It's year-end! Have you been thinking about giving back? There is a real art to it.
Giving back is part of our nature. Giving, I could say more so, is part of being a woman. As this year draws to a close or if you are taking this information in at another time of year, you can still be reading and planning as to how you want to be giving back.
Importance of giving back
It's always at the end of the year that I decide, “Okay, who have I not given enough to? Who are the new people or organizations and charities that I want to give to?”
Now is the perfect time to do that. There is a big push for all these charities, organizations, and special services that are looking for fundraising dollars now, so they can support their budgets throughout the year, so they can:
It's important to give back because many organizations will only survive if they have donors and if they have people who are supporting them in one way or another. Giving back means that those services that are near and dear to your heart, the ones that are in alignment with your personal values, your mission, your business, or whatever it may be, can continue to do good work.
If you put your dollars into Amazon, you're growing Amazon. If you put your dollars into a women's local shelter, then you're helping the people around you get the help they critically need.
When we are blessed with finances, security, jobs, and business, then it is our duty to give back. I'm not going to tell you how much you have to give back. You know how much tithing you need to do. But it’s important that if we have, then we give. You may not have money to give and that's okay, but you maybe have time. All the different things you can give are:
You can also be the one who collects from others.
A few things that we've done in the past is for the gala that we did for the Dynamic Women Community. I invited the women to bring pajamas, underwear, socks, and other personal products, in order to have these items available for the women in shelters, which was for Joy's Place Emergency Shelter.
I have done others where it was feminine products, toothbrushes, body wash, these sorts of things for women in shelters. I've collected items that are one-use or small-use, like shampoo, conditioner, razors, mittens, and things for the women in the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver.
Collecting these items could be the thing that you do. I've also collected probably two suitcases or two garbage bags full of bras, mainly used bras, that were being sent over to Africa for the women there because I heard that women who don't wear a bra are more targeted for sexual abuse, rape, and kidnapping. That appalled me and I thought if I could do one little thing it would make a big difference. I can remember dropping them off to the person who was going to bring them over. I had my daughter in her stroller and two big garbage bags of bras.
There are many different ways and things you can give - like your time. Recently, with my church, my family and I helped to do a big Christmas dinner. I think it was 400 people. My job for two or three hours was serving drinks and special baked goods to the people as they came in and were waiting for their dinner. Then my job was to clean up and take down all the Christmas lights and the decorations. Then to help reset the location by bringing all the tables back and cleaning up all the garbage. That was just a one-off give back.
It's important to give back. We get it, but a lot of times, this gets forgotten, or we go to a store like Walmart and at the till we get asked, “Do you want to give $2 to Children's Hospital?” Or we go somewhere else, and we get asked, “Do you want to give $1 to this or $5 to that?”
That's not how I give. Now, that's great, but a lot of times, the companies have already given, and they're looking to recoup the donation.
Who to pick
It's great if at the beginning of the year, you choose who to give to. I get that we're at the end of the year now, and so it's like getting it in under the deadline, but still intentionally choose who and how much to give. For me, it's always important that I give to the Cancer Society because my father passed away from cancer. That one is near and dear to my heart. I also give to MS Canada because I have a few clients dealing with it.
I also believe in giving to women's shelters like Nova Vita in my hometown of Brantford because I see that we're only one decision that we've made or someone else has made for us, that would put us in need of using a women's shelter. Because I feel blessed that I haven't had to use an emergency shelter or domestic abuse services, I want to make sure that they have the resources. I give money every year. Sometimes I donate my Dynamic You book. I just feel like that is really important to me.
One that my parents always gave to was The War Amps. That's the key tags where if you lose your keys, and it says on there, just put it in a mailbox and there's an agreement with the Postal Service, that they will find the owner again of the keys and give them back. I always donate because I see that also as a service.
Then we're giving to BC Children's Hospital because my daughter had a hernia and had surgery there. They were so good. My son also broke his femur and he was in there. It's just really important for me to be giving back.
Also giving to the SPCA, that's where we usually get our animals from. This year, we got two cats from the Langley Animal Protection Services. When we went there, we donated food to them.
The “Who to pick?” is going to have to be connected to you. Do you want to give locally? I give to a women's shelter here locally. I also give to a women's shelter in my hometown.
Or is it provincially/statewide? Or nationally? Or even globally? Which level are you wanting to give to? Is it something that's near and dear to your heart? Is it based on maybe some family member that was affected by a disease? Is it a service that you've used or a friend has used?
