A lot of my work focuses on how we can make the biggest impact on the things we love most. Whether it’s making ethical purchases, helping out with important causes, or ensuring your investments align with your social values, there are many things we can do to make the world a better place. Yet, when it comes to charitable giving do we often stop to reflect on why or how we give? Or what might be stopping us from giving more, or giving at all?
What if we could not only make it easier to give back to charity, but also make the process more transparent and rewarding?
A Vancouver-based company, CHIMP (Charity + Impact) is doing just that. By donating through the CHIMP platform, you can find causes and charities that match your values or interests, and use the platform to engage in conversations about what matters to you. Donations are streamlined: deposit money into your CHIMP account, donate it to the cause or charity of your choice, and receive a tax receipt online. If you’re feeling stuck or uninspired and are not sure where to put your valuable time or money, I highly recommend wandering over to the CHIMP site and poking around at some of the 85,000 opportunities they have for charitable giving.
Part of their work has recently focused on a four-part independent study done in partnership with the Angus Reid Institute examining the relationship Canadians have with charitable giving. Specifically, the study examines how Canadians give, what they care about, and what prevents some Canadians from giving, and how giving practices differ amongst groups like Millennials and newcomers to Canada. You can learn more about the “State of Giving in Canada” by reading the report here.
What resonated most with me was that overall, Canadians want to give and they want to give more. But there’s a disconnect; the majority of Canadians don’t feel satisfied with how charities approach them, are unsure if they can trust the charity, or how effective their donation may be. The report found that 83% of Canadians would find it useful to have more easily accessible information about charities and the work that they do.
As it usually does, the first step towards the greater good can often start at home. The CHIMP study found that nine out of 10 Canadians agree that it’s important to teach children the importance of giving. Perhaps the first step we can all take is to talk with our kids about who we give to and why we do it– help them discover what matters most, and show them how they can change the world by trying one of the following:
- Talk it out: Do you or your partner make monthly contributions to an organization? Share your past or present charitable acts with your children, and discuss why you thought giving to that organization or cause was so important. Through these conversations, try to identify a cause the whole family can pitch in on.
- Make it a family affair: Are there regular clean ups near a river or ocean in your City? Sign up the whole family for a voluntary cleanup through your local civic or conservation organization, and spend a sunny Saturday caring for our planet.
Make birthdays charitable: Have an older child that wants to do more? Talk to them about a cause they think is important. Do they love animals or want to help children their age access sports or after-school programs? Consider swapping out birthday gifts for financial or in-kind donations to a local animal shelter or recreational association.
At the end of the day, we all benefit from giving back to our communities. Anything that helps us to be more generous is worth investing our time in.