Happy Giving Tuesday!
A year ago, I penned a post entitled Help Me Give Away $10,000. To my surprise, that title apparently wasn’t grabbing enough. It got fewer views than most posts despite the fact that I was literally offering to donate $100 to a public charity of the reader’s choosing.
I’m doing it again this year, and this is that post.
Just like last year, I want to remain impartial and apolitical, so please do not request donations to organizations that are primarily religious or political, and please avoid gray areas.
All requested recipients of the $100 donation must be a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization. No Gofundme campaigns. No giving to individuals. These are the rules laid down by the IRS, not me.
I will be giving from our donor advised fund, a fund that you have helped contribute to as a fan or reader of this website. I’ll explain in more detail below.
A Gift on Giving Tuesday: $100 to 100 of Your Favorite Charities
Last year, I reached out to my advertisers and affiliate partners and asked for their recommendations, donating $100 to each of the 28 charities recommended. I opened up the remaining 72 $100 donations to readers in the comments section.
This year, I’m feeling a bit more generous. I will be donating $3,000 on the behalf of 30 of our advertising partners, but will also grant $100 to an additional 100 charities as requested by you, the readers.
I am hoping for a stronger response this year. In 2018, the apathy was palpable (or would it be non-palpable? Thready???). While my average email announcing a new post is clicked by 15% to 20% of recipients, only 4% who got the email last year actually read the article.
In other words, 96% of my subscribers didn’t seem to care about the fact that I was giving away a decent chunk of money, or how. Eight of them decided they never wanted to receive another email from me again. At least one of the metrics was above average!
I had expected to have the 72 donations spoken for in the first few hours. It took all day. We can do better that. I am opening it up to 100 charities this time around, and I’ll be disappointed if we don’t have that number by noon. This is my telethon of sorts and I want those pretend telephones ringing off the hook!
UPDATE: Over 100 Charities have been requested as of 10:15 Central Time. Thank you!
The Charities funded in 2018
Those of you who did make that call by leaving a comment and request made my day, however. We were able to support dozens of great charities and many of you shared why the recipient held a special place in your heart. Thank you.
The 2018 version of this experiment resulted in donations to the following charitable organizations:
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How to Choose a Charity
Giving is personal. Some choose to give to organizations that are making a noticeable impact in their own communies. A charity that you’re already involved with is an obvious choice.
Others prefer organizations with a nationwide or international focus. The Red Cross, United Way, and Salvation Army are a few that immediately come to mind.
You may have a more global perspective. The goal of organizations like GiveWell is to direct the money where it will have the greatest impact on humankind. Think clean water, vaccination programs, and antibiotics for curable diseases.
Your charity of choice may be selected based more on the cause rather than the location or impact. A focus on education, animals, or the environment may appeal most to you.
With well over a million registered charities in the USA alone, you should have no trouble coming up with one request from the heart.
Charities Chosen by Our Partners
I am donating $3,000 to 30 worthy causes chosen by our advertising and affiliate partners. The following are the charities they have chosen to be the recipient of our goodwill. A number of them are repeats from last year, but we also are supporting about a dozen new charities.
Information I Will Need in the Comments Section
A great place to find an IRS-qualified public charity is Guidestar’s search engine. Ideally, a link in the comments to the Guidestar profile will give me all the information I need to instruct Fidelity Charitable (the DAF I will be using) to make the anonymous donation.
If you are unable to find the charity there, please share the following information with me (this form comes from Fidelity).
In the comments section, please enter as much information as possible to allow me to easily support the charity of your choice. The first 100 recommendations that fit the criteria above will receive $100 in the form of an anonymous grant from our donor advised fund.
If you don’t have all the information right now, please enter the name of the charity now to reserve a spot and come back before midnight Wednesday night and reply to your comment with the remaining details and preferably a Guidestar link if available.
If you would like the grant to be made “in honor of” or “in memory of” an individual, including yourself, please also mention that in the comments.
If you’re recommending a charity that you are not already supporting with your own funds, please consider making a matching or larger grant, now or in the future.
Supporting Our Charitable Mission
How can you support the site’s charitable mission? I like to refer to it as our charitable mission because without readers, there’s no profit and no mission.
I’ve been very transparent in how this site makes money. Since I donate half of my profits, the best thing you can do is to help grow the site’s profit.
You can support our mutual charitable mission in the following ways:
When you are ready to apply for a new credit card, please use the links on this site. I have dropdown links in the top menu and have written the following posts on the topic:
If you have student loans and are not pursuing PSLF, please use my links to refinance. Unlike many sites out there, I share the referral fee with the readers in the form of a cash back bonus, and I also donate $50 to a charity of your choice. No one else is doing that.
If you’re not earning close to 2% on your emergency fund or cash savings, explore better options on our high-yield savings account page.
If you are an accredited investor (income of $200,000 as an individual, $300,000 as a couple or a net worth of $1 Million+ excluding your primary home), please use links from this site to register to view investment opportunities with our crowdfunded real estate partners.
If you’re looking for a low-cost fiduciary financial advisor, insurance agent for disability and/or term life insurance, or a mortgage lender, review the options on our Recommended pages:
Funding Your Own Charitable Mission
You don’t have to have a profitable website to have a well-funded charitable mission. I started our first donor advised fund (DAF) several years before I started a blog, and one of the first blog posts I wrote was about the benefits of utilizing a DAF.
In summary, a DAF allows you to donate cash or appreciated assets like stocks and mutual funds to an account with a charitable organization like Fidelity Charitable and Vanguard Charitable.
One of the reasons I plan to make this post an annual event is to highlight just how easy it is to make donations from a DAF. They allow you to make the donations anonymous, which means I can support hundreds of charities and not receive any followup marketing mail, emails, or phone calls.
Once donated to the DAF, the money is no longer yours, but you have considerable control over the funds. You decide how to invest the money in the account, when to grant from the account, and of course the recipients of your grants.
You receive a tax deduction when you donate to the DAF (assuming you’re itemizing deductions), and you don’t have to keep track of any receipts from the hundreds of grants you’re able to make from it. You only report the money that goes to the DAF (typically once per year or once every few years).
With the new higher standard deduction introduced in 2018, using a DAF to bunch itemized deductions into one year while granting from the DAF in non-itemizing years is a strategy of increased importance. The end result is not to save as much as you can on your income taxes but rather to get the most money to charity for every dollar you part with.
Based on feedback I’ve gotten from individuals who were inspired to start DAFs of their own after reading my writing (often starting with a six-figure sum), we’ve had a 7-figure impact on the world of charitable giving. To learn more about my favorite charitable giving vehicle, see the following articles of mine on the topic:
Help Me Help You Help the World
Which charity would you like me to support with a $100 donation? If there are fewer than 100 comments recommending charities, please enter the required info for your chosen charity. There are so many great causes that could use our help.
Again, a link to the search results in Guidestar would be helpful. If you cannot find your top choice that way and you’re certain it’s a bona fide public charity in the eyes of the IRS, enter as much as you can based on the image from Fidelity above. One recommendation per person, please.
If you only have time to name the charity now, please return by the stroke of midnight Wednesday, 12/3 to fill in all remaining details in a reply to your initial comment. No e-mail, Twitter, or Facebook requests will be honored. I’ll only be looking in the comments section here on this article.
Update: We now have more than enough requests to make the 100 donations. I will leave comments open for those who need to return with more information on charities already requested.
We have reached our quota of 100 charities by 10:15 Central. Thank you for all who have made these excellent requests!