In some ways giving during the Christmas season can be every bit as daunting as going to a black Friday sale at a technology superstore! The solicitations and information from each non-profit and mission can overwhelm the best of us. How do we choose? How can we truly be a cheerful giver?
Idea #1 – Pick a cause that excites you, not one about which you feel guilty. If you want to be a cheerful giver, give to something that gets you passionate enough to share it with your friends. We’ve all seen images that make us want to help from a sense of guilt. Rather, give to an organization whose vision and goals get you excited.
Idea #2 – Be generous, but not foolish. No matter how much we give, the needs are there and often we feel we should give more. But if we give beyond our means, it ceases to be fun and becomes poor stewardship on our part.
Idea #3 – Do your research. In addition to the material before you, check out other sources to be sure the organization is legitimate. Sites like www.guidestar.org can serve as a great resource to help you relate what the organization says with what it truly accomplishes.
Idea # 4 – Give locally as well as globally. We live in a big world, but hurting people can be found everywhere, even in your own neighborhood. Find non-profit organizations and ministries to give to in your city as well as some that work nationally and internationally.
Idea # 5 – Give more than your money; give your time. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. To be a cheerful giver, give of yourself this year and serve somewhere. It is more likely you will find greater joy in this than any other activity.
Idea # 6 – Talk to your friends and family about giving. They might have some great non-profit organizations they know about and can offer insight through their experience.
Idea # 7 – Check out organizations that have local offices. They offer the advantage of being able to visit and talk with someone you might know.
Remember, when you begin to think, “What can I possibly do to help end hunger around the world? I can’t even help the hungry people on this street!” -- Mother Teresa responded to this question with, ”you just need to do the thing that’s in front of you. No more. No less.”
President & CEO
Star of Hope