Chances are, you’re going to receive an endless deluge of pitches from non-profits you’ve been in contact with, all today. Your inbox survived Black Friday, it probably survived Cyber Monday (which I swear is an acronym, Can You Blast Email Repeatedly), and now you have to weather #GivingTuesday.

Some people have their personal causes, their personal crusades that matter a great deal to them. Those folks don’t need any motivation to give today or any day.

For the rest of us, here are a few thoughts.

First, find a cause that affects you personally, if you want to donate to something. If you don’t have anything like that off the top of your head, go look at Charity Navigator for four-star charities in a 5 mile radius around you (or larger, if you live in a rural area):

Charity_Navigator_-_Your_Search_Results

Second, look for charities that are less wealthy. A $10 donation is more impactful to a charity scraping by than a charity with millions of dollars in the bank. Obviously, if they’re less wealthy because of mismanagement, that’s something to take into account, but sites like Guidestar and Charity Navigator can help you determine who’s running their shops well.

Third, as you plan your gift, think about taking the amount and making it a monthly gift if you can. If you planned to donate $20, consider a monthly donation of $1.67 instead. If you planned to donate $50, consider a monthly donation of $4.16. Why? Non-profits are like any other business – they need cash flow all year round. Having a predictable cash flow makes the business easier to run, rather than boom-bust cycles that make for tougher forecasting and planning.

Go forth and support something worthwhile!


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