A Year of Giving (More!)

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 more or less 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. 🙂

The Motivation

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 coming changes, especially those unforeseen. I’ve been spoiled over my entire working career to have a regime 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.

The Action

So this year, I will be giving more and 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. 

Month Organization Donation Score
Jan Barn Sanctuary $25
Feb ACLU $25 94.39
Mar Direct Relief $25 100 (!)
Apr Commonwealth $25 92.22
May $25
Jun Sierra Club $25 94.08
Jul 350.org $25 91.36
Aug Farm Sanctuary $25 91.93
Sep $25
Oct EFF $25 96.18
Nov WMBR $25
Dec $25
  • 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!
  • June/July for Sierra Club and 350.org; Go environmental!
  • August for Farm Sanctuary for animals again, but I will have special update for that month. 🙂
  • 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!)

BUT, there are many blank months and still need selection! I will continue to edit the end of this post, highlighting my selections and a little info on each. Here is where I WANT YOUR HELP!!!

$182 as of April 1st!
$182 as of April 1st! Thanks for the support!

The Concept

I would absolutely like to make this effort as BIG AS POSSIBLE. As you can see, I have penciled in $25 per selection.

  1. 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… )
    1. My donation is submitted the last day of each month. 
  2. 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 this graph so we can see OUR progress. Even with a little help, we could easily push $2,000 into this 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.


The 2017 Organizations of Choice

January - Barn Sanctuary in Dearborn, Michigan
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 firDirect Relief logost 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)

commonwealth_logo

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!

Random Leftovers!

Since I can’t squeeze it into the comments, but want to call it out!

9 Replies to “A Year of Giving (More!)”

  1. I appreciate your commitment to giving more this year!

    We will happily match your February donation to the ACLU, a great organization we support every month.

    For one of your blank months, I’d nominate Direct Relief for your consideration. They provide humanitarian aid and medical care to people in emergency and disaster situations around the world (including events like the 2015 Nepal earthquake, the Ebola epidemic, and Hurricane Sandy). They’re also one of the most highly ranked not-for-profits in the world on efficiency and effectiveness, delivering around $36 in aid for every $1 of operating cost. Charity Navigator ranks them the #1 best charity in the U.S. with a 99.94/100 score — and yet most people have never heard of them!

    1. Boom! Thank you for helping out! VERY happy someone actually read and made the effort. It means a whole lot to me!

      And, you are absolutely correct in that I have NEVER heard of Direct Relief! BUT, they look outstanding and their scores are amazing on Charity Navigator. Consider them locked in for March! 🙂

      I’ve updated the chart, now including my +$5 match and a side donation by way of purchasing the Humble Bundle Freedom Bundle (+$16.67).

  2. I love your positive approach to recent events! I donate $10 each month to Defenders, Center for Biological Diversity, and Minnesota Public Radio. However after reading your post I will make it a point to donate to 350.org. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Yay! Thanks for stopping in and sharing your lovely donation choices. It got me thinking of possibly doubling, or tripling, up certain months with categories instead of specific organizations. Defenders is right up my alley!

      I was just entering our household tax-deductible donations for 2016 tax purposes, and I can’t wait to CRUSH those numbers this year! 🙂

      (A little sad at the ease of donating solely money, when it would have more impact to get out there. But maybe that is a somewhat selfish approach.)

  3. I give $25 a month to the ACLU, will that count? Or am I too late?

    I’d also encourage you to consider your local children’s hospital. Many people forget that children’s hospitals are nonprofit and provide care to all children regardless of ability to pay. The hospital where I work provides more than $120 million in charity care annually, and if parents ever experience the heartbreaking loss of losing a child, their balance is wiped clean. A hospital bill is the last thing they need to think about during a such an unthinkable time.

    If you want to go national, Children’s Miracle Network is a great organization, which channels money to the local children’s hospital in the donor’s city.

    St. Jude’s is a marketing machine that spends millions on advertising and IMO isn’t honest about the care they provide and to whom they’re providing it. Please avoid them and give where the majority of children are actually served.

    Great post, and a great idea! Thanks for helping make the world a better place.

    1. Oh, it will definitely count – Comment for this month to Direct Relief! Happy to add $5. (And $25 to the ACLU total last month.) 🙂

      Good idea on the hospital front! In fact I spent time myself in a number of the children’s hospitals. I will need to review what is out there, but will get something in there for May. Thanks for the idea!

      Glad you could stop by and help out!

  4. While politically we couldn’t be further apart, I have always given 10-15% of my gross pretax income to charitable non profit organizations. I think generosity is necessary to accumulate wealth. Givers are kinder and more trustworthy which leads to more success in the marketplace and putting others ahead of money keeps your priorities where they should be. I applaud your emphasis on giving and hope you don’t mind a right wing oriented commenter.

    1. I should be applauding your strong commitment to charity! 10-15% is impressive – something I may never reach. That is inspirational, no matter your political orientation. 🙂 (And I welcome all comments. Diverse social interaction is important to keep the mind active and open. There can be progress in differences.)

      1. That’s so gracious, thank you! So much of our politics are inherited or a product of our diverse histories. I know I’m wrong more than I’m right so I don’t hold too strongly to my politics. I think giving to others doesn’t have a partisan nature. It’s something we can all agree on. If we have more than we need then sharing that is just the right thing to do. I so appreciate your outlook.

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