One of the best ways to ensure you’re living generously is by planning out giving in advance. When you make giving a part of your schedule, then it makes the giving easier to follow through with. Better yet, it will become a habit for you, so that even unplanned giving comes as second nature.
You may wonder why you’d want generosity to come as second nature, and the answer is simple—it’ll make you happier. When you give, you’re helping others. That aid affects you as well, activating those same regions of the brain that are associated with pleasure, trust, and happiness. So, in a year like this one, why wouldn’t you want to spur as much happiness in your life as possible?
Discover some of our favorite ways to ensure a giving habit with this guide on how to plan your charitable giving. From scheduling recurring donations to splitting up donations depending on the month, we’ll help you make a difference in your community and in your happiness!
Decide on Charities To Support
Planning your charitable giving means deciding which charities you want to support ahead of time. Think about the things you’re passionate about. Animals? Racial equality? Battling homelessness? Look into the different types of charities and then see what organizations fall underneath. From there, you’ll have a better idea of who you’d like to support.
Do Your Research
When you have a list of some charitable organizations you’d like to support, thoroughly research them. Don’t simply see a name and give them money or time, especially if you don’t really know where that money or time is going. Take a look at sites like Charity Navigator so that you can give intelligently. Know where your money is going; it’ll make a bigger impact
Set Up Recurring Donations
Once you’ve decided who you’ll give to, see if you can set up recurring donations. These recurring donations ensure that you support consistently and not simply when you remember. Start with small amounts to determine whether it’s feasible, and then increase it from there.
Put It in the Calendar
If you can’t set up recurring donations for the organization, put it in your calendar. Make sure it’s a calendar you actually look at, and then follow through when the day comes. This is also your opportunity to research different organizations each month.
For example, think about assigning each month a theme. Maybe November you base the month solely around donating to veterans. Then, that month, you can donate to at least one new Veteran-supporting organization. This idea ensures that you’re always expanding your charitable donation circle and making a difference.
Recognize the Different Ways To Give
When you’re putting things on your calendar, don’t forget that there’s more than one way to give. Part of planning your charitable giving deals with recognizing all the different forms of giving. There’s more to support than just giving your money. Use your voice, join in marches, donate your time through volunteering, and educate others. Make time in your calendar for these sorts of charitable giving.