Philanthropy Friday: My Giving Pledge

December is typically the most popular month of the year to donate money to charity. It’s the season for giving, and the last chance to get some extra tax deductions before the year ends.

I get lots of donation appeal letters at the end of the year.  Working with nonprofits for several years, I know it’s the best time of year to ask because people are in the giving mode.

The problem is that waiting until the end of the year to donate money to a good cause is a terrible giving strategy. I never seem to give the amount I’d like to because I try to do it all at once. (And I will note here that I am specifically talking about donating money, not in kind goods and services. In kind donations are great, but I know first hand from working with nonprofits that money is better.)

While my husband and I do give throughout the year, it’s not a lot. At least not in my mind. We certainly could do better. As we put together our information to do taxes in January, I pointed out that we didn’t donate enough money last year.

We always have good intentions and even have a number of organizations we feel strong about giving to. But to be most effective, we need to spread the love out throughout the year. So, today, I am taking a public giving pledge to donate money to a different nonprofit each month.

Simple as that. This strategy will allow us to give to more organizations and feel better about our philanthropic efforts at the end of the year. I will fill you in on how we do throughout the year.

In January, we donated to CURE (Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy) in honor of my son’s classmate who suffers from epilepsy. You can read Calvin’s ongoing story on the blog his mom, Christy Shake, so eloquently writes. Our gift will help bring hope to the millions of Americans suffering from epilepsy.

So, who’s with me? Take the public pledge by leaving a comment on this post or writing about it on your blog and linking to this post. You can even use my image as a badge.

Most of us will never get on this giving pledge list, but together we can make an impact by simply designating some of our money each month to put back into our communities.

Cross-posted from