As we near Thanksgiving and consider the great things in our lives to be thankful for, we may be motivated to think of ways we can make a difference in the lives of others. There are several ways to consider giving, not only during the holiday season but all year round. Giving can come in different ways and are each very beneficial. Giving may be done in the forms of time, talent, and treasure.
According to a survey, 65% of Americans donate time. The average dollar amount assigned for economic impact is $23.07 per hour volunteered. Although task specific information should be taken into account, it’s clear that the donation of time is highly valuable. In 2013, the total economic impact in the United States was worth $173 billion. Without volunteers, we would be lost. Research organizations with goals that align with your values and beliefs; inquire about opportunities to help with events or programs the organization is hosting; clear a spot in your schedule to volunteer your time. You never know what impact it will have on your local community or even the world.
Although it does take some time to give talent, this form of giving requires more of your personal strengths. Talent giving is taking the time to donate the unique and personal talents you have that others may not. You may be born with the abilities, trained to learn them over the course of several years, or have gone through an education program to build the skills; whatever your talent is, it can be put to good use to help others. No talent is too small and giving yourself in this capacity will not go unnoticed.
The same survey referenced above finds that 83% of Americans make monetary donations, and St. Louis ranks as the most charitable city in the United States. Giving treasure entails donating money or other valuables. Research organizations before contributing to ensure their goal focus meets and exceeds your expectations. Items donated can be used in events, programs, or be provided to people in need; think about how valuable donating a business suit would be to a job seeker or how useful your couch would be to a senior on a fixed income. Monetary donations could help with everything from keeping the lights on in the organization’s building to providing additional programming to those the organization serves. Donating treasures provides a wide array of opportunities for the charitable organization to increase its scope leading to greater rates of success.
By Meghan Northcutt, AFC® Candidate, FFC Candidate