Generosity flows during the holiday season. Feelings of good will and compassion guide our thoughts and decisions.
You can become proactive by creating your family giving plan and by involving the young people in your life to become donors too.
Canada Helps offers some Smart Giving tips. Share with your children and younger relatives about causes that are important to you. Encourage each one to research a charity they would like to support and during mealtimes discuss what they learn.
Chat about the different roles of government, business and charities. What would our world be like without the work of charities in arts and culture, animal welfare, education, the environment, or health care, to name a few?
What interests your young family members? If they think education is important, do they want to give to a foundation and build an ongoing source of income for that charity or do they want to help adults learn to read?
Do they want to help people in Canada or elsewhere in the world? What are the advantages of giving to a small, volunteer-run organization versus a large, multi-national charity?
What can your children learn from an online search at the Canada Revenue Agency? Is the charity they are interested in registered? Is their charity’s information up to date? Look for an annual report and financial statements on the charity’s website.
Visit or volunteer at local branches of a charity to learn first-hand about how the charity is making a difference. Check out www.kcr.ca for contact information. Ask about personal stories from donors, clients and volunteers.
Set up an annual giving budget as a family. How much, when and where will the donations be given?
Many charities use Canada Helps and you can set up a free donor account to organize your giving as a family.
Dawn Wilkinson is the coordinator for the Community Information and Volunteer Centre. Go to www.kcr.ca to create your volunteer profile and find out about other volunteer opportunities in the Central Okanagan.
250-763-8008, ext 24