Christmas is soon to be celebrated. We rejoice in the birth of Christ and enjoy time with family and friends. We give gifts, prepare food, travel, write cards, and attend parties. We hug our loved ones, phone those who are far away, and we miss those who have departed. Sometimes we fight. We get tense, depressed, angry, jealous, overworked and overwhelmed. Or maybe we don’t! Some are struggling and depending on the kindness of strangers. Others are shopping for people we may never meet; wrapping gifts for children in our community; and bringing food to the local food bank and senior centers.
What will be in the boxes you wrap and give? To spur your Christmas giving, we share ideas that can benefit nonprofits you believe in. If you are 70 1/2 or older you may want to give from your retirement funds. No matter your age, you may want to give appreciated stock. In either case you’ll want to talk with your tax advisor or local community foundation: learn how to give more than you thought you could while reducing your taxable income. Bottom line: there are many of us for whom this is a time to review investment portfolios, philanthropic priorities and to decide how and when to give.
Don’t worry if you can’t give from investments: that’s most of us! But there are special things you can do: make a cash gift to an organization you believe in. Consider giving more than you gave last year. Volunteer some time now, over the holidays, or in 2018. If you run your own business or make decisions for your company, consider increasing the in-kind services you provide, or making a stronger push in the coming year to have employees volunteer. If you’re writing or adjusting your will, include a nonprofit that is meaningful to your family.
Want more ideas? Consider serving on a nonprofit board. Or recruit someone you know to join you in your current board service. If you have established an endowed fund with your alma mater, church or a hospital, consider adding to it. You could choose to be a “secret Santa” and make a payment on a loan an organization is carrying. You can donate a piece of equipment. And you can commit to advocacy.
The ways to give are limitless. We hope the love in your heart is limitless too. Merry Christmas.
Copyright 2017 –
Mel and Pearl Shaw
Mel and Pearl Shaw are authors of four books on fundraising available on