Updated: Sep 9, 2018
You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripple for change. — Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc.
In Canada, there is a General Social Survey for Giving, Volunteering and Participating that surveys Canadians every 5 years. According to the latest results in 2013, 83% of the population made a monetary contribution to a charity or non-profit organization that year. Interestingly, the average amount given per individual ($531) has been steadily increasing. As for volunteering, in that same year, 44% of Canadians donated their time to initiatives in their communities. So, why are so many people donating their time and money to charities and non-profits? We’ve outlined 5 reasons to give back to your community by supporting a charity.
Learn something new
Charitable organizations work closely with other institutions that hold and generate a lot of information. For example, a charity that supports cancer research will have close ties to researchers, physicians, patients and even the academic community. Through these ties, the charity is able to stay on top of the latest developments. Therefore, they often act as the messenger by conveying interesting and truly informative stuff to their donors and supporters. Knowledge is power, right?
Set an example
As humans, our actions have tremendous influence on those of our peers and the people that look up to us. If you have kids, supporting a charity could be a great opportunity to show them some important qualities. Of course, we want our kids to grow up with a mindset of helping others, making a difference and getting involved in important initiatives within the community. This, however, does not apply just to kids. Volunteering and donating to a charity can have a snowball effect within your circle of friends, family, and/or coworkers. By being a leader in this sense, your actions can have an exponential effect!
Have a good time
Charities tend to host a variety of fundraising events throughout the year. More and more, these events are focusing on the experience and less on the “fundraising”, although this remains an important feature. For example, some charities host galas with good food and impressive entertainment. We’ve all heard about “colour runs” where you run 5k and end up looking like a rainbow. Needless to say, charities offer events that are perfect for a night out with friends or a good time with family.
Feel good, feel grateful
On a personal level, giving back has proven positive effects on how you feel and your perspective. Simply put, when you donate or volunteer, you feel good about being able to help out. It’s the same emotions that you feel after pushing a car that was stuck in the snow. Also, by attending a fundraiser or volunteering your time, you quickly become grateful for what you have in life. Often times, being involved with a charity changes your perspective for the better.
Boring, right? Wrong! We’re all interested in saving money, especially when it means not giving so much to the government. When you donate to a registered charity, you can ask for a tax receipt. Registered charities are required to issue tax receipts if requested. You can use this receipt to turn your donation into a tax credit, which reduces the amount of tax owed. The whole process is fairly simple. That being said, we suggest that you ensure that the charity is in fact registered and that you consult an professional accountant for more details.
Life is short, so why not extend our help whenever we can. Together, we can make this world truly a better place!