As we approach the year end it is a good time to make sure that we have completed our commitments and considered opportunities to make a difference. In prior years we have not included our kids in our decision and feel that we have missed out on teaching and modeling giving. There are several considerations in making a gift.
1. Prioritize the church where you attend as number 1 and complete your tithe first.
- 2. Find a charity that you connect with personally. It may be a ministry that impacted you or an experience with a hospital, education institution or other mission that you are excited to support.
3. Support charities that have a record of good financial stewardship with the gift. Most charities will publish their overhead expenses as a percentage of total contributions. Generally look for those whose overhead expenses are less than 20% or >80% goes directly to the specific mission of the charity. You can find Top Rated Charities at The American Institute of Philanthropy http://www.charitywatch.org/toprated.html
4. Compliment your financial giving with the gift of your time. Direct involvement keeps the connection and allows you to directly experience the results of your financial giving.
5. Involve your children early so that they get to see giving modeled, but also participate in the joy of giving
This year we are considering Compassion International. www.compassion.com This afternoon we watched the video as a family and let each of our children review the pictures of other kids in need. My middle son found one 3 year old in Haiti that he decided that he would like to sponsor. I am excited to participate with him and encourage him to write and follow this child as he grows. We have also supported Christian Family camps where we have attended as Christian camping was very influential in my life. As a Rotarian, I also have enjoyed the connection with supporting Rotary International. There are thousands of fantastic ministries and charitable causes that we can support. As you seek to lead your family in a legacy of giving involve the whole family, check out the financial accountability, follow your heart, and compliment your financial giving with your time.