Question: Giving to Charity?

I’ve never had a plan when it comes to donating to charities, but want to start doing it smarter. For the longest time, I always donate whenever I’m asked by a friend (either to sponsor them for a marathon, the 50/50 draws, secret auctions, etc) but with no real rhyme or reason. Every year, the amount I would donate would also vary, along with the organization.

The other day, I was watching the news, and one of the commentators, Kevin O’Leary (the money-loving guy from the show Dragons Den), said he personally had what he called a “5 x 5” plan. Where he gives to 5 charities, for 5 years. Then at the end of that time, he picks moves on to five new charities (or keeps some of the old ones on), and continues to give.

Personally, I think at my income level, I could be more effective giving to just one charity — and receive the tax receipt — rather then giving 1/5th of the amount to five separate charities.

But either way, it got me wondering what to do… I want to give back, but just don’t know where to start. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, in the comments below.

Reader Questions — Answer in the Comments:

  • Do you have a charity giving strategy?
  • How do you decide how much, and who, to give to?
  • Is it better to give less to several charities, or more to one?