Posted by: mandi bateson | March 29, 2009

Feeling guilty? I know I am!

I’ve just read this great post from Servant of Chaos. Last week I saw this fantastic video from Another Ad Wanker. They are insightful, personal and there’s not a hint of preachy, guilt-laden rhetoric that so often overwhelms a goodwill call to action. Let’s leave that to me.

We’re tightening our belts, nationally and globally. Time to cut out the luxuries. So how is donating money to charity a luxury? I know times are tough, and Australians are feeling the pinch. This doesn’t mean we’re buying a 2006 model BMW instead of brand new – we’re talking necessities only, often to the detriment of local jobs. We’ve dug deep and raised over $200 million dollars to help those devastated by bushfires and floods this year and that may be enough for you to sit back in your chair, content with your generous nature for the year.

The truth is that charities are facing a nightmare this year. Normally set to battle it out with high profile NFPs and celebrity endorsements, the economic downturn and the public outpouring for the bushfire appeal will have an enormous impact. Yet most of us are still a long way from facing the kind of hardships these charities support. But your generosity doesn’t have to send you to the soup kitchen line yourself.

Some tips on how to stay generous in a recession

If you don’t want to sign up to donate through a regular direct debit, make a pact with yourself to support a few personal causes this year. I’ve chosen to donate a small amount to the Cancer Council every time I hear a personal story about someone fighting cancer, win or lose. I vary the amount depending on how well I know the person and by donating in their honour it motivates me to stay commited to my pact. I’m hoping after a year I have donated just as much as I would have through a direct debit agreement but I’m not anxious about whether I’m going to default on a payment plan.

Made redundant? Consider volunteering abroad and gain experience for a better perspective on life instead of a better job. You’ve budgeted how far your payout can take you before you absolutely need to have income flowing again so think about how much of that time you could spend helping others. It has to be better then hitting the refresh button on Seek all day.

Want a tip for a smart investment during the GFC? Check out Kiva: “empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world.” It’s a good reminder that most people in need don’t want a hand out, just the opportunity to make something of themselves.

So what are you going to do this year? Give a shout out to your favourite charity by commenting below on why you choose to support them.

Donate now!

Throw a few dollars towards Women’s Opportunity and support a great cause.


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