Wednesday 30 December 2020

You Can Make a Difference - Giving Strategies 2022

Give with a grateful heart!

Written by Robyn T. Braley

Robyn T. Braley is a brand specialist, writer, speaker, community leader and media commentator. He is the President of UniMark Creative Inc. 

The last day of December 2022 is the final opportunity to receive tax credits for donations to charitable organizations.

The needs are great. The residue of the COVID pandemic has been compounded by runaway inflation causing a worldwide economic crisis.

The COVID experience amplified the financial needs in our communities! Inflation means many people can't afford healthy food or rent costs. They are in constant search of cheaper prices.

Every day, worthy causes inundate companies and private individuals with letters, emails and phone calls pleading for help. The challenge is to decide which organizations to help when so many are worthy of support.

People are desperate. Healthcare is at a breaking point. Families are in distress.

All of this brings added pressure on food banks, family resource agencies, addiction recovery organizations, youth programs, and mental health services. Counsellors are overwhelmed by the number of people seeking help. 

While there are business failures, there are also companies that have experienced record-setting years. Some people invested in companies that have experienced profits. 

While many can’t give, there are others who can respond to the tremendous need by giving generously.

Your ability to give depends on your economic reality. But the amount of the gift is not always as significant as the act of giving it. 

How to choose which organizations to support?

So, where do you start? Identify the areas of greatest need. I suggest focusing on your community. Make a list that might include... 

·                     Food supply

·                     Homelessness

·                     Addictions Recovery

·                     Troubled Youth

·                     Mental Health

·                     Seniors

After making your list, break down each category. For example, Food Supply may include food banks, community kitchens, providing school lunches, or delivery of hot meals to seniors. 

Give to Organizations You Know

The bottom line for most people is to make their donation count. They want the largest portion of their gift to go to people who need it most. 

One way to simplify the process is to ask people you know about the organizations they support. Giving is a private matter so they may not want to provide specifics.

Another strategy is to give to organizations that are closest to the community like churches, mosques, temples or service clubs. They operate through an army of volunteers which means only a small portion of your gift will be held back for operational purposes if any at all. You can usually designate how your gift is to be used. 

Last week at my Rotary Club meeting, a lady who co-owns rental properties made a spontaneous announcement. She told of meeting a family of refugees from the war in Ukraine who were desperate to find a home for their children.   

The lady and her husband decided to lease an apartment at no charge for 6 months. They set aside a further $2,500 to help them buy a car so they could find jobs. The lady asked club members to bring that amount up to $10,000 so a durable car could be purchased. 

You wouldn't know about the family's extreme needs unless you talked to a member of our club. 

Due Diligence

The big thing is to choose a recipient you can trust. Organizations like the Salvation Army, local Homeless Shelters, Youth Centres and Immigrant Shelters work with the poorest of the poor in your community and are highly credible. 

Fill in the blanks by doing a few minutes of research. Begin by visiting the websites of the organizations you are considering giving to. 

  1. Do they have local, national or international operations?
  2. Do they list specific humanitarian activities in your community?
  3. Do they list their management teams?
  4. Do they list board members?
  5. Do they list local or national certifications?
  6. Do they give tax receipts?
  7. Do they publish annual reports?

Finally, google their name. There may be media reports and other information that comes up. If you're still not sure, call your local Credit Bureau.

More Ideas - An Excerpt

Last year I wrote a longer post called, Ebineezer Says Small Businesses Can Make a Big Difference in a COVID Christmas

Why do Albertans give?

Albertans have a rich history of giving. For the most part, we give because it’s the right thing to do. We don’t give because we have to. We give because we can!

Many give because they remember the struggles of their past. They take great pleasure in helping young people who face various barriers to success. They see it as providing a hand-up rather than a handout.

Now families need the basics like food and shelter. In some homes, there is no breadwinner. Parents feel there is no place to turn. 

Does it matter how much we give?

To get through this time, those who can give should give until it hurts! And many are doing just that. 

Dr. Marme Hesse was a generous Alberta philanthropist who died in 2016 at the age of 100. She had a great belief in the power of community.

We were sitting with a group of fellow Rotarians waiting for a committee meeting to begin. Someone made a sarcastic comment about volunteers in general and how small the donations had been for the fundraiser we were organizing.

There was a silent pause before she spoke. Then she offered profound insight, and I paraphrase, 

“Some can give a little, and some can give a lot. When each one gives as much as they can, when they can to the best of their ability, knowing that all gifts won't be equal, great things can happen in the community.” 

There wasn't another word spoken as we got to work with a renewed commitment to make the event a success. 

And that’s how we’ll get through this! By coming together to mobilize the power of community.

The End

Robyn T. Braley is a brand specialist, writer, speaker, and community leader. He is the President of UniMark Creative which focuses on website design, video production, media services (editorial and advertising), and graphic design. 

Check out the Brandit Academy on this website for speaking and webinar topics!

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Twitter: @robyntbraley

Check These Out - More Brandit Posts by Robyn T. Braley

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