The Gift of Giving, and Doing it Better
Many of us are blessed with an abundance of resources. So much so that, we don’t always know what to do with it all.
Many college students turn to charities and donate everything from time to money through a multitude of events hosted by clubs and organizations on campus, in the community or sometimes even internationally. It always feels good to give. Simultaneously, it is important to make sure that what we are giving offers the best returns for everyone involved. Below, you will find four tips to make sure that someone out there is receiving the gift you want to give.
- Give based on the needs of those you want to help: Listen to the organization and make sure that what you are giving what they need (or contributes towards it). A good example of this is the recent earthquake in Ecuador. What are those things essential to survival? Food. Water. Shelter. If you want to help, make sure what your giving helps resolve the problem you want to address.
- Don’t create a costly situation: Some organizations contain hidden costs to the recipient which may minimize the actual influence of your donation. People often overlook that certain donations require transportation or other fees that you would not think of. Try and cover these extra costs wherever possible to increase the size of your impact. Every donation has a cost, if you find a way to work around that cost it can be extremely beneficial. An example of this would be donating a water filtration system and not sending help to install it.
- Try not to limit what can be done with your gift: Making sure that your donation is put to use for the cause you intended it for also relies on having faith in the institution or organization you are donating to, so that they can ensure it end up where it can make the biggest difference.
- Ask for feedback: An important factor in your donation is finding out how your donation made a difference. Issues such as poverty, climate change, endangered species and homeless are complicated and have multiple solutions. Finding out if your gift of time, resources or money is working, or not, can help with giving in the future. Think of programs like feed a child, or WWF where you see photos or receive information about the results of your donation.
At the end of the day, donating your time and resources is the right thing to do, and it always feel good. Continue to give, and in the future, keep in mind that these gifts do have an impact, and we can increase that impact by continuing to do the right thing.