Spring Forward Your Giving

Spring Clock

Despite our very snowy and cold weather of late, turning my clock forward on Saturday was a nice reminder that Spring is actually on the way. That means it’s almost time to tackle those jobs around the house I often put off. Cleaning out the garage. Painting the living room. Organizing the digital photos we’ve taken over the last few years. I’m sure you have your own list of things to do.

Adjust More Than Your Clock This Spring

But here is one task that might not be on your list, and probably should be: charitable giving. I know you might be thinking, “Darren, we just made a bunch of donations around Christmastime, and you want us to do it again?!” Well, yes and no. Like changing your clock this weekend, I want you to consider adjusting the time of your charitable giving.

Make Spring Break Your New Season of Giving

It’s no secret that December is a big month in the charitable world. Plenty of non-profit organizations receive a large percentage of their annual gifts in the final month or two of the calendar year, and you might well have been part of it. Way to go! Your generosity means a lot to the charities you support.

Every gift is important and appreciated, and I would never dissuade anyone from giving no matter when they choose to do it. However, it’s a fact that nonprofit organizations incur expenses all year long in the course of accomplishing their mission, and many struggle with a dearth of donations between January and September. It is very difficult for an organization to do great work when it has little revenue or must wait until the end of the year to receive it.

Imagine the relief some charities might feel if they had more of those precious gifts a little earlier in the year?

A Simple Spring Tradition

One family I know started a new tradition. When Spring arrives, they make a list of all the charities they have supported in the previous year and write down how much they have contributed to each one. They look over each of the organizations on their list and ask themselves, “do we still want to support this charity?” If the answer is yes, they send the organization a gift similar in size to the contribution they made the previous year. The family continues to give to the causes they really care about while ensuring an early funding boost to positively impact the charities’ annual programs. It is that simple.

Plan Your Spring Giving

Of course, every household has their own rhythm of financial pressures. If giving the full amount in March stretches your finances too thin, you might choose to scale back the size of the gift you make now and give more of it later, or even divide your annual giving into manageable amounts you donate at regular intervals throughout the year. If you do match last year’s entire giving this Spring, that doesn’t have to mean your charitable giving is done for the year, either. You can still make additional gifts to these charities or support other organizations as well. The point is to ensure those organizations you care about have resources earlier in the year so they can meet their needs with fewer struggles.

Spring forward your giving so the organizations you care about have resources earlier in the year.

Spring Forward Your Generosity

Your clock is adjusted. Perhaps it’s the perfect time to make a similar time-change in your charitable giving? I’m sure the nonprofit organizations you support will love you for “Springing Forward” your generosity this March.

Contributed by Darren Pries-Klassen

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