Incorporate Charitable Giving Into Your Holiday Tradition

Sarah Harrison

Holiday traditions vary from family to family and from culture to culture but they share the theme of giving. Whether it’s your personal family or your corporate home, you can imbue your holidays with philanthropy. Here are some tips to consider.

1. Make it Fun

When sharing the four Ts (time, talent, treasure, testimony) with your family and/or coworkers, select something that you’ll enjoy doing together. One family helps a program that offers mentoring and other services to single parents. In addition to allocating dollars to support the organization’s programs, they volunteer at the annual event and ask their friends for gifts of diapers, books, and other items from the organization’s “wish list.” Their gifts include money, time, specific items needed, and help “spreading the word.” The best part? Working together to support the cause they all embrace.

2.Make it Count

While promoting a cause you care about, it’s important to provide the right gifts to the right place at the right time. Rather than deciding to give, for example, books or gloves or food to a nonprofit, take the time to find out what your charity of choice actually needs. This way you’ll be helping the organization serve its constituents with items they can use immediately. You won’t be burdening them with items they can’t use or must dispose or store while deciding how to distribute. Conversely, if you have something specific you’d like to donate, find the right home for it. A donor who wanted to give her piano for public benefit took the time to find a school that wanted and needed a piano, then provided financial support to cover the costs of transporting and tuning it as well.

3. Make it a Habit

Giving and volunteering are personal commitments to help others, so it’s important to exercise your “charitable muscles” more than just once a year. Companies interested in promoting a culture of philanthropy goes beyond adopting a family once a year at Christmas. They select areas like youth development, environmental education, or the arts, and work with their employees to invest in those areas individually and together. Some companies give work-release hours for volunteering; others match employee gifts within parameters. Still, others engage employees and customers alike in giving money and time to community causes. Doing good regularly becomes a habit-- and helping others is an excellent “habit” to have.

The core asset of The Fund for Denver is our permanent endowment.The Fund for Denver is made up of a variety of charitable assets that have been entrusted to The Denver Foundation for investment management and strategic grantmaking. Our permanent endowment is made up of unrestricted gifts to The Denver Foundation to meet the needs of today and ensure there are resources for building a better Denver far into the future.

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Communications Associate: Dele Johnson | 

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