It’s Not too Late to Give

 

 

Today I realized that I still had a Christmas gift for someone that works at our house. I feel badly that I had not seen him in the last few weeks to give him his gift so he would have it before Christmas. I texted him as much to make sure that he knows I have not forgotten about him, but I wish I had realized this the day before Christmas and not the day after. There are some people I give gifts to who really don’t need another thing, but others for whom Christmas giving is vital. Those are the ones I hate to mess up with.

 

Now that Christmas is over I have just a few days to start thinking about making our year end charitable giving. Russ, as a small business owner also has to close out his yearend books and do all his yearend distributions. I wish that the government could pick a date other than December 31 to be the financial yearend. It really ruins taking time off during the holidays.

 

Not that we have any time off since Carter has a basketball tournament that started today and goes through Monday. I do like watching her team play and they had a great first game today. My only issue is that sitting in the bleachers is no exercise for me, not as long as cheering does not count as an aerobic activity, and I am not able to do finical work in the gym.

 

I make it sound like I am giving away a lot of money; sadly I am not. I wish that I had more to share. What I do have is a lot of requests. All year whenever I get a phone call from an organization asking me for a donation I tell them all the same thing, “Please send me something in the mail and I will consider you in our year end giving.” Some think it is just a ploy for me to hang up on them and they don’t bother sending me a request, but others follow through. Now I have a giant pile to sift through and decide if I can help them.

 

There are others in line in front of new donations, our schools, church and The Food Bank. I use Charity Navigator to help me determine if an organization is a good steward of money to begin with. The hardest part is that the Food Bank gets such a high rating with 97% of all the money it collects going right back out in food and support of feeding programs that I have a hard time giving money to another organization that only puts say 65% of the money donated into support of the programs that further their mission. Charities that have staff that are too highly paid don’t need my little bit of money.

 

So it takes much more time that just the moments it takes to write a check or donate online, which is my new favorite way to give because it also saves me a stamp and helps the organization keep processing costs down. Researching non-profits could be a full time job and one I should have done right when the requests came in and not waited until the last few days of the year.

 

Giving to non-profits makes me happier than giving money to the government so I will happily get the job done before the bell tolls midnight on the 31st. For most non-profits this last month of the year is the make it or break it time in donations. If you have anything extra this year please consider sharing it with an organization that does good work to help others in your community. I can only speak about the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC, but I tell you they work tirelessly to feed over 650,000 people all year. For those people the Food Bank is better than Santa, but the Food Bank needs lots of elves to help them out.

 

If you want to see how easy it is to give online to the Food Bank just click here Food BankCENC.org. It’s never too late to give, but if you wait until 2015 you will have to wait another whole year to take it off your taxes.



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