Americans gave $373 billion to charity in 2015, which was an all-time record. That is highly commendable. Well, until you consider that it took 12 months for that to happen while in only two months we spent $626 billion at retail during the 2015 Christmas shopping season.
So, my question to you is: How much do you really need this Christmas? I am serious. I want you to think about what you have and what you really need. Perhaps there is a better way to celebrate this year that doesn’t require you to receive gifts.
Don’t get me wrong – I am pro-capitalism. But I think that Americans should be giving more to charity. I started a program called Holiday For Charity in 2002, and once again I’m promoting this program that provides some simple ways to help deserving charities.
The number one thing you can do is ask friends, family and business associates to donate to charity in your name instead of buying you gifts. Here’s why: a lot of people would donate to charity in someone’s name but they don’t feel right doing it unless they have that person’s approval. So, give them your OK and help someone who needs it more than you need a Christmas gift.
Here are some other ways you can participate in Holiday For Charity:
- offer to perform volunteer work in lieu of buying holiday gifts
- donate directly to charity in lieu of buying holiday gifts for clients and customers
- use goodshop.com as a starting point for your holiday shopping. Each time someone clicks through from Goodshop to one of the 2,800 plus participating stores (including Amazon, Target, Toys R Us, Sephora, Macy’s PetCo and more), an average of 4% of the purchase price is donated to the shopper’s favorite cause (at no cost to them!). Plus, Goodshop.com has more than 100,000 coupons so users can save money while giving back.
- or, register and shop at igive.com, whose merchants donate a portion of each transaction to the charities of your choice
- use Goodsearch.com. Each time someone searches the internet with Goodsearch about a penny is raised for the charity or school of their choice! You use it exactly as you would any other search engine
Before you give to a charity, check them out on Charity Navigator.
Let’s declare a holiday for charity.
Please let me know if you are participating in Holiday For Charity, and share this post with your friends.