Giving Back http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12996/all en-US 7 Organizations That Need Your Help During Christmas http://www.wisebread.com/7-organizations-that-need-your-help-during-christmas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-organizations-that-need-your-help-during-christmas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_adults_bring_gifts_to_senior_woman.jpg" alt="Young adults bring gifts to senior woman" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are people in your community right now who are struggling with financial problems, illness, and homelessness. Although you want to help, you might be on a tight budget yourself; and you don't have enough to donate to the various causes. Thankfully, you can still contribute in a meaningful way by volunteering.</p> <p>Christmas can be a wonderful occasion to volunteer your time, as many groups need extra help around the holidays. If you're looking for a volunteer opportunity, these seven organizations are still in need of help. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-charities-you-can-trust-with-your-holiday-donations?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Charities You Can Trust With Your Holiday Donations</a>)</p> <h2>1. Knit for the Gift of Life</h2> <p>If you enjoy knitting, the <a href="https://thegiftoflife27.org" target="_blank">Gift of Life</a> needs your skills. It's an organization that is dedicated to helping and supporting parents of premature babies and babies in neonatal intensive care units. Many families will be spending Christmas Day in the hospital to be near their babies.</p> <p>The Gift of Life collects stuffed bears and beanies to distribute to families at Christmastime to provide comfort and hope. The organization needs knitters and crocheters to <a href="https://www.volunteermatch.org/results/opp_detail.jsp?oppid=1906943" target="_blank">create the bears and hats</a>. You can contact them to volunteer and they will send you the hat sizes and patterns they need.</p> <h2>2. Wrap presents for the American Red Cross</h2> <p>You might have taken advantage of <a href="http://www.redcross.org/find-your-local-chapter" target="_blank">American Red Cross</a> wrapping booths in the past, yourself. They're common in shopping malls nationwide during the holiday season. Volunteers wrap shoppers' presents for them in return for a donation. It's an effective fundraiser that goes toward disaster relief and support for the military.</p> <p>If you enjoy wrapping presents, you can find seasonal American Red Cross volunteer gigs on <a href="http://www.volunteermatch.org" target="_blank">VolunteerMatch.org</a> or by contacting your local chapter office.</p> <h2>3. Deliver hot meals with Little Brothers: Friends of the Elderly</h2> <p>Many elderly or disabled individuals are homebound and cannot go to the grocery store for food. Or, they might not have family to help them and are completely isolated. They often rely on organizations like Meals on Wheels for hot meals and companionship.</p> <p>However, Meals on Wheels is not open on Christmas Day. <a href="http://littlebrothers.org/" target="_blank">Little Brothers: Friends of the Elderly</a> chapters fill the gap by delivering hot meals directly to individuals' homes, ensuring they're not alone on Christmas Day. Contact your local chapter office to sign up to become a deliverer.</p> <h2>4. Cheer hospital patients with the Salvation Army</h2> <p>Spending the holidays in the hospital can be a very grim and lonely experience. As part of its holiday efforts, <a href="http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/brighten-the-holidays/" target="_blank">Salvation Army chapters</a> nationwide arrange for hospital and nursing home visits. Volunteers sit with patients on Christmas Day. It can be uplifting for patients, especially for children and the elderly. You can contact your local Salvation Army chapter to inquire about visitation schedules.</p> <h2>5. Distribute warm clothes with Goodwill</h2> <p>While many children are dreaming of new video games, others just wish for a warm coat. Each year, <a href="http://www.goodwill.org/" target="_blank">Goodwill</a> chapters collect new and gently used coats, shoes, and gloves for both children and adults. You can contact your local chapter to volunteer, or you can help by collecting gently used warm clothing from family and friends.</p> <h2>6. Assemble hygiene kits for the Coalition Against Domestic Violence</h2> <p>Unfortunately, the National Domestic Violence Hotline receives hundreds of phone calls on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and throughout the holiday season from victims of domestic abuse in need of help. Some are connected with local shelters so they can get to a safe place.</p> <p>When victims of domestic abuse leave their abuser, they often have to leave suddenly with just the clothes on their back. They might arrive at the shelter without even a toothbrush. The local chapters of the <a href="https://ncadv.org/volunteer" target="_blank">National Coalition Against Domestic Violence</a> need help collecting new supplies and assembling hygiene kits. Contact your local coalition office to volunteer or donate supplies.</p> <h2>7. Visit nursing home residents with the Holiday Project</h2> <p>The Holiday Project is an organization devoted to making visiting people in nursing homes, hospitals, or other residential institutions a normal holiday tradition. It arranges for volunteers to visit nursing home residents, who are often without family and may never receive visitors otherwise. During your visit, you might sing Christmas carols, hang up decorations, or play games with residents. You can find a list of existing groups or learn how to create your own group by visiting <a href="http://www.holidayproject.info" target="_blank">HolidayProject.info</a>.