First, choose a charity that you really care about. Of course, I recommend giving to Zion Lutheran Buffalo. But, if giving to an organization outside the Lutheran church, before making any donations, spend a few minutes looking up the nonprofit on watchdog sites such as Charity Navigator, or CharityWatch. These sites rate nonprofits and allow you to find out more about the organization and how donations are spent.
Does your household prepare a monthly budget? If so you’re in an elite minority. Only 32% of US households prepare a monthly budget. Charitable donations make you feel financially intentional, emotionally awesome, and they circle back around to benefit you come tax time. Yet, even if you do not prepare a budget, deep down, we all know that charitable giving is a good thing. That’s why planning to give is important.
Make your giving regular and automatic. Even a small donation, repeated over time, joined with other like-minded givers, will accumulate into substantial dollars for that worthy organization. Chances are you already have your gas bill, electric bill, and other monthly expenses set up for automatic payments. Emotionally, I feel that my charitable giving is more important than paying utilities, so that’s why we have set up automatic giving to Zion.