Wanting to Increase Giving
While we have given some of our resources to charities and have done some volunteer work locally, I think we can do a bit more. I was reading Mike’s thoughts on charitable giving today on Free Money Finance and decided go ahead and post my plans for 2010 on charitable giving.
Donors Choose- A Charity Worth Considering
How does this program work? I’ll let the site explain how donations work:
DonorsChoose.org is a simple way to provide students in need with resources that our public schools often lack. At this not-for-profit web site, teachers submit project proposals for materials or experiences their students need to learn. These ideas become classroom reality when concerned individuals, whom we call Citizen Philanthropists, choose projects to fund.Fulfilling Student ProjectsDonorsChoose.org performs a good deal of work to ensure the integrity of its philanthropic marketplace. Here’s how it works:
- 1. Public school teachers create student project proposals at DonorsChoose.org. This consists of writing a one page essay and listing the exact resource(s) needed.
- 2. DonorsChoose.org volunteers screen each project proposal before posting to the website. Volunteers verify that the teacher and project meet our eligibility requirements, emailing follow-up questions to the teacher if anything is unclear.
- 3. Concerned individuals fund the student projects of their choice-in whole or in part-and are emailed immediate email gift acknowledgments from DonorsChoose.org which can be used for tax deduction purposes.
- 4. DonorsChoose.org emails the school principal, alerting him/her to the funded project.
- 5. Within the next week, DonorsChoose.org forwards the donor an “e-thank-you” from the teacher, which notes the date by which the donor can expect his/her full feedback package.
- 6. DonorsChoose.org purchases the student materials and ships items directly to the school along with a disposable camera, guidelines for preparing feedback packages, and a stamped envelope in which to enclose the feedback.
- 7. Students experience the project that the donor made possible! The teacher photographs the students participating in the project and writes an impact letter to the donor. Students write their own thank-you notes. This feedback is then mailed to DonorsChoose.org headquarters.
- 8. DonorsChoose.org develops the photos, and compiles the letter and thank-you notes. This feedback is mailed to the donor(s) who completed the project or made a partial contribution of $100 or more.
We have personally had great experiences with them and I wanted to expand my participation with them in 2010.
It’s More Than Donating Money
I think many people associate charities with donating money, but that’s not always the case. I bring this up because sometimes with all of our bills and obligations, sometimes we forget that there are less fortunate ones and who could use some help. I know there are many college students who are low on funds and may shy away from donating to charities. It’s still possible to be a giver when you have a small income.
Volunteering your time to a cause that matters to you is a great way to help others. The added benefit is that you can possibly learn a skill as well.
2010 Charity Challenge
I’m going to skip eating out for lunch for a week once a month and donate that money to a classroom project from DonorsChoose.org. I’ll do it around the end of the month and announce it here. You can join in and pick the charity you want to support that week, whether it’s time or money.
Hopefully we can encourage each other and by keeping this small, we can make it sustainable. If you volunteer, please share your stories too. I love hearing how others are making an impact on their community.
Name Your Charities
I’m opening the comments to you. What charities do you support? If you can include the link, perhaps you can encourage others to help your cause. If you’re a blogger, perhaps you can link to this post mention it in your tweets and get some of your readers on board with the challenge.
Photo Credit: TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³