Just be thinking about who you're going to pick. I know that my parents gave to a lot of different organizations, and they would allot a certain amount.
It is okay that if someone asks you for a donation that you say, “I'll think about it for next year. But we've already allotted our donations for this year.” You're totally ok to do that. You don't have to donate to everyone and every organization, but when you plan it, you're going to be able to see where you want to give, and you'll be able to know how much you want to give.
I know for tax purposes, it's always good to give over $20 so that you get a tax receipt, and maybe you need to write off a certain amount of money in order to reduce your tax bracket. I'm not going to go into taxes. That is not the purpose for philanthropy.
Also, if you have a service that you provide, maybe an organization would give you a “gift in kind” receipt for your services or gifting of your unneeded car to a specific organization or other items for an auction. Just be thinking about that as well, since there are so many different ways to give. It doesn't just have to be money.
How do you want to give?
Well, we're right at the end of the year, so I encourage you just go give. Give presents where they're needed, like for different children's charities or families in need. We did a couple of hampers this year, from my soccer team and my women’s church group.
At the end of the year, it's different. But going into the next year, be thinking about how you want to give. Do you want to give a monthly donation? I used to do direct deposit for my church every month. It would just automatically come out, but then I decided, instead, I would invest that money and then do a lump sum at the end of the year.
Giving cash is always better because using your credit card charges the charity fees, so you're actually giving them less than you intended. Yes, you get points, but at the cost of them having the expense. Cash is great and E-transfer is even better, then you have a bit of a paper trail in case anything goes wrong. Be thinking about that as an option, or writing a cheque works well too. But at this point in the year, you're going to have to drop it off.
Be thinking about that. We want to keep more money in the pocket of the charity or the organization that we're donating to.
*Side note for small business owners, when you buy something from a small business owner, use cash as much as you can or debit so that they don't incur the credit card fees.
Build in giving into your life
If you build in giving, then it's part of your monthly budget. It's part of your goal setting. It's part of your calendar. You can plan, “I'm going to give back by donating my time to this organization at this place, and it will already be scheduled in there.” That's how you build in giving into your life. You can ask yourself:
It doesn't always have to be to charities. It could be you mentoring someone, or joining a non-paid board, a volunteer board and giving your time, energy, and connections.
It could be you donating a certain percentage of your salary or what you bring in, and it could be something you discuss with your family, “Where are we going to give and how are we going to do that as a family not just as an individual?”
Build in giving into your business
Last but not least is thinking about how do we build in giving into our business.
Here are some options:
For my book launch of Dynamic You, we did something called the “More Than One Campaign.” I also do this when I go to big conferences. I encourage the women to buy more than one book. But that second book is left behind with me, and I donate it to a women's shelter. They buy one book for themselves, and they buy a book for a woman who maybe couldn't afford it or is now just receiving a lovely gift as she leaves the shelter on her journey for the next chapter of her life.
When you build in giving into your business, you can plan the giving. You can do it in a way that makes sense for your business, both from a structural way, also from a way of announcing it. It's not around a marketing ploy. But we all know certain companies, that when you buy one of something, you know that one is going to be donated. That can be the deciding factor for a lot of people really believing in your philanthropic ways of your business and wanting to support that.
You don't necessarily have to have your own foundation or your own nonprofit or your own special services, but can you align yourself with a specific organization? Can you give stage time? Can you send emails about them? Can you make social postings about them? Can you put them on your podcast so that you help to spread the word about this organization, charity, nonprofit or whatever it may be.
Now, there are so many other ways you can be philanthropic in your business and in your life. I just kept it to the actual exchange of you giving your time, energy, product, or money in a kind of potentially one-off way or a way where it fits into your life and business.
There are so many bigger, grander things you could do, like saying,
Whatever it is for, there is an art to giving back. The key thing is just having intention around it, and then implementing it. It doesn't have to be a lot or hard. It’s just so important, especially as women, our donation dollars count, our voice at the table makes a difference, and volunteering matters. Our ability to share our skills, and just show the younger generation the impact that we can make, not just for profit, but for good, is really important.
I'm curious, if you’re already donating, who do you give to? Why is that important to you? If you're thinking about how to be more philanthropic in your life or your business, please share that. I would love for you and your journey and what you're going to implement to inspire others.
P.S. Want 2024 to be your best year? The Dynamic Year™ program gives you the chance to look at the past year to capture the good, release the bad, and move forward with the golden nuggets we have uncovered. You get all the info, tools, and templates you need to benefit from the 3-Step Foundation and create your Dynamic Life Blueprint for a great year.
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