Even though I have more than I need, I struggle with making space in my budget for helping the most vulnerable. Maybe you're experiencing similar budget issues. I know from talking to friends that many of them are in the same boat, so I did a little brainstorming. How can we help others when our own purse strings are stretched thin?
Every year, charities reap the benefits of Canadians' generous holiday spirit, seeing a significant bump in December donations. In fact, more than a third of CanadaHelps' annual donations are achieved in this one month alone. While that seasonal generosity is important for charities, there is an unfortunate downside -- as the seasons change and the weather gets warmer, donations tend to dry up, leaving gaps for many organizations. I call this the "summer drought."
Unfortunately, it remains part of Canada's culture of philanthropy to think charities should spend all their money directly on programs and that "administrative" spending is wrong and should be discouraged. There's a double standard, with different expectations of businesses than of charities when it comes to investing internally.
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.
Friday is World Food Day, the perfect day to join thousands of people around the world by treating yourself (and others), to the most expensive and lavish feast you can afford. You deserve it! And here's the best part: you can satisfy that craving -- and be a humanitarian hero at the same time, helping some of the most vulnerable people on the planet.
We value charities mostly based on how low the overhead is -- this is a deeply entrenched, if not consciously examined, measuring stick for charities. We want our support to go exclusively toward program delivery and not into staff, operations, technology, or training and development -- as if the two are completely unrelated.
With every action you take, you change the world, too -- for better or for worse -- whether or not you even realize it. Changing the world for the better, in my view, is an achievable goal for every single Canadian. And it's much like achieving any other goal in that all you need to do is start working on forming habits that contribute toward the change you want to see.
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.
Each year, 50 per cent of charitable giving through CanadaHelps happens in December, equating to $35 million in donations to worthy causes. December 31 is the most popular day of giving, with $3.6 million donated on this day alone. Some individuals have a charity which they donate to year after year; others vary their charitable giving among an array of organizations. So what do people need to consider before deciding which charity to share their goodwill with this year?
It's important to be mindful when you give. Next time you attend a function where people ask for a donation for charity don't reach for the minute rice or the wax beans that you know you're not going to eat -- reach for your favourite tin of soup, or a jug of real juice or some healthy pasta, and consider how much MORE receiving that kind of generosity will mean to someone who does need the help.
Why am I so uncomfortable with the word "charity"? Yet I use the word to symbolize a thought or feeling. I feel more charitable or less charitable today. Maybe it's because I feel the word demeans the intent. But, nonetheless this year I am producing my 9th Annual Andy Kim Christmas Show for "Charity."