If you have some wiggle room in your budget, deciding how to spend that extra money may fuel your daydreams. How would your hard-earned money be best spent? How can it improve your life? One answer: donate it to a worthy cause. Research shows that donating money makes people happier than spending it on themselves. By donating, you can improve your mental wellness while supporting the well-being of others.
With even a small donation, each of us has the power to contribute to change for the better. This fact should be a beacon of hope for all. We can make a difference, and we can start at any time. Why not begin today?
Where to Start
The act of giving money away alone is enough to boost your happiness, but we can go further. By finding nonprofits to support that align with our values and goals, we can feel even better about the difference our donations are making in the world. The sheer number of nonprofits vying for funds to do their important work is overwhelming. Having so many options can be paralyzing and may be a reason that those with the intention to donate never actually write a check (or fill in their credit card information). The first step is figuring out where you want to give.
What Criteria Should You Consider?
Finding the right organization (or organizations) to support is the key to ensuring that your donations are bringing you joy and serving the world. These questions will help you find your perfect nonprofit match among the highly-rated organizations that Charity Navigator assesses:
- What cause are you most interested in advancing? Are you a supporter of animal rights? A crusader against homelessness? An advocate for marginalized students? All causes are worthy of support, but finding your match will mean focusing on your true passion.
- Where do you want to make an impact? Local, national, and international organizations have their own roles to play.
- What type of leaders do you want to support? Leaders from communities historically neglected by philanthropy can benefit from your support.
- What size organization do you want to engage with? Small, medium, and large organizations have their own roles to play and face different challenges.