How to Give Back
Over the past three weeks we have shared information from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) about how to manage your money during the COVID-19 pandemic, how to create a budget and ways to start saving. Our last financial blog for April’s National Financial Literacy Month is about charitable giving.
As my kids were growing up, we established a very simple form of budgeting using envelopes that were labeled “spend”, “save”, and “give”. So, each week as they received their allowance, the money was divided and placed in the proper envelope—and they were mostly very good about keeping the money separated!
My kids saw the empty “spend” envelope after they spent the money; they saw the “save” envelope become fatter as they saved money (they established goals for why they were saving); and they felt proud to donate their money when the time came to do so.
Be a Philanthropist
Everyone likes to give, to practice philanthropy, and we want our donations to count. But before you give, check out these Five Simple Steps for Better Giving from GuideStar and then use GuideStar to learn about the charity you want to support (step #4!). The first step asks you to clarify your values to help you determine if this charity aligns with your values, because we cannot support every cause (this refers back to “know where every dollar goes” from our Budgeting blog!). GuideStar may not have information on smaller charities, but you can still do research by contacting them directly and asking questions.
Learn more about giving
Check out the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information article Before Giving to a Charity which provides more great advice about making charitable donations. It suggest you check the IRS database of registered nonprofit organizations. You can also learn if your charity is registered in Pennsylvania (find this information on the Pennsylvania Department of State’s Welcome to Pennsylvania’s Charity System click on “search” and enter your search terms). (Or check websites like Charity Navigator or Charity Watch.)
You will also learn the answers to these questions:
• What rules do fundraising telemarketers have to follow? What to listen for when they’re speaking.
• What is crowdfunding? You’ve heard about it, but what is it?
• When a fundraiser calls, what questions should you ask before you donate? Be a smart supporter.
Give Local York is coming up on May 7, 2021! There are many wonderful charities that would greatly appreciate your donation (including any of the 13 libraries in York County)! Practice what you have learned and be a knowledgeable philanthropist!
Is it after Give Local Day? You can give any time on donate.yorklibraries.org. Thanks!