I’ve noticed in recent years that resolutions have become a thing of the past. People don’t want to create unrealistic goals and feel the let down of not living up to their own expectations. Or perhaps they just find it cliché and instead resolve not to resolve.
For me, December 31st is a simple marker in the year where I can stop and reflect on what I have accomplished . . . and what else I hope to do moving forward. This year, I’ve done more writing and photography than ever, moved to a new apartment in San Francisco, and paid off a lot of my dreaded student loans.
But one of the most important things I’d like to do more of next year—especially now that I’m moving out of a “student” lifestyle and into some financial stability—is to give back. So far, I’ve managed to find ways to give here and there: buying charity gift cards, volunteering, and giving a few individual donations. But I haven’t yet made it a part of a personal giving plan.
Ring in the New Year on a positive note…
1. Donate by December 31 – I’m getting in my last donations for 2011 and adding to my charitable deductions for the year. Do the same: Give to your favorite charity, donate in someone’s name, or buy a charity gift card as a New Year’s gift —they choose the cause and you get the deduction.
2. Get it on the Record – JustGive creates a Giving History online for every donor with convenient access to charitable information needed for taxes. I’m able to do all my giving in one place and can easily keep track of it. Whether I’m donating or buying a charity collection, sending a gift card, or making a charity or wedding registry gift, it’s all recorded and stored for me online.
3. Plan to Plan – I want to make a bigger difference with my giving in 2012. By ticking the recurring box on any donation, I can affordably budget my charitable gifts throughout the year. JustGive automatically sends my donation each month . . . and I check ‘charity’ off my resolution list instantly!
Still not sure about how to make charity a part of your own budget in 2012? Visit our Giving Wisely page for more info and things to consider as you develop a plan that works for you and supports the causes you care about.
P.S. Let’s get the buzz going: How do you plan to make a difference with your giving? Which charities do you support and why? Tell your story on Facebook – and we’ll spread the word about the good work being done across the country.
– Michelle Koffler, Marketing Coordinator