Planning Our Charitable Donations

We’re like a lot of people in that we do a good deal of our charitable giving towards the end of the year.

We donate to our church weekly, but we build up a ‘Giving’ fund throughout the year.  I think the timing came about mostly because I’ve always tended to do my giving toward the end of the year.

My wife and I discussed it and we’re going to proceed as follows:

  • Colleges – Each of us will donate a little bit to the respective colleges which we attained our undergraduate degree.  I’ve donated every year since I graduated in 1996, but this will be her first donation since she graduated in 2005.
  • Food bank – There’s a local food bank we like to give to
  • Local museum – There is a museum in our community that we’ve used a lot, mostly for wedding and family pictures.  The funding has been cut more and more as the economic impact has been felt.  Since we have gotten so much from this museum over the year, we feel it’s right to donate a few dollars back.

In addtion, we donate household goods regularly (a couple of times per year)  to the Salvation Army store, which re-sells them at the local thrift store and distributes the proceeds accordingly.  I have some clothes and books in the trunk of my car that need to be dropped off.

We might have a few dollars left over, and there are of course many worthy causes in which to donate. What we donate isn’t much, but I hope it still makes an impact in lives out there somewhere.

When do you do your donations?  How do you go about deciding who gets your charitable donation dollars?

4 thoughts on “Planning Our Charitable Donations”

  1. It is awful to admit but we do most of our donations very close to April 15 date. I guess we should plan and donate more.

  2. I do a variety of things. I have a fixed donation I make every paycheck to the united way.

    I also have an informal slush fund for all the random people who collect for their various causes.

    Lastly, I'm trying to a couple of big things a year. Like I sponsored a woman to do a talk at my son's school. I like to know how my charitable donations are being used, so I try to do a few creative things on my own rather than having someone else decide how my $ is going to be put to good use.

    My long term goal would be to pay back some of the scholarships I received from local businesses. I've been paying it forward in other ways but I think it would be cool to give some of the money back for the next gen of high school graduates. I haven't had the dough to do that yet as some of them were quite large.

  3. I prefer to donate my time to organizations instead of money. Although I've been known to give $10 or so to a good cause if they ask for it.

    The bonus of volunteering is that in many organizations you can learn some new and interesting skills. My volunteering of choice is at the local bike co-op. I help people fix bikes and learn how to do it in the process.

  4. I give 10% off my gross pay twice a month throughout the year. I give my money to an organization that my friend does mission work for in another country. This will change when she leaves the program. I committed to her until she finishes.

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