May 5, 2015

Charitable Giving, Making Your Gift Count.

I believe in giving, in lifting, in encouraging.
I believe that it's a significant part of the reason we're on earth, that it's important to our learning, spiritual growth, and emotional development.
I believe in being kind we find strength and encouragement for ourselves.
I believe that giving money is only one small way to be charitable, but I do believe that financial giving is important, it helps us prioritize and helps us gain self-control.
I'm grateful for parents who taught me to give of my time, knowledge, love, and other resources, as well as to give financially.

Every time I talk to someone about finances I try to determine their goals and desires, values, attitudes and beliefs. Each of us is different, therefore our financial decisions are different too. Budgeting is about making sure that every financial decision we make aligns with the things that bring us joy.
Even the utility bill, though it seems more a drudgery than a joy, is ultimately inline with my values; I like lights, warm food/cold food, a specific temperature range in my house, etc.

Like every other choice I make, when I give money to a charity, I want that decision to align with my values and goals. I believe this is part of being a good steward over the things God has given to me.

I often feel inundated by requests for charitable contributions. I'm sure I'm not alone. However, I feel that it it is my responsibility to make sure that the money I give goes as far as possible, and that it aligns with my values and beliefs. I often feel that I am not well informed when it comes to many of charities that are soliciting my donations.

There are a few charities that have earned my respect and to whom I always say yes. For others, I tend to say no until I have a chance to do a bit more research.

Along with outright scams, there are also charities that have very high overhead expenses, and some are very politically charged. Some charities do better than others at getting money to the project rather than paying for salaries, and lobbying.

I recently came across a charity that I was very interested in supporting, on the surface it seemed to fit well with my values and beliefs. I was excited, the information on their website seemed wonderful. However, a little digging on other websites revealed that this charity actively promotes legalizing abortion in 3rd world countries. That was heavy.
I do not support abortion. I would have been devastated to learn that I was supporting and promoting a charity that works for something that I morally oppose.

Next time you're thinking of donating to an organization, do a quick internet search, make sure that the goal you are helping achieve aligns with your personal values, beliefs and desires.
Money is not everything, but money IS power. Every dollar you spend has the power to bring you closer to your goals, or push you farther away,
Spend Wisely.

A great resource for finding out how a charity spends their money is
Finding out if they have political or other ties is going to require a bit more research.

I'm currently looking into a project that works with corporate sponsors to help individuals support charitable organizations. It looks promising.
If it works out, I will be sharing more in a couple of weeks so check back!

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