sure to give to an organization that deserves your donation. Find out how to maximize your philanthropic impact this holiday season with a few tips below:
Give to an organization that is fiscally responsible.
Before you make that donation, it’s important to know where your money will be spent. According to the BBB Giving Alliance, a good organization will spend at least 65% of their earnings on activities directly related to its cause. To make sure an organization is trustworthy, you can double check their credentials at these sites:
Pick something you’re passionate about.
Giving to an organization that aligns with your values can make you feel even more inspired by your donation. There are charities for just about every cause you can imagine – make sure the one you’re choosing is important to you. A very important questions to ask yourself before making your donation is if your core values are reflected in this organization.
Don’t give in to high-pressure solicitations.
Many times, telephone marketers and in-person solicitors pressure you to donate immediately. Scammers tend to demand instant commitment from their audience. It’s important to take your time and do your research before making a donation.
Donate more than money.
Giving clothes, food, and other objects can be just as helpful as money to charitable organizations. Food pantries, animal rescues, and emergency shelters need supplies from you to help as many people as possible. You can even top off your monetary donation with some useful objects from your home or a nearby store. Find a local organization in need here.
Telephone marketing can be risky. Giving online to a legit website or in-person can guarantee that you are giving to a good cause. These face-to-face interactions can even introduce you to the people who will put your donation to work.
Volunteer with your family around the holidays.
Everyone deserves community around the holidays. Not only will you and your family bond in your time volunteering, but you will be helping a very worthy cause. The holiday season is often the busiest time for food pantries and soup kitchens, so be sure to check similar organizations close to you first. Local organizations can be found here.
Contact the St. Louis Community Foundation for advisement.
Giving smart and simple is made easy by setting up a Donor Advised Fund at the St. Louis Community Foundation. They are the most popular type of charitable fund because you can work with your own local giving expert to figure out what charitable organizations work best for you. Make your philanthropic inspirations a reality this year by working with the St. Louis Community Foundation. Learn more about Donor Advised Funds here.
Don’t let the risks keep you from donating to a worthy organization – they need your help to make your community better this holiday season. This year, make the most of your charitable donations by giving smart.