Giving to charity can bring joy to your day-to-day life. Here’s how to get started.
Studies have long shown that giving makes us feel good. Helping others raises our endorphin levels, reduces our stress, and actually promotes longevity. Even though charity could very well be the health equivalent of eating an apple a day, many people limit their charitable giving to special occasions — seasonal holidays or the annual fundraiser for their favourite charity.
This year, many events and fundraisers are not happening or have shifted online. And our calendars may seem a bit out of whack without the usual routines and celebrations of milestones. If you have the capacity and the resources, this may be an opportunity to add a new, beneficial routine based in generosity.
Not yet convinced? Here’s another key reason. The most benefits — for donors and recipients — occur with regular giving, and technology has made it easier than ever to infuse charitable giving into everyday life. So if you want to make donating more than an annual act, here are some easy ways…
Start small and make it a habit
You can open an Impact Account with a minimum contribution of $5. Another way to start the habit is to just set it in motion and forget it. It takes just a few minutes to set up a monthly deposit to your account. It may not seem like a lot to give $5 per month (perhaps the equivalent of one less coffee run) but it can add up over time. Giving what you can afford today gets you started in the practice of generosity.
Did you know that the majority of registered Canadian charities operate on a revenue of less than 200K per year? Take some time to get to know a few in your community and, when you are ready to give, you will have saved up a significant donation for small charities making a big difference.
Get the kids involved
Teaching your kids to be generous early in life not only reaps big rewards in the long run, it can also help to instil important skills around responsibility and budgeting. You could tie a portion of their allowance to a charitable giving account. Let them choose which charity to donate to or make it a family event to choose which charities to donate to at the end of the month.
Give the gift of giving
Many holidays and special occasions come with expected gifts, which can add up to significant spending on things that don’t get much use or aren’t wanted. Another option is to send charitable dollars as a gift through your Impact Account. The gift recipient will also receive access to an Impact Account, from which they can plan and track their own giving.
You will feel good, your loved ones will feel good, and a charitable cause will benefit (instead of the deep storage unit). The other great thing about charitable dollars is these are gifts you can easily give virtually while still warming the heart.
Add achievement incentives
Need a little push to finish your book before the next book club meeting? Or to complete that hill training with your running club? Or to rid yourself of that bad habit? Why not make a deposit into your Impact Account whenever you achieve a goal? That way, you’ll be doing good for others while you work toward bettering yourself. And, you will be aligning your personal goals with your giving goals.
Get to know the impact of your giving
We all like to get little rewards for the work we do. Science shows that when you know the impact of your giving, you get more joy out of it. And if you align your giving with an area or cause that you feel passionate about you are more likely to follow up on their work. The more you understand a charity’s needs and get to know their wins (big and small), the more you can feel you are making a difference.
We all have a brighter future that we imagine, so let’s make it happen. Charitable Impact is an online giving platform that makes it simple to give to the causes you care about. When you sign up for a free Impact Account, you can give to all of your favourite causes all from one place. It’s your giving, your way, with our support.