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Choosing a charity to give to.

Choosing a charity to give to

It’s this time of the year when the charity phone calls seem constant. How many times have you been sitting down to dinner and the phone rings with the latest charity wanting your money. What do you do – get angry and hang up or tell them to ring back later? After all they are just doing what is a difficult job. Charities are in a very lively competition for our attention and our money. Donations are becoming ever harder to find for them and apparently the need for their services is ever increasing.

Giving is not that hard

It always makes you feel good when you donate to a charity. It is not a difficult thing to do and even though you think money may be tight at the time, you will soon realise that the occasional $5 or $10, is not missed that much. Our family gave to sponsor a child in Africa for many years and it was very gratifying. To receive an annual Christmas card and an update of the child’s progress was fantastic, especially when it was accompanied by a hand written message and a photo. Whether you choose to give to overseas aid as we did or to a local charity is a personal decision. There are many local charities that do fantastic work and I think it helps if you have some connection to the charity. Giving to a charity that means something either to you personally or a member of the family or friend can nurture a connection. Maybe giving to a medical charity because someone close to you has had a medical problem recently or fallen on hard times and needed charity themselves.

Stopping the phone calls

As I mentioned earlier many of us have become frustrated with the constant calls from charities at sometimes inappropriate times of the day (usually when sitting down for dinner). I have a couple of solutions for this which can also save you a little money at the same time. We changed our phone from one of the two largest phone businesses to an internet phone. It gave us a very cheap phone connection (of course you need an internet connection) of about $20-30 per month. Google “Internet phone companies”, and ¬†you’ll find a whole list of companies that offer internet phone services. These days I think you can transfer your existing phone number if you want to keep it although we found with a new number we had no unwanted phone calls anymore.

Make them join a Charity List

  • If you want a near guaranteed solution to stopping charity phone calls tell each company that rings that they are going on your Charity List.
  • Each year you choose a different charity from the list to give to.
  • Tell each charity if they ring back they’ll then go to the bottom of your list and if they keep ringing they are never likely to make it back to the top of your list.

Believe me , this system works beautifully. I started doing this about ten years ago and have never had any problems since. We never receive any unsolicited mail or phone calls anymore and we are free to give to the charity of our choice. I know some of you will think I’m a bit harsh on the charities but I really was becoming a bit stressed about the constant invasion of my privacy.

Don’t think your rubbish is unwanted

About 12 years ago my father died and we had the unwelcome thought of a house full of possessions that needed to be dealt with. We decided to sell the house and had to empty the house before settlement. A member of the family came up with the idea of a garage sale which both other siblings thought was a bad idea. Although we could have made some money from a lifetime of possessions in the house, the thought of selling things that we had lived with as youngsters, was not on our mind at our time of grief. We instead decided to keep the important stuff and give all the rest to charity. Basically, it was two truck loads that was taken away by the Brotherhood of St.Lawrence. This gave us a great feeling that at least someone in need was benefiting from our parents deaths. Don’t think that this was all straight forward though as even The Brotherhood had rules. They did not want to take the beds or mattresses so I told them, “OK leave the two truck loads and we’ll find someone else that wants it, or we’ll have a large bonfire in the front yard”. Of course they decided to take everything including the beds which they considered rubbish. Job done.

I hope these stories of our families encounters with charities gives you some food for thought. Please don’t hesitate to comment below if you have any other ideas.

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