While philanthropic giving is important any time of the year, during the holiday season it often comes to the forefront of people’s minds. Indeed, many charities look for donations during the holiday season, and every cause has an organization with a philanthropic arm looking for help.
While most organizations seek specific types of help, it might be a good idea to determine your goals for the year and what type of group that particularly pulls at your heartstrings.
Looking for charities and choices unique to ethnic groups came up for me empty-handed, but it is a good start to look in your own city and find out who is doing what.
In regards to giving food, money or gifts during the holidays there are groups out there geared toward blacks, Hispanics, and other groups in particular areas that are local to your city.
It is also interesting to that according to www.hispanicmarketinfo.com the American Red Cross has noted that 67 percent of Hispanics believe charitable giving is important during the holiday season. As well, in the top three Hispanic markets in the United States, which are Los Angeles, New York and Houston, 53 percent of those households made charitable contributions in the past 12 months just because they felt it was the right thing to do.
A few organizations that stood out to me this year include Angel Tree, which is a ministry of Prison Fellowship that delivers Christmas gifts to the children of prisoners. Angel Tree connects the parents in prison to their children through the delivery of Christmas gifts by church volunteers who purchase and deliver the gifts.
My Two Front Teeth is another organization that helps disadvantaged children to individually pick their one holiday wish. Once this is done, the holiday wish is listed online on a database and donors choose the child they want to sponsor.
Whether it is a child or an adult needing help this holiday season or any time of the year, many organizations need your time and money. Here are a few ways to determine if a charity is right for you.
A website called www.gatherlittlebylittle.com has put this list together to help you think about how and whom you will give to this year.
- It is okay to ask how much of your donation goes to the cause versus administration fees. The charity should be giving at least 75 percent to the cause of which you are donating.
- Check the Better Business Bureau and ask about the charity before contributing.
- Get a receipt since contributions are tax deductible.
- Search online and find out more information about the charity you have decided to donate to before sending money.
- Never give out personal information such as account numbers or social security numbers and when giving money online make sure the site is secure.
- Don’t get taken in by a fake websites asking for money. For charities that are lesser known, but that you are interested in giving to, do more research.
- Remember you can also volunteer your time and not just money during any time of the year and often it’s a good way to get to know more about your charity of choice.
Giving is a very personal thing to do whether it’s during the holidays or throughout the year.
The most important thing to remember is that you want to give from the heart and in return, you can hope that the organization you have deemed a good cause finds it within its heart to make sure your money goes to the best efforts possible.