Finance Blog

A Guide to Charitable Donations for the Holidays

Written by Miranda Marquit on December 17, 2012 in Family Money  |   No comments

‘Tis the season for giving, and many charities will be receiving lots of support and donations from people who are feeling generous during the holidays. However, the number of charities out there can lead to information overload for many consumers. As much as we’d like…

‘Tis the season for giving, and many charities will be receiving lots of support and donations from people who are feeling generous during the holidays.

However, the number of charities out there can lead to information overload for many consumers. As much as we’d like to, it’s impossible for us to donate to everyone who asks for help. Instead of fretting about where to donate, consider how you choose which charities get your hard-earned dollars. Once you figure out a donation plan, stick to it.

Don’t worry about how it looks

First of all, you need to get beyond the worry you have of not appearing generous. You can’t donate to each charity out there. Worrying about looking as though you are or aren’t doing the right thing can take a good deed—helping others—and turn it into a reason for stress and anxiety.

Recognize that you are doing what you can to help out, and move on from the guilty feelings that you aren’t giving money to everyone that asks. Learn to say no so you can focus more of your charitable giving dollars on causes that are important to you.

Identify causes that resonate with you

Think about what causes really strike you as important. Then, look for charities that do their work in those areas. For example, I like donating to the local food bank because the thought of hungry children in my community really hits home. I also donate to an education fund that helps young adults in poor countries learn marketable skills. I think that education is very important, and I like the idea of helping others develop skills they can use to provide for themselves. These are things that can’t be taken away.

Vet charities for effectiveness

When giving to charities, you hope every dollar goes to the cause you are supporting. However, some charities may spend between 50 cents and 80 cents of every dollar given on overhead and administration. If high CEO salaries and other administrative costs are a concern for you, do some research before you give.

You can use sites like Give.org and CharityNavigator.org to look at the effectiveness of the charity. I like to find charities where at least 70 cents (preferably more) of each dollar donated actually goes to the work of helping others.

Give locally

There is one charitable organization that I donate to on the national level, but most of my donations are local. I like donating locally because I can see my donation at work in the community. When you can see the effects directly, it encourages you to do what you can to give even more in the future.

This holiday season, you don’t have to give to every charity that asks. Instead, concentrate your giving, and think about who is getting your money. Commit to two or three charities, and show solid support. You’ll feel more satisfaction in your life, and you’ll also improve your finances.

Miranda Marquit is a freelance writer and professional blogger specializing in personal finance, family finance and business topics. She writes for several online and offline publications. Miranda is the co-author of Community 101: How to Grow an Online Community, and the writer behind PlantingMoneySeeds.com.

No comments yet

Leave a Comment

Name :

Commenting guidelines

We welcome your interest and participation on this forum, but be aware that comments will be published at Equifax's sole discretion. Please don't use this blog to submit questions or concerns about your Equifax credit report or raise customer service issues. Instead, you should contact Equifax directly for all such matters and any attempts to do so in this forum will be promptly re-directed.

Some other factors to consider when commenting:
  1. Registration and privacy. While no registration is required to visit our forum, participants wishing to post a message must register by creating an account. All personal information provided by forum members incident to registration is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  2. All comments are anonymous. We'll delete your name, e-mail address, and any other identifying information, including details about your investments.
  3. We can't post or respond to every comment - As much as we'd like to, we can't post every comment, nor can we guarantee that we will respond to each individual message. All questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or similar customer service issues should be handled by contacting Equifax directly.
  4. Don't offer specific legal, tax or financial advice. All of the materials on this Site are for information, education, and noncommercial purposes only and this forum is not intended as a means of expressing views or ideas regarding any specific legal, tax, or investment advice. While offering general rules of thumb is both permitted and encouraged, recommending specific ideas or strategies regarding investments, taxes, and related matters is prohibited.
  5. Credit Repair. This blog is not intended as a venue for the discussion or exchange of ideas regarding credit repair or other strategies intended to assist visitors and community members improve or otherwise modify their credit histories, ratings or scores.
  6. Stay on topic. Your comment should be concise and pertain to the specific post in question.
  7. Be respectful of the community. The use of profanity, offensive language, spam, and personal attacks will not be tolerated and egregious or repeat offenders will be banned from future participation. We encourage disagreement and healthy debate, but please refrain from personal attacks on our WordPresss and contributors.
  8. Finally: Participation in this forum may be terminated by Equifax immediately and without notice for failure to comply with any guidelines or Terms of Use. As such, you should familiarize yourself with all pertinent requirements prior to submitting any response through the blog or otherwise. All opinions expressed in this forum are solely those of the individual submitting the comment, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Stay Informed Sign up for our FREE Equifax email Newsletter