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Five Tips to Help You Become a Committed Giver

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By making a commitment to donate to charity each month, you can become secure in the knowledge that, even if you don’t have the time to volunteer, your financial contribution is making a very real difference to people all over the world. Though times are tough for everyone right now, millions lack even the basic necessities. Your continued contribution will help them get through our current financial crisis.

Here are a few tips for creating a monthly giving plan.

1. Decide how much of your income you can part with each month. Some people give as much as ten percent of their income to charities. For others, three to five percent may seem more reasonable. There’s no right or wrong number—just think about your own circumstances and how much you can comfortably afford to give away.

2. Choose the most effective charities that fit your interests. If you’ve been giving to one particular nonprofit for decades, it might be time to branch out and discover some other world-class groups. If you’re passionate about a particular issue like animal welfare or world hunger, check out our Giving Guides, or visit the Razoo 100 for more ideas. You could donate to a new nonprofit each month, or make small monthly contributions to several at a time—either way, the charities will be happy to have your support.

3. Schedule your payments in an online service like Razoo’s donation tracker, where you can select a set amount to donate each month to any organization you choose. If you’d rather make the donations manually, use a service like Google Calendar or Remember the Milk to mark your monthly donation date, and set up a reminder to tell you when to give each month.

4. Follow your money. To see how effectively the organizations you donate to are managing your money, keep track of their monthly newsletters and read their annual reports. Services like Charity Navigator and Guidestar provide annual data analysis of many charities’ financial information, so that you can keep track of whether your favorite group is spending wisely.

5. Spread the word. Much like dieting or quitting smoking, making a plan to donate to charity each month is easier when you’ve got other people involved. Tell friends and relatives about your plan to become a committed giver, and ask them to join you. If you want to help your favorite organizations even more, you can even get together for fundraisers every few months—bake sales and yard sales are simple, stress-free ways to give even more while having a great time.

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