After all, it’s not the “getting” that’s important. It’s sharing our good fortune through charitable gift giving with friends and neighbors in need.
We all know the holidays are a time for giving. This year, why not celebrate the season’s spirit by gifting presents that make a difference. Charitable gift giving is one way to spread your generosity and good cheer.
After all, it’s not the “getting” that’s important. It’s sharing our good fortune with friends and neighbors in need. Whether they’re in our communities or around the world, everyone should feel the joy of the season.
Whether it’s for tax benefits or because it warms your heart, consider charitable gift giving for those on your list. To help, we’ve rounded up a few ideas. Here are 10 ways to give the gift of generosity this season:
- Help When It’s Needed Most. The American Red Cross donors, volunteers and employees work to prevent and relieve suffering during the world’s emergencies. You can honor friends and family with gifts that help those when they need it most. Choose gifts like warm blankets, a day of emergency shelter, or hot meals. Make donations in the names of the people you love.
- Sponsor a Family. Find an Adopt-A-Family program through the Salvation Army, local charities, religious organizations, or your workplace. Feel as if a family may be too big a commitment to manage on your own? Ask your family and friends to join in. The more that participate the greater joy your charitable giving will bring to givers and receivers.
- Buy Goods that Do Good. Consider buying from a retailer who donates a portion of their sales to a charity. For example, buy LUSH’s hand and body lotion, Charity Pot. You’ll be pleased to know that 100% of the proceeds supports causes like animal rights or environmental protection. Not only will your sister love her gift, she’ll appreciate the contribution to a cause that’s close to her heart. Here’s a list of companies and products that keep on giving.
- Time Is just as Valuable. Charities are always willing to accept cash donations, but sometimes donating your time is even better. Consider volunteering at a soup kitchen. They need help with serving, as well as with preparation, cleanup and whatever it takes to feed those in need. Stock shelves at your local food pantry or help deliver meals on wheels. Check in on independent seniors. This can be a lonely time for many seniors. A smiling face and some friendly conversation is worth more than any amount of money.
- Donate Your Stocks or Bonds. Interested in making a donation and taking advantage of some additional tax benefits? Donating a portion of your portfolio may allow you to give more in value than you would in cash. In fact, you can donate any appreciated asset to a charity that is willing to accept it. Here’s a guide that offers some details. Be sure to contact your intended charity to discuss the details and coordinate the transfer.
- Gift Your Frequent Flyer Miles. Are you a frequent flyer? Have you accumulated enough miles that you’re able to give some away? Consider donating them to a charity like the Make-A-Wish® Foundation. Every mile you donate will help kids and their families travel to destinations around the world. It’s just one simple way you can help share the power of a wish.
- Send Care packages to Our Troops. Want to let our service men and women know we’re remembering them during the holidays? Send a care package. Treat the Troops and Any Soldier are organizations that coordinate ways to give to our deployed soldiers. It’s a great way to let them know how much we appreciate their service and sacrifice.
- Give a Charity Gift Card. It’s always nice when you make a donation in someone else’s name. But, if it’s a charity that isn’t important to the receiver, it may seem less thoughtful than you intended. Now, you can make a donation to the cause they are most passionate about. Buy a gift card at tisbest.org, and the recipient can choose from among 300 charities to allocate the money. It’s a win-win!
- Buy Gifts through Amazon Smile. Start your holiday shopping on the Amazon Smile website, smile.amazon.com. You’ll find the same prices and products as Amazon.com, but they’ll donate 0.5% of the price to your favorite charity. It’s a simple way for you to support your favorite organization every time you shop.
- Create a Gift Registry. If you don’t need another holiday tie or pair of slippers, create your own gift registry. List your favorite charities and ask your family and friends to make a donation in your name. JustGive.org offers the Charity Registry. It may inspire some others to consider charitable giving, too.
These are just a few suggestions. There are many opportunities to donate to a charity or a cause that inspires you. It doesn’t need to be limited to the holidays, either. Think about being generous throughout the year. There are always people in need. When you donate, you not only impact their lives, you also bring more meaning to yours.