“It is better to give then receive.” That is more than a quote. Generosity is one of the measurements that the World Happiness Report uses to evaluate the happiness of a nation.

The more generous a nation is; the more likely the people are content. The US rated #2 on the World Happiness Report.

The World Giving Index is used to score a nation’s generosity. It uses a few criteria like:

  • Helping a stranger
  • Donating money
  • Volunteering time

Being generous doesn’t always require money. Giving of your time, simple acts of kindness can impact others.

If your giving isn’t generating a “happy” response maybe it is time to create a giving plan. A giving plan allows you to be intentional about your giving. And it is relatively easy to create.

Creating a Giving Plan

The first step is to identify 2 or 3 causes that are important to you. Those causes may be varied from environmental issues to animal protection. My top two causes are children and veterans.

The second step look for charities that support your causes. This is the step that may take some time. The charity needs to meet the needs, have results and be good stewards. Fortunately, tools like www.charitynavigator.org and www.guidestar.org can help you evaluate your options.

Established, effective charities will provide reports sharing how many they have served, the increase in activity from prior years. They will also keep administrative expenses under 25% of total expenses.

With my cause for children, I support One Child Matters, and Idaho Youth Ranch. I will be adding a children’s charity in 2018 that is serving the Idaho City population.

For my veteran’s cause, I support Helping the Home Front and Mighty Oak Warriors. And our office organizes a Christmas for a veteran family in need.

I had been “advertising” in a resource newspaper for Idaho veterans. However, after several requests, they did not provide information on how many they were serving, what needs were being met. I was told 100% of the money remained in Idaho. My response was, “How much of that paid salaries? Are you volunteering your time?” Administrative costs are a part of operations, but they need to be reasonable. We are currently looking at a new resource for veterans for the 2018 year.

The third step is to establish on annual donation target. How much do you want to give to each organization? What is your total donation goal? I read a book on giving that inspired me to donate one million dollars over my lifetime. That won’t happen without intentional giving.

Creating a Giving Plan has many benefits:

  • Intentional giving increases the impact on issues that matter to you.
  • Giving to local charities can develop rewarding relationships.
  • Eventual decline in charity solicitations and junk mail.
  • Easy to say “no” to solicitations that don’t match your giving plan.

I believe the US is a generous nation. The World Giving Index says we are.

Make a difference in your community, state, nation or world. Be an intentional giver- Create a Giving Plan.

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