This post is all about my plan to donate more freely and with maximum intention in the new year (2017). Ultimately, I hope to get a few readers to join me in the cause. That is why I below I am offering the chance to basically match your donation when you join me. I am hoping this focused charity will inspire you to give more freely in other aspects of your life, not only monetarily, but other benefits to your community. So if you are feeling extra generous today, keep reading and please leave a comment on your way out. 🙂
For the past year, a majority of my financial situation has been dictated by commitments (debts, living expenses) and goals, primarily achieving FIRE. But now a # of those commitments are fulfilled, a number of the goals are rolling along (new car, lots of saving power) and I am in the fortunate point of my life to begin giving beyond what I previously was able.
Looking back at 2016, the donations made were small, focused and internally triggered. With some of the external realities in this new year, I apparently got the kick in the rear to give more purposefully. So this is my plan to take action THIS YEAR and move the world forward in the way that I see most positive.
We already covered the what to a certain extent. Monetary donations. While I am free at this time to be giving freely of money, I am not in the fortunate point of life to be giving freely of my time. A normal office job means normal office hours, commuting hours and the remaining goes towards family or personal relaxation (sound selfish as I type it). So, while I feel good about giving monetarily, I would rather be giving of my time, and that will definitely be worked in when possible.
Why should be fairly obvious to most. I can safely say I am in the majority of my country who was/is disappointed in the occurring changes, especially those unforeseen. I’ve been spoiled over my entire working career to have an administration in place I mostly agreed with. Things looked positive for the most part, and I took it for granted. This is no longer the case. We’ll leave it at that.
So this year, I will be giving more and be giving with more purpose! I’d like to crush last year’s total donations, and at the same time ensure that money is headed to great causes. I could go the route of something like GiveWell.org, but I’d like to still keep it semi-personal. Below is my current “giving schedule,” peppered with blank months besides a few special locks and my current donation amount. *Scores (if available) from Charity Navigator.
|Mar||Direct Relief||$25||100 (!)|
|May||American Heart Association||$25||91.18|
- January is history (as of this writing) and you can read more about my organization of choice, Barn Sanctuary, at the end of this post.
- February is going to the ACLU Foundation, despite their recent surge of received donations, I think it is an organization needing more help!
- March is going towards Direct Relief, by recommendation of Matt @ The Resume Gap. Amazing rating on Charity Navigator! (Literally a perfect score when I just checked!)
- April is Financial Literacy month, and I penciled in CommonWealth,
but not sure they take donations. Will need to review.Yes, they do! Hidden in the top right of the page, a little gift box!
- For May I will be donating towards the American Heart Association which holds an extremely close meaning to me.
- June/July for Sierra Club and 350.org; Go environmental!
- August for Farm Sanctuary for animals again, but I will have some special updates during that month. 🙂
- All donations in September will go towards the relief of the victims in Houston/Florida/Puerto Rico/Mexico. I encourage you to look for a cause you consider personal and donate whatever you can. I will be focusing my efforts to the SPCA of Texas (+ whatever I find today 9/30).
- October donations will head towards the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who “defends civil liberties in the digital world.” Privacy protectors!
- November is WMBR, a great college radio station with all their shows posted (and streaming) online! (Partial to the program Radio Ninja!)
Here is where I WANT YOUR HELP!!!
I would absolutely like to make this effort as BIG AS POSSIBLE. As you can see, I have penciled in $25 per selection.
- For every person who donates to the same charity (and lets me know with a comment below) during the month, I will add $5 to my donation, up to $100 total. (Sorry, January – may revisit you in December… )
- My donation is submitted the last day of each month.
- If you have a suggested organization, please message me on Twitter or comment below. I might not end up adding them to the schedule, but I will consider each suggestion thoroughly.
As the months roll along I will update the top-level graph so we can see OUR progress. Even with a little help, we could easily push $2,000 into these organizations fighting for great causes and world betterment.
So, that’s it. Let’s make 2017 a year to remember, for positive reasons and moving the world forward. Changes are coming, but we can absolutely make those changes welcome, right, and beneficial to the world community.
Since I can’t squeeze it into the comments, but want to call it out!
We're in for another match this month!
