Social Justice

Time Is Running Out. Have You Made Your 2015 Year-End Donations Yet?

The clock is ticking, and it’s almost midnight — the looming deadline for all of those 501(c)3 organizations filling your inboxes with emails asking for tax deductible contributions is approaching. Maybe you’re one of those people who just deletes all of those emails? Maybe you’ve already given (yay!). Maybe you are stretched really thin this year and can’t afford it — that’s ok too! But hear me out . . .

[image - Year End Charitable Giving Strategies]

‘Tikkun Olam’, ‘Tzedakah’ and Why Charitable Giving Is Important To Me

I know it’s not possible to give to every organization. So, even when I first started out on my own I came up with a strategy for end-of-year giving because it’s important to me. My parents did it every year as my sister and I were growing up and I wanted to make it part of my adult life too. The phrase Tikkun Olam means to “repair the world” and coupled with Tzedakah means “charitable giving.” By giving to these organizations I care about, I am hoping that they will do meaningful work about things I care about — in a sense, “repair the world.” I do truly believe that the organizations I give to are doing amazing work for life changing causes!

If you have the opportunity to make any type of year end donations, give whatever can — every bit helps!

My Strategy

As for my strategy — when I first started out, I knew I couldn’t possibly give to every organization that I loved, cared about and wanted to. So, here’s how I did it:

  • Set a max giving limit.
  • Wrote out over-arching categories for organizations I wanted to donate to, and only allowed 1 organization per category. (This is the 1st year that I have allowed more than 1 organization per category.)
  • Listed each organization I wanted to donate to under it’s appropriate category
  • Ranked the organizations on a piece of paper (at the top – most likely to give to, at the bottom – least likely to give to)
  • Adjust the donation amounts as necessary
  • Remove organizations as necessary (this was difficult to choose, but of course, I knew it had to be done as I could and can only afford to give so much).

Some Categories & Organizations You Might Consider Giving to This Year . . .

Abortion & Reproductive Justice / Women & Women’s Health:

Jewish / Israel:

DC Jewish Life:

Women / Jewish:

Civil Rights / Social Justice

STEM / Web & Tech / Young Women in Tech

Animals / Dogs

  • Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS)
    Orioles catcher Matt Wieters and his wife Maria are matching gifts up to $20,000!
    Want to make a donation here?

Figure Skating

  • U.S. Figure Skating Memorial Fund
    I used to figure skate from the time I was about 8 years old until I graduated high school. Anything I can do give people that kind of opportunity in life is a wonderful thing!
    Want to make a donation here?

School Alumni / Greek Life & National Philanthropy Charity
Also perhaps included in this list are school alumni associations, greek life alumni associations, and related national philanthropy causes. Some people choose to give to these throughout the year when they are either solicited by phone or mail. Some choose to leave that until the end of the year. Some choose not to give at all. You — of course — have to choose what is best for you and your family.

  • Garrison Forest School I attended this school from 7th – 12th grade and am often solicited mid-year.
  • Muhlenberg College I attended college here. Once a year they have a national giving day “Mulementum” where all alumni are encouraged to give (no matter the amount). The idea is to get 100% class participation.
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) This is where Ben went to College
  • Phi Mu Foundation This is the sorority I was a member of.
  • Children’s Miracle Network This is Phi Mu’s national philanthropy.

Do you do end of the year giving? What are some of your strategies?

I’d love to hear from you!

Cheers and Happy New Year,
[image - Tamara signature]

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