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The team from Charity Navigator, the nation's largest independent charity evaluator and leading donor advocate, shares their thoughts on emerging nonprofit-sector issues and offers tips to better inform your intelligent giving decisions.

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Thursday, December 26, 2019

Generosity: A Resolution Worth Keeping


If you’re like me, around 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve you remember that you’re supposed to make a resolution for the new year, which is just hours away. You quickly think through all of the possibilities: What is something I can (easily) keep while simultaneously promising to set my year on a meaningful and productive course? More exercise? Less coffee? More books? Less spending? Inevitably, I land on something I am bound to abandon in less than three weeks.

This year, however, I started thinking about my resolution early. I knew it would be the only way I could commit to something I actually wanted to keep. I took some time to think about what I wanted my year to look like and what steps I could take to ensure this year would be an important chapter in the story of my life. I decided that, in 2020, I resolve to actively recognize the generosity I’ve benefited from and be more generous myself toward causes that align with my passions..want to recognize the generosity that I’ve benefited from and be more altruistic be more generous.

Here’s how I am getting started in making and keeping my resolution...


Create a budget

Beginning with a plan is one of the best ways to ensure you will be successful in keeping your resolution. To create space for generosity in the new year, I took out my monthly budget and considered how much I wanted to allocate to charitable giving. 

Many of us are familiar with monthly subscriptions like Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Spotify. Thinking about charitable giving like a subscription makes it easier to factor in and guarantees you will have the funds to be generous throughout the year, not just in December.

Define your interests and priorities

Charity Navigator’s Discover feature allows you to quickly find highly-rated charities based on your philanthropic interests. Take a few minutes to think through the issues you’re most passionate about and play with this powerful tool and find the right charity (or charities) for you.

Interested in supporting a small organization or a charity focused on work in your state? You can use the filters in the left-hand column to narrow your search further.

Make the most of your gifts

Planning for monthly giving isn’t just great for your budget, it’s great for the organization too. Most charities rely on the last few weeks of the year to fund their programs and operating expenses for the majority of the year. This puts a lot of pressure on fundraisers, and, if they don’t make their goals, this means their programs may be cut or scaled back in the year ahead. 

By making a monthly gift to the charity you’ve chosen, you are ensuring they will have a steady stream of income throughout the year, helping reduce the pressure in December. Charity Navigator’s Giving Basket makes it easy to research and set up a gift to the organization you’ve chosen. Simply click on the green “Donate to this Charity” button at the top of their profile to get started.

Plus, charities need our support more than ever before! It’s been reported that, following the change to the standard deduction in 2017, charitable giving shrunk by nearly 2%. While that doesn’t sound like a lot, it translates into billions of lost dollars for charities doing important work. 

Once you’ve created your budget, identified a charity to support, and set up your monthly gift, challenge your friends and family to join you in your resolution to be generous. We all know that giving back feels good. Why not encourage your friends and family to join in the fun?



Written by Ashley Post, Communications Manager at Charity Navigator.


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