According to research estimates, around 70% of Americans give to charity at least once annually. What may hold some people back from giving more — or even giving at all — may be that they aren’t quite sure exactly how to give to others. Not only do they not know where and when to bring their donations to charities, but they might be unsure of what to give and to whom they should donate.
If these issues are standing in the way of your philanthropy, you don’t have to let it any more. Here are the five W’s of donating to charity to help you determine who gets a donation, what to donate, and where and when to give it, in addition to tell you why you should give:
- Who: When choosing to donate to a charity, considering the cause you want to support is just as important as determining what you should donate. To narrow down a “who,” you might think about who needs help in your community. One type of cause, for instance, may be a Purple Heart veterans pick up, where used clothing donations are picked up at the homes of donors to benefit veterans and their families. If there is no Purple Heart veterans pick up in your town, however, then there may be other local charity organizations that need your help. Choose a cause that you support that you know you can help with your donations, and make sure to find out exactly who will receive help when you give.
- What: Many people think that the only way to donate to charity is to give money, but that simply isn’t true. A number of charities will also accept different types of donations, such as food, clothing, household items, toys, electronics, and more. If you don’t feel that you have anything to give, see if there are any volunteer opportunities near you.
- Where: Figuring out where to donate can often be settled by determining whom you donate to. As mentioned above, some charities operate Purple Heart veterans pick ups or other at-home services that will come right to your door. However, other centers may require drop off donations or offer convenient drop boxes for clothing and other small items. If you’re not sure where you need to go to give, check online or call first.
- When: Quite often, people will save their donations for the holiday season when there is a high demand for these items. While this is the perfect time for donors to receive a last-minute tax break, it’s not the only time of the year to give. Some charities may have specific needs to be met throughout the year, so if you have a particular item to give, make sure it’s seasonal. Otherwise, contact a local charity to find out exactly when to donate clothes or other items.
- Why: Finally, why donate to charity? Giving to charity isn’t just good for you and your community — it also benefits the planet. For example, clothing donations alone help to recycle about 14.3 million tons of clothing annually, which are then used to clothe people all over the world. This also reduces the amount of textile waste headed to the landfill when instead about 95% of what does end up there could have been salvaged. In short, donating is the green thing to do!
Need more advice on how to give to charity? Leave a comment in the space provided.