St. Francis of Assisi said, “It is in giving that we receive.” Generosity, whether big or small, is a big part of Christianity. And for those who are trying to match their faith-based values with their financial ones, giving should be part of the financial plan.
It may sound simple: “Make room for giving in your budget.” But a giving plan is much more than that. Discover the components of your giving plan below, and start your own system today.
Create your giving list
We live in a world where it seems like everyone, every charity and every business could use a little boost. Solicitations for charitable contributions are everywhere. From your doorstep to your own congregation, how do you decide who to give to and who to turn down? Your starting place is your giving list. Take time to sit down and think about your own family values and the organizations that align with those values. Do some research. List out the groups that you would like to contribute to. This may include your church, a child’s school or even a local Girl Scout troop.
Review your resources
Now that you’ve created a meaningful giving list, place your list next to your spending report or budget. What room have you left for giving in your budget? If your answer is, “none,” then review some of these savings methods and consider reallocating dollars to your causes. Remember that giving doesn’t always have to be in the form of cash. Sharing your time or talents with an organization is another form of generosity. Page through your giving list and find out what organizations are asking for volunteers, or join a local Action Team.
Plan, track and share
Giving can take place every month, or you can carve out special times throughout the year for generosity. Look at your calendar and identify times during your year when you know you’ll have an influx of cash. Put some of that cash into a savings account and allot some to the causes on your list. Don’t forget to keep track of your charitable activities. Keep donation receipts to document giving for tax purposes.
Lastly, be proud of your generosity and ignite a cycle of giving among your own family and community. Generosity is a habit and one that you can teach to family and friends.