December is the most important month for nonprofits

Another successful #GivingTuesday is in the books and early estimates say approximately $180+ million was raised. While the results are reason to celebrate, #GivingTuesday is more than a singular day of giving, it is an important kick-off to the biggest month of the year for nonprofits: December.

In fact, an astounding 30% of total annual philanthropic giving is done in December and a full 12% of nonprofit donations are made on the final three days of the year. If donations fall short in December, nonprofits have reason to be concerned about their operations for the entire following year.

Gratefully, every year Americans seem up for the task and generously donate to the nonprofits close to their hearts. And while finances may change the fact that giving actually feels good stays constant. Studies have shown that people who help others and feel they have greater purpose sleep better at night, have improved mental and physical health and even see an increase in longevity.

This December why not make a decision to include supporting your favorite nonprofit in your holiday plans? Here are some ideas to get you going:

1) Determine your cause. Donating money to any nonprofit is always a good idea but if you take the time to consider what cause really touches your heart you’ll help foster that feeling of contributing to greater purpose. Once you discover your cause search for a worthy organization to support and utilize a service such as Charity Navigator to be sure your selected charity is legitimate. Many people prefer to support organizations right in their own communities which makes it easier to volunteer and become involved.

2) Support in multiple channels. Nonprofits need our support however we are able to give it. Consider all the avenues that you can help in addition to writing a check like donating needed supplies or volunteer services. If you are donating goods be sure these are items that are of use to the nonprofit and are in good condition. And, take advantage of new technology that has simplified donating goods. For example, using YouGiveGoods you can run your own drive or make a donation of brand-new, most-needed food and supplies to any nonprofit. Donations using YouGiveGoods are tax-deductible and purchases made by 12/31 receive a receipt for a donation made in 2017.

2) Get your company involved Businesses large and small are incorporating social responsibility into their business plan. Consider making a case for your favorite nonprofit. If you show passion and initiative and get your company onboard you could make a real difference for your cause.

4) Lend your voice. Social media has made bringing awareness to a cause much easier. We suggest posting with some frequency and including interesting facts and personal stories about your cause. In addition to raising awareness you can increase your impact exponentially when you ask friends and family to support your cause with their own donations of money, goods or time.

Enjoy the holiday season even more this year when you support a nonprofit. You may discover a passion you never even knew you had while improving your own life and the life of a stranger in need.

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