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By Bromwich+Smith Staff | 765 words | Reading Time: 3 minutes and 45 seconds | Date: 2022/12/09
It feels like you can't go anywhere this time of year without volunteers out in the community asking for donations. It may be for the local food bank, an annual toy drive, or even those iconic red kettles that we're accustomed to seeing year after year. There are so many reputable agencies asking for extra support this time of year its hard to choose who to donate to.
If you are the average Canadian, you are likely conflicted over holiday spending as it is. With inflation on the rise, and interest rates at new highs its may be hard to keep your head above water. Add additional holiday spending, gifts, family meals, holiday gatherings and expenses and it may be hard to stay afloat. Your compassionate heart may want to donate to every cause possible but in order to best help those in need, you need to ensure you're helping yourself first. What does this mean? This holiday we want to make sure you're not hurting yourself while you're helping others.
How can I help if I don't have the financial means?
Many organizations need volunteers! if you already have a cause that is important to you or a charity that you have donated to in the past- reach out to them! Give them a call, reach out on social media, send an e-mail through their website or whatever you need to do to get in touch with them. Ask them how you can allocate your time this holiday to best help them. You may be surprised at what they need most. They may be looking for drivers to pick up or drop off items, they may be looking for people to work at a gift-wrapping station at a local mall or people to visit with their clients this holiday season. Just because your bank account doesn't allow you to make an extra financial transaction doesn't mean that you can't help out! Your time is valuable and so many of these organizations need volunteers to ensure they can run smoothly. Meaning at the end of the day your gift of your time really is priceless.
How do I decide who to support?
This one is up to you. Everyone has their own opinions on what organizations need the most help and really, there is no wrong answer. You may choose to work with your local food bank because at one point in time you were struggling and needed their services. You may choose to donate to a Society fundraiser because you have a loved one who has been affected with the same disease, they are raising money to fight. Others choose to donate to an animal shelter because they love animals, and their four-legged family member came from that organization. There is no wrong answer when it comes to charitable giving once you find a cause that touches your heart, and you find the right fit for you. Some larger organizations now allow you to split up your donation to specific items or departments ensuring your donation goes where you want it to.
Can I afford a financial donation?
If you already work with a financial professional, this is a great question to ask them. They will be able to guide you on the tax implications of charitable donations. You may be surprised to know that some organizations are able to do more with a financial donation then they can a physical item. For example did you know that the food bank can stretch every $1 donation to $5 worth of food? They are able to do thins by purchasing directly through suppliers, local farmers and bulk purchases- something the typical shopper can not do. Knowing they are able to stretch your financial donation may help you allocate your money wisely. If you are making a cash donation this year, make sure to find out about the limitations of charitable tax receipts. The charity you donate towards, will be able to issue you a tax receipt which will reduce your calculated payable tax at the end of the tax year.
There is no shame for anyone who is unable to make any donation this year. Times are tough for many Canadians, and this time of year can create more anxiety around debt and upcoming bills.
If you are facing overwhelming debt, remember that you are not alone. Bromwich+Smith has a number of debt relief strategies to help you regain control of your finances and get your life back on track. Reach out today for a free, confidential, no obligation consultation. Bromwich+Smith’s Debt Relief Specialists are available by phone at 1.855.884.9243, or request a call back at contact us page.