You know what really impresses me? Unicorns.
You know what impresses me 10x more?
People who naturally think of others before themselves :)
Unfortunately for me I’m closer to being a unicorn than I am someone who thinks of others first, haha, but over the years I have learned that you can trick yourself into being a better person just by incorporating a few daily habits ;)
Here are three things I now do that have massively improved my charitable giving:
1) I say “yes” anytime I’m asked for money*. Whether from people on the streets, friends putting on fundraisers, or even when asked if I’d “round up for charity” at certain stores. This trick alone makes me feel 80% better about myself, and instantly overrides that automatic “no” that pops into my head along with its millions of excuses on why I can’t give when I 100% can.
2) I give more than I want to so it HURTS. I’m not sure who I learned this from, but this is the latest challenge I’ve started taking on, and let me tell you – IT’S HARD!! But completely worth it once you get into the rhythm ;) Instead of dishing out my normal $1.00 or $2.00 as I tend to do in order to “check off” my YES rule, I now look for the biggest bill I have in my wallet and try giving out that one instead. It stings temporarily, but the impact on the person receiving it is exponentially greater.
3) I sign up to donate *monthly* as soon as I come across an organization that moves me. This way a) I don’t forget about it and then convince myself not to give later!, and b) I force myself to give over and over and over again without having to lift a finger. And let me tell you – similar to saving money or investing, you really don’t feel it in the end! But the money keeps compounding! Only in this case to supporting those projects that mean the most to you. I’m currently at 10 or 11 places I’m now donating $20/mo to ($20 seems to be my magic number), and my goal is to ultimately hit 100 places so I’m literally donating to organizations every single day :)
In fact, I literally just added a new one yesterday when I heard my friend Revanche was looking for support! And since I don’t have any “causes” I’m personally super passionate about, the next best thing is helping OTHERS advance theirs :) You can learn more about what she’s doing here if interested: 2020: A Lakota families update and focus on charitable giving. She helps raise money to bring food + warm clothing to families of the Lakota Native American tribe, as well as resources to libraries in more rural counties that don’t have the funds to keep things fully stocked.
Her love of books is legit:
“I devoured library books as a child and was wretchedly grateful for every single book I could borrow because our family was too poor to buy books… I used to stare at other people’s bookshelves like I was starving. We’d visit family and the people would simply disappear from my vision – all I could see was their books.”
Maybe you can relate? :)
So that’s what I do to try to be more charitable! Other years I’ll *start projects* to harness my connections and raise money for people (anyone around from the Love Drop or Rockstar Community Fund days?), but on a more daily level these 3 tricks have really transformed my giving.
I’m no Mother Teresa up in here, but I’m learning you can change your ways if something’s really important to you! We can all train ourselves to be better, whether in charity or our personal finances.
Any good tricks that have worked well for you? Anyone else naturally sucky at this?
Pass this around to anyone you think could be helped by it – thank you! 🙏🙏
UPDATE: One more thing I forgot I do – spending money at places you value, such as local shops, clubs, museums, or even buying that $2.00 lemonade from the hustler down the street! It’s not “giving” per se, but it’s a great way to support the places and people you love in your community, and sends a clear message that you hope they stick around to continue bringing joy to others too…
(This was for you, Sarah P. :))
*Excludes scammers or those who will invariably ask me for money as soon as they hear I have to say “yes” ;) Though if there really is an organization/project that fills up your heart, please do pass it over so I can see if it affects me the same way!