Twenty-four per cent of our donations go to small charities that make up 80 per cent of the sector. I personally was not aware of the vital work they do until my family needed the services of one. They provided services that a larger charity -- which often focuses on bigger picture work -- couldn't provide.
Sure, you might throw a few coins in the Salvation Army Christmas kettle at the mall, or write a cheque for the charity canvasser who comes knocking on your door, or send some canned goods to school with your kids for their annual fundraiser. But you probably do it without giving it a lot of thought, at least if you're like most of us.
It's true that most governments in developing countries provide education for children. And there's no doubt that millions of children overseas are intelligent, hard-working and yearning to succeed. But let's consider the many challenges which children in the world's poorest regions face when trying to attend school.
No matter your age, you very likely made a donation you can claim on your tax return. This can be anything from sponsoring a friend's marathon, to attending a fundraising gala, to growing a moustache. Giving through the year is a great way to give back to your community, and there's certainly a little karma built into tax refunds, so make sure you follow these tips to get a little back come tax time.
Whether you're a billionaire, a small business owner, a student, or a retiree, I hope that you will make it a New Year's resolution to volunteer in your community. I can promise you that the personal benefits will be at least as great, and probably more long-lasting, than giving up chocolate or joining a gym!
The non-profit organization, just like the technology start-up with a disruptive, yet unproven, new innovation, must sell its vision as much as its financial model and its metrics for measuring impact. But by reducing organizational survival to a simple sales-pitch ignores the fundamental truth that not all organizations are created equally.
While "Giving Tuesday" hasn't fully migrated north to Canada, the idea behind it is appealing. With all the ads and other reminders to shop and give at this time of year, I think it's worth stepping back for a moment to consider how and why we give and also the far-reaching results certain gifts can generate.
Charities today are actively looking for innovative ways to connect people to their causes. What is interesting is how much innovation is coming from outside the traditional charitable sector. We are learning that if a cause or a project matters to people, they want to be a part of it even if it is not connected to a known charity.