About a hundred years ago (February 2020), I suggested we think about setting up a giving programme.
What with the Covid-19 pandemic, a great deal has changed since then, and I have been astounded by how much ordinary people are contributing to the greater good. Some of the giving I’ve seen reported includes:
- Making protective equipment like masks and scrubs for medical personnel
- “Adopting” a health care worker; helping them out with the everyday stuff so they can focus on taking care of themselves and their patients
- Supporting those in self-isolation with shopping and outside errands
- Donating money, food, or time to organisations that support the less fortunate
- Donating money to inadequately funded organisations that offer front line support
- Putting teddy bears in windows sho children can do treasure hunts for them
It’s been inspiring to see so many people doing so much good in their communities.
And along those lines, there have been people saying they wished they could help, yet have no idea how to.
How to Start a Giving Programme
1. Work out what you care about
There are some things you value; things that you think everyone is entitled to. Depending on where you live, that might include fresh air, clean water or universal healthcare. Or maybe you’d like to support care for wildlife, schools, young or old people and so on.
2. Work out what you can give
The most obvious thing is money. But if you don’t have money, you probably have time. If you have time, you might also have physical strength or knowledge you can give.
3. Work out how much you can give
Certainly not more than you can afford, but enough to make it feel worthwhile. Also think about whether it’s a one of payment, or you can give more frequently.
4. Work out who to give it to
Sometimes giving to individuals can be a minefield, so you might be better to give it to an organisation that has a programme in one of your value areas. Try to pick one with low overheads that will transfer most of what you give to the recipients. Choose as many or as few oranisations as you think will meet your giving objectives.
5. Keep records
Partly for your own satisfaction, and partly for potential tax claims. Also, if you are elderly, it provides evidence of a pattern of giving so any bequests in your will are less likely to be overturned by a court.
Make it Happen
And once you’ve made your decisions, make your first gift.
You might never be in the kind of Bill and Melinda Gates position where you can set up a foundation to fund large international projects, but you can put yourself in the position to support smaller, local projects that improve the lives within your community.