It’s already September and the months of giving are just around the corner! Whether its for Thanksgiving or Christmas, the giving spirit is on the rise and hopefully it will get even bigger. Donating to people in need increases your well being and gives you a sense of purpose and inner satisfaction. Even if you don’t have much, giving something you don’t need to somebody who needs it will give them a sense of gratefulness that will hopefully lead them to pay it forward and better the community.
Yet, if you want to do some good for the holidays, make sure to protect yourself and your donation by doing it right!
Even though most charitable organizations have the best intentions in mind, not all of them are organized enough to ensure that your donation creates the biggest difference.
With so many people in need, it’s important to maximize the impact of your donation by avoiding the following mistakes:
1. Don’t assume charities want any item you donate. Donating items that are ripped, broken, or unusable cost charities millions of dollars a year because of the cost they bear when tossing out these donations. If you have questions about items you want to donate, call the charity and ask them directly before donating.
2. Not researching a potential charity. Just because a charity has a well known name doesn’t mean they will take the best advantage of your donation. According to the Huffington Post, only 35 percent of donors research before deciding where to donate. You might think you’re helping a person in need, but your donation might just be sold without it positively impacting the community. Research charities that you might want to donate to, to make sure the organization is being managed wisely and that your item will make a difference in someone’s life.
If you’re in the Chicago or Dallas area, you can use Zealous Good to match your donation with several local organizations that are actually in need of your item and will therefore profit from it the most. If you don’t live in Chicago or Dallas, research potential charities that will make the most impact with your donation.
To learn more about researching potential charities, check out our blog on How to Find a Charity to Donate To!
3. Donating only after natural disasters. Charitable giving is almost always stimulated by natural disasters, so most people aren’t really motivated to donate unless there is a catastrophic event going on. But the truth is, there are people throughout the U.S. that are in need of everyday items everyday. So, if you find you have unused things lying around the house, don’t wait, make a difference in someone’s life as soon as possible!
Donating to charities and the act of helping others doesn’t only improve your community, it also improves your sense of well being. But remember, make sure to avoid the most common mistakes mentioned above and make your donation have the biggest impact it can!