Philanthropy Friday: Six Lessons I Learned While Pledging to Donate Every Month

Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer. You can view past posts from the series here.

Today is a travel day for Philanthropy Friday. I’m sending you over to GOOD.

Are you a member of GOOD yet? You should be. It’s a community for people who give a damn.

I’m reflecting on the six lessons I learned by donating every month through my Giving Pledge. Here’s a preview:

In February of 2012, I started my very own Giving Pledge. I was frustrated by the lack of donations to worthy nonprofits on my part at the end of 2011.

The problem was that my husband and I didn’t make giving a priority throughout the year. Once the “giving season” and the last chance to get those tax-deductible donations in arrived, we simply couldn’t afford to donate a lot of money all at once. Not many people can, I suspect.

I noted that waiting until the end of the year to donate money to a good cause is a terrible giving strategy.

I should know better, considering I’ve worked in nonprofit development and fundraising in some capacity for nearly 10 years. There’s a need for money year round, not just in December.

Since I declared my Giving Pledge –  to donate to at least one nonprofit each month – I’ve blogged about whom I’ve donated to and why. My goal was for my husband and I to give to more organizations and feel better about our philanthropic efforts at the end of the year.

After two full years of my Giving Pledge, I can safely say “mission accomplished.” Compared to my 2011, my charitable contributions when up significantly in 2012 and 2013. Looking back at my donations in these two years, I learned a few things about myself and my giving habits.

Read the full article Six Lessons I Learned While Pledging to Donate Every Month on GOOD and leave a comment if you have a moment.

I hope it will inspire you to consider your own giving pledge. It’s easier than you think. I promise.

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  1. says

    #1 & #4 are really big for me. I have donated time and money to organizations over the years because they have personal meaning to me or to someone I am close with, and I really like knowing what the money is going toward. One year for Sam’s birthday I “bought” him an alpaca field via Oxfam after we spent 5 months traveling in South America–it had so much meaning for both of us, and I really liked the idea of it (in theory) going toward something specific.
    Bev recently posted..My Top 5 Intentions for 2014My Profile

  2. says

    These are some great lessons you’ve learned :) What has been your favorite charity/donation/cause thus far? I think you’re right that if you know where your money is going and have a follow up afterwards it helps solidify the fact that you helped someone. Great post Jennifer! Happy Friday -Iva
    AwesomelyOZ recently posted..The Irrationality of Irrational AngerMy Profile

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