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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Generosity: A Resolution Worth Keeping

With a few short hours to go before New Year’s Eve, you remember that you were supposed to make a resolution for the new year. You quickly think through all of the possibilities: "What's something I can easily keep up with while simultaneously promising to set my year on a meaningful and productive course? Exercise? Drink less coffee? Read more? Spend less?"

Inevitably, you’ll land on something you are bound to abandon by the end of January.

Even if you have not yet made a resolution this year, but have a desire to do so, take some time to consider how you have benefited from others’ generosity. Then, think about how you can pay things forward in 2021.

Here are a few tips to get you started in making and keeping resolutions for yourself:

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, review your monthly budget and consider how much you want 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 only at the end of each year.

Define your interests and priorities

Charity Navigator’s Advanced Search 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. And, if you need more inspiration about how to build a philanthropic strategy for 2021, read this blog post.

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.

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?

Updated for re-publication. Originally published on December 19, 2018.

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