Donation Season is Here

Right now, nonprofits and other charitable organizations are increasing their outreach to people like you and me. I’ve been getting tons of mail from nonprofits. Now is the time, before the holiday frenzy begins, to account for your giving so far this year, and make sure it gets completed – before the end of the year.

Full MailboxI shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.
— Etienne de Grellet

Nonprofits are reaching out to you for good reason: approximately forty one percent (41%) of charitable donations are made during the last three months of the year.  With online donations, a third are made in the last three months of the year – 22% of those are made in the last two days of the year!

My local NPR radio station has just (thankfully!) completed their fall membership drive. I took the opportunity to go online and give my annual gift to them, and signed up for automated giving using my charge card. That will cover me for the coming year and NPR gets a nice steady income stream.

Do yourself a favor, before the holiday advertising push heats up, decorations go up, and you start worrying about visits with relatives: Make sure you will complete your charitable gifts for this year:

  • If you have a tracking method for charitable gifts (could be an electronic file, data sheet, or a file in your file drawer), pull it out and confirm which organizations you have already given to and how much.
  • Notice if you have missed or not given what you had planned to any favored charitable organizations, and contact them with a donation.
  • Is there a new nonprofit that you want to make sure to give to this year? Check out their website and do some research before making a donation.
  • See if there are any charitable organizations where you want to increase your giving, and make that happen – by enlarging your automated gift amount or sending them an extra donation.
  • If you have budgeted for charitable giving (good for you!) try to fulfill the budget now.
  • During the rest of the year, if you find causes you really want to give to, try stretching your generosity to overspend your giving budget just a little. You may be surprised at how little you will notice in the long run.
  • Pat yourself on the back knowing that you have caught up with your giving plans – before the holidays start.

The last few months of the year are pressured and hectic; it will take some strategy to ensure they feel like “holidays.” Make yours a bit easier and get your charitable giving in shape now.

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