Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Donating is good for you

It can be good for your health to give, or the tough economy can make the thought of giving stressful. In this season of giving, it could help to be creative with donations.

In this article that we found in the Longmont Daily Times Call, Susan Glairon found some suggestions.

Start by taking inventory of your talents and tangible goods, said Mary Coussons-Read, a University of Colorado Denver psychology professor and a certified life coach.

For instance, if you own a carpet-cleaning business, you could clean the carpet at a nonprofit’s office. Shopkeepers can offer gift cards or a discount. If you can’t give money, stuff envelopes for a nonprofit’s giving drive, so others who are able to give are reminded to donate, she said.

Also look at materials you have on hand. Donating canned goods to a food pantry can be less stressful than donating cash, Coussons-Read said. Psychologically, it feels safer to give something you’ve already bought than to give cash, she said.

“We are afraid of giving away things that we see as increasingly scarce,” Coussons-Read said.

If you want to donate money, which is what nonprofits prefer, harvest loose change from your couch cushions, clothes drawers, the penny jar and the car floor and donate what you find.

Or give a charitable donation as a holiday gift in the name someone who doesn’t need anything, such as grandparents who are well-off. Make the donation extra-special by sending a handmade card. Include family photos and a note explaining how the charity was carefully chosen with them in mind.

Give a donation by buying a gift from a charity such as Unicef’s toys and gifts (www.shopcardsandgifts .unicefusa.org) or gift baskets from the Women’s Bean Project in Denver (www.womens beanproject.com/employ), which helps women break the cycle of poverty and unemployment.

1 comment:

Chris said...

What an excellent starting point: giving is good for you! I guess we all know how nice it feels to give something to another. It's too bad that the press these days only focus on the impact of the credit crisis on our giving behaviour. Especially the prospects of people donating to development projects seem rather bleak. And that while with this crisis developing countries are among the ones that might just get hit hardest!

I'm currently working for an organization called Play it Forward. In essence we want to make the giving/sharing experience easy and a lot of fun. We have developed an interactive globe with all sorts of projects on it so that somebody who feels like supporting a project can always find a project he/she has affinity with. Once a project has been found, people and fieldworkers can exchange ideas and support each other. If a supporter ('Player') decides to donate money,100% will go to the chosen project. Also they will get automatic video and photo updates from the project's fieldworkers! We claim that Play it Forward is the future of giving! Check out our website, www.playitforward.nl and get into this giving groove! Cheers,
Play it Forward