December 1st, 2015 is Giving Tuesday. Yes, another newly-branded event after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, but at least the overall message is positive. Here are a few ways to take advantage of the #GivingTuesday hype to learn more about potential charities and also increase the impact of your planned donations.
Check if your employer will match the charitable donations of employees. If you’re not sure, try this lookup tool from DoubleTheDonation. Most of these programs don’t require you to actually give on a specific day, but you may want to start the process so you don’t forget by the end of 2015.
PayPal 1% Donation Match + Waived Transaction Fees. From 12/1 to 12/31/15, PayPal will match 1% of every donation of $10 or more that you make through the PayPal Giving Fund. They are also trying to set a world record for #GivingTuesday.
You must use your PayPal account. As far as I can tell, you can still link up the rewards credit card of your choice and use that as the funding source. That way you’ll get back another couple of %, which you can of course use to increase your gift. The wording also suggests that your selected nonprofit won’t have to cover any transaction fees as with other portals – all 101% of it will go to them.
Your donation will technically be given to the PayPal Giving Fund, an IRS-registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and then disbursed to your selected nonprofit. Other donation portals do this re-routing as well. It will still be tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Make a donation using PayPal starting on Giving Tuesday, December 1, 2015 through Thursday, December 31, 2015 and we’ll match 1% of every donation of $10 USD or more that you make through the PayPal Giving Fund (“Offer”).
In order to receive this Offer you must: a) have a U.S. PayPal account in good standing, and b) complete a minimum $10 USD donation on the PayPal Giving Fund page, designating the charitable organization of your choice, using your PayPal account no later than December 31, 2015 at 11:59:59 PDT.
Discover 2% Donation Match + Waived Transaction Fees. This one appears to only apply to donations made by your Discover card on December 1st, 2015 to their Cashback Bonus charitable partners. The list includes:
American Cancer Society
American Red Cross
Children’s Miracle Network
Make a Wish
World Wildlife Foundation
You will still earn the usual Cashback or other purchase rewards from your Discover card. You will still retain any ability to make a tax deduction.
Donations made on December 1, 2015 using your Discover card to one of our Cashback Bonus charitable partners will be matched 2% by Discover. In addition, any transaction fees charged to the charity will be waived.
Offer valid on donations made with a Discover card on December 1, 2015 only (12:00am – 11:59pm EST).
Having trouble deciding where to give? Here are some charity comparison sites that will help you pick where to send your help.
- CharityNavigator – Largest and well-publicized charity rating site, provides a 4-star rating based primarily on financial criteria.
- GiveWell – Tries to identify the best charities, not rate them all. Focused primarily on charities working internationally
- GreatNonProfits – Allows clients, volunteers, and funders to post personal reviews based on their experiences.
- GuideStar – Tries to be a one-stop shop for both financial data and personal reviews of charities. Must register to see a lot of things, and pay a subscription fee for premium in-depth data.
- Philanthropedia – Ranks non-profits based on opinions of experts, and groups them to mutual fund-like portfolios.
Here are a few non-profits that I have supported in the past (with copy-and-pasted blurbs):
- The Against Malaria Foundation (US). We protect people from malaria. We fund long-lasting insecticidal nets and ensure they are distributed and used. We show you where the nets go. We monitor and report their use and impact.
- Heifer International. Heifer provides livestock and training to participants who commit to “pass on the gift” of knowledge and their animals offspring to others in need.
- Oxfam America. Oxfam America is a global organization working to right the wrongs of poverty, hunger, and injustice.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. As the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sister’s mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.