— Matt @The Resume Gap (@TheResumeGap) March 30, 2017
Just donated $25 to a local writer who is dropping off supplies at her local shelters (and bonus, she's matching!)
— Erin | Reaching for FI (@reachingforfi) August 30, 2017
made a donation to the Hispanic Federation yesterday for PR
— Erin | Reaching for FI (@reachingforfi) September 30, 2017
Played sand volleyball for Harvey $100 donation.
— Monkey Free Me (@MonkeyFreeMe) September 30, 2017
The 2017 Organizations of Choice
January - Barn Sanctuary Help Out! - Barn Sanctuary Donation Page
A relatively new organization, Dan and
company are getting funded and built up as a farm animal sanctuary! The concept is not new, but the need is huge. As a friend of the environment, I absolutely admire those on 100% plant-based diets. Even those who are not 100% are making a big difference when choosing an animal-product alternative. And as a human, with amazing pets and personal freedoms, those rights should extend to all animals: human, domestic pet and farm animals. Dan, Tom, and Kelly thank you for your commitment to animal rights!
February - ACLU Foundation Help Out! - ACLU Foundation Donation Page
Despite the flood of donations since middle-January, I am pitching in more as this organization is vital to help keep human rights moving forward, NOT BACKWARDS. Because they will say it better than me: “We’re there for you. Rich or poor, straight or gay, black or white or brown, urban or rural, pious or atheist, American-born or foreign-born, able-bodied or living with a disability. Every person in this country should have the same basic rights.” Thank you, thank you, thank you!
March - Direct Relief Help Out! - Direct Relief Donation Page
It is with pleasure that I include my first reader recommended organization. This is an organization I have never heard of, maybe because of the generic name, but provides efficient medical support for those in need. With the potential for reduced humanitarian aid under the current United States regime, the time to support causes such as DR (great acronym!) is possibly now more than ever.
April - Build Commonwealth Help Out! - Build Commonwealth (Donate top right)
April is Financial Literacy Month! So clearly for this month, our focus will be to join in on that near-and-dear cause! Build Commonwealth, formerly D2D Fund, “strengthens the financial opportunity and security of financially vulnerable people by discovering ideas, piloting solutions, and driving innovations to scale.” I would love to support other organizations during this month as well. Please inform me with a comment if you have a favorite financial literacy organization!
May - American Heart Association Help Out! - American Heart Association Donation Page
There really is not much need for an introduction here, as the AHA is a long standing and proud organization. All things heart! For me, this certainly hits close to home, and I am familiar with their work every day. In addition to cardiology research, you are probably familiar with them if you have learned CPR.
June - Sierra Club Help Out! Sierra Club Donation Page
Founded by John Muir – enough said.
But really the Sierra Club is a gigantic (meaning powerful!) environmental organization. With global warming no slouch, and other dirty business happening, we all need a big mama nature help us clean up. I fully support their push for a sustainable and clean energy future. Please consider charging (EV joke…) their cause!
July - 350.org Help Out! 350.org Donation Page
Continuing on last month’s environmental push, 350.org is solely focused on climate change. 350 was named after 350 parts per million – the safe concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. They are a very grassroots organization with online, but many “mass public actions.” Go planet!
August - Farm Sanctuary Help Out! Farm Sanctuary Donation Page
Farm Sanctuary is a favorite in our family. Our household is entirely vegan, and we both believe strongly in animal rights. FS lets you visit their farms in upstate New York and California for tours. (We’ve visited MANY times!) In a special this year, I will be providing a photo log of our 2017 visit. I hope you can read about the cause on their website and think about adopting one of their animals!
September - ALL THINGS HOUSTON/FLORIDA/PUERTO RICO/MEXICO Comment below to share how you've made a difference!
It goes without saying that Harvey is going to leave a lasting impression in Houston for years to come. I encourage everyone who reads this to find a cause and make a donation no matter the amount. For me, I will be supporting the SPCA of Texas, who is actively rescuing the creatures often left behind, not by choice, but the necessity. If you have a pet you absolutely understand how tough it must be. Let’s get out there and make a difference!
UPDATE: With all of the additional damage to Flordia by Irma, Puerto Rico by Maria, and Mexico by the earthquake – I will be donating $25 base to ALL causes. Share your donation story and I will still add $10 to my donation.