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-organizations-that-need-your-help-during-christmas&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Organizations%2520That%2520Need%2520Your%2520Help%2520During%2520Christmas.jpg&amp;description=7%20Organizations%20That%20Need%20Your%20Help%20During%20Christmas"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Organizations%20That%20Need%20Your%20Help%20During%20Christmas.jpg" alt="7 Organizations That Need Your Help During Christmas" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-organizations-that-need-your-help-during-christmas">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-give-back-this-thanksgiving">7 Easy Ways to Give Back This Thanksgiving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-unexpected-benefits-of-volunteering">9 Unexpected Benefits of Volunteering</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-the-world-better-with-these-17-free-ways-to-give-back">Make the World Better With These 17 Free Ways to Give Back</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-secrets-to-a-debt-free-holiday-season">8 Secrets to a Debt-Free Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Personal Development charities Christmas christmas season Giving Back helping others holiday season volunteering Tue, 12 Dec 2017 09:00:09 +0000 Kat Tretina 2069140 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Ways to Give Back on Thanksgiving http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-give-back-on-thanksgiving <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-to-give-back-on-thanksgiving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_turkey_donation_472072833.jpg" alt="Woman giving back on Thanksgiving" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on ways to give back on Thanksgiving, staying healthy during the holidays, and saving money when you start a business.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Where-Volunteer-Thanksgiving-44023073">7 Ways to Give Back and Make an Impact on Thanksgiving</a> &mdash; If you don't have time to volunteer on Thanksgiving Day, consider putting together a few care packages and sending them to troops deployed overseas. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://productivitytheory.com/ways-stay-healthy-holidays/">6 Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays</a> &mdash; Winter weather can cause dangerous driving and walking conditions, so make sure to take all necessary precautions when you're out and about. [Productivity Theory]</p> <p><a href="https://www.thefrugaltoad.com/personalfinance/4-save-money-starting-your-business">4 Ways to Save Money When Starting Your Business</a> &mdash; Look for opportunities to trade services when you can't afford to pay for the goods and services your business needs. [The Frugal Toad]</p> <p><a href="https://adebtfreestressfreelife.com/5-questions-ask-making-major-purchase/">5 Questions to Ask Before Making a Major Purchase</a> &mdash; Some big purchases require additional costs for necessary accessories or maintenance. Would you be able to afford those, too? [A Mess Free Life]</p> <p><a href="https://www.thesimpledollar.com/how-to-cut-costs-with-tiny-living/">How to Cut Costs with Tiny Living</a> &mdash; There are a few decisions you'll need to make when you decide to live in a tiny house, and your choices will impact how much you'll save &mdash; and spend. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://profinanceblog.com/four-ways-to-make-your-money-work-for-you-without-really-thinking-about-it.html">Four Ways to Make Your Money Work for You Without Really Thinking About It</a> &mdash; Paying off debt means you can use the interest payments elsewhere in your budget. [Pro Finance Blog]</p> <p><a href="https://timemanagementninja.com/2017/11/6-ways-to-beat-procrastination-and-increase-productivity/">6 Ways to Beat Procrastination and Increase Productivity</a> &mdash; Don't pick up voluntary assignments before the vital things are done first. The stuff you actually need to do are more important. [Time Management Ninja]</p> <p><a href="http://www.easyways.net/10-easy-ways-social-media-cleanse/">10 Easy Ways To Do A Social Media Cleanse</a> &mdash; Bring family and friends on board to avoid misunderstandings when you're no longer responding on social media. Give them other ways to get in touch with you. [easyWays]</p> <p><a href="http://www.experian.com/blogs/news/smart-ways-map-shopping-avoid-overspending-black-friday/">Smart Ways to Map Your Shopping and Avoid Overspending on Black Friday</a> &mdash; Join Experian's #CreditChat tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET for a discussion on how to avoid overspending on Black Friday. [Experian]</p> <p><a href="https://www.csmonitor.com/EqualEd/2017/1116/Rural-schools-unite-to-make-college-the-rule-rather-than-the-exception">Rural schools unite to make college the rule, rather than the exception</a> &mdash; Schools in sparsely populated districts in Ohio are pooling their resources and working together to secure outside funding so that they can send more kids to college. [The Christian Science Monitor]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-give-back-on-thanksgiving">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-free-411-directory-assistance-that-really-works-a-review">Get free 411 directory assistance that really works (a review)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discount-your-cellphone-bill-using-work-email">Discount your cellphone bill using work email</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-less-awkward-ways-to-ask-a-friend-for-your-money-back">10 Less Awkward Ways to Ask a Friend for Your Money Back</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-clever-tricks-to-make-your-new-years-resolution-stick">7 Clever Tricks to Make Your New Year&#039;s Resolution Stick</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-list-of-birthday-freebies">Big List of Birthday Freebies</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks best money tips Giving Back Tue, 21 Nov 2017 09:00:07 +0000 Amy Lu 2057596 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How Generosity Actually Improves Your Life http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-generosity-actually-improves-your-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-generosity-actually-improves-your-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-482063553.jpg" alt="Learning how generosity improves your life" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Generosity will not only improve your moral standing, but also your long-term finances. Giving doesn't have to cost money, either; donating your time and skills produces the same effect as giving money or material items. Here's how it could work for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-the-world-better-with-these-17-free-ways-to-give-back?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Make the World Better With These 17 Free Ways to Give Back</a>)</p> <h2>You'll make better money decisions</h2> <p>Money can be a big source of stress. Maybe you and your partner disagree about the budget. Perhaps you're struggling to reduce debt, dealing with a loss of income, or recovering from a financial crisis. Or perhaps you're trying to determine how to be smart with your savings, become a better investor, and create a better financial future. In any of these situations, you need the ability to calmly and rationally assess your options and make decisions for your future.</p> <p>Stress has a huge, negative impact on your ability to make good decisions. In fact, stress prompts us to act quickly and instinctively, and reroutes the energy needed by the brain for wise decision-making, according to Stanford health psychologist Kelly McGonigal, PhD. &quot;Stress also encourages you to focus on immediate, short-term goals and outcomes,&quot; says McGonigal, &quot;but self-control requires keeping the big picture in mind.&quot;</p> <p>An excellent way to combat stress is to give to others. Whether it's your time, your money, or your unwanted items, giving to those less fortunate will give you a sense of purpose, it will make you feel better about yourself and the world you live in, and can reduce your anxiety. That combination equips you to better handle stress when it does occur, keeping it in perspective. And you'll be able to more calmly and rationally make financial decisions for yourself and your future.</p> <h2>You'll benefit from a stronger support network</h2> <p>Hard times happen, but consistent generosity &mdash; whether through volunteering, acts of kindness, or monetary giving &mdash; can lead to an extended network and stronger relationships. Meeting people at volunteering events can create lasting friendships. Helping out a neighbor when they need it most will solidify a true bond. And when you need those people to be there for you in return, they most likely will be.</p> <p>I've experienced the financial perks of having a strong support network many times in my life. For example, during my mother's fight against breast cancer, my friends and family brought food, baby-sat (both my sister and I had young children), ran errands, made phone calls, organized important information, and, when needed, assisted in bedside care for my mom. If I didn't have a loving support system willing to do those things, I would've had to, either do it all myself &mdash; which would've increased my stress to an unbearable degree, or I would've had to pay someone to help out &mdash; which would've sucked my bank account dry.</p> <p>A community of friends bringing you meals when you're unable to shop and cook saves you the cost of takeout. When your network pitches in to watch your kids, help you with a big project, or loan you a needed resource, you save the money you'd have otherwise spent to get those things done.</p> <h2>Your work opportunities will improve</h2> <p>LinkedIn is built on the idea that social capital leads to better work and increased work opportunities. We call it networking, mostly. And giving, it turns out, is one of the best ways to network. Even low-key acts of generosity improve work relationships, according to a study from the University of California published in the journal <em>Emotion</em>. Giving mutual support, practicing gratitude, and showing hospitality all contribute to stronger work connections and increased social capital. And with a strong professional network, more job opportunities (and all the financial perks that go along with them) will be aplenty. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-networking-tips-for-people-under-40?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 10 Best Networking Tips for People Under 40</a>)</p> <p>It's all about who you know, right?</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like This Article? Pin it!</p> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fheres-how-generosity-actually-improves-your-life&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHere%2527s%2520How%2520Generosity%2520Actually%2520Improves%2520Your%2520LIfe.jpg&amp;description=Here's%20How%20Generosity%20Actually%20Improves%20Your%20Life"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Here%27s%20How%20Generosity%20Actually%20Improves%20Your%20LIfe.jpg" alt="Here's How Generosity Actually Improves Your Life" width="250" height="374" /></p> </h2> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-generosity-actually-improves-your-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-cycling-can-save-you-money">11 Ways Cycling Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-peer-pressure-from-destroying-your-finances">How to Keep Peer Pressure From Destroying Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-feel-better-about-your-financial-situation">6 Ways to Feel Better About Your Financial Situation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/generosity-or-stupidity">Generosity or Stupidity?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ten-great-charities-that-deserve-your-dollars-this-year">Ten Great Charities that Deserve Your Dollars This Year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Lifestyle charity generosity generous giving Giving Back helping hands pay it forward saving money Mon, 07 Aug 2017 08:31:05 +0000 Annie Mueller 1996572 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Charities You Can Trust With Your Holiday Donations http://www.wisebread.com/8-charities-you-can-trust-with-your-holiday-donations <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-charities-you-can-trust-with-your-holiday-donations" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_cuddling_dog_485251750.jpg" alt="Girl finding charities she can trust with holiday donations" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>'Tis the season for giving, and giving to charity is the perfect way to help those in need while also helping yourself to a tax break. But how do you know which charities are the best? There are thousands of great charities out there doing amazing things with donated money, but there are also shady charities that are just out to get your money.</p> <p>Here we have collected some of the highest rated charities according to Consumer Reports and Charity Navigator. Whether you are an animal lover or want to help countries in need, there is a charity supporting that cause. Don't see a charity for you on the list? Check out Consumer Reports' full list of the <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/charitable-donations/best-and-worst-charities-for-your-donations/">highest and lowest rated charities</a> in each category. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-give-back-to-charity?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards That Give Back to Charity</a>)</p> <h2>For Animal Lovers</h2> <p>Our furry friends need our help!</p> <h2>1. World Wildlife Fund</h2> <p>The <a href="http://gifts.worldwildlife.org/gift-center/gifts/Species-Adoptions.aspx">World Wildlife Fund</a> (WWF) allows animal lovers to donate money to help species of wild animals. A $55 donation allows you to help wildlife while also earning you a small animal plush of your choice, photo, adoption of certification, species card, and gift bag. This charity is a fun one if you are looking to give a donation in lieu of a gift, since the WWF donation comes with a little gift.</p> <h3>2. Petsmart Charities</h3> <p><a href="https://www.petsmartcharities.org/">Petsmart Charities</a> is very upfront with how they use donations to make an impact in pets' lives. The site says they save 400,000 pets each year. In 2015, more than $29 million went to animal welfare groups and 214,000 spay/neuter surgeries were performed. They also used 90 cents of every dollar donated to help pets directly. Individuals can donate money or volunteer with Petsmart Charities.</p> <h2>For Environment Protectors</h2> <p>Because the Earth needs us to protect it.</p> <h3>3. Amazon Conservation Association</h3> <p>The <a href="http://www.amazonconservation.org/index.html">Amazon Conservation Association</a> received a perfect score through Charity Navigator, a website devoted to helping individuals find legitimate charities and avoid inefficient charities. The charity has been around for over 15 years and conserves the Amazon. The site says a $50 donation can plant about 50 trees in a highland Andean community.</p> <h2>For Helping People in Need</h2> <p>Not everyone has a roof over their head or enough food to eat.&nbsp;</p> <h3>4. Direct Relief</h3> <p><a href="https://www.directrelief.org/">Direct Relief</a> is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that seeks to help and improve the lives of those affected by poverty and emergency situations. It has been one of the top charities to help with Hurricane Matthew and Syrian refugees. It has been voted as a top charity by Forbes, Fast Company, and BBB. Direct Relief also has an option to donate in tribute to someone else, which is practical for holiday gift giving.</p> <h3>5. Compassion International</h3> <p>One of my favorite organizations to donate to is <a href="http://www.compassion.com/sponsor_a_child/default.htm?gclid=Cj0KEQiAm-CyBRDx65nBhcmVtbIBEiQA7zm8lRk2gj1H17ly97aBsssWbO5UF3DRbLoyRtZ4RqApvx8aAnvM8P8HAQ">Compassion International</a> because you are able to sponsor a child. Not only do you get to choose the child you sponsor and send money to, but you also can send letters, pictures, and small gifts to them. In return, you will be given a picture of the child, as well as updates, and sometimes thank you letters. Many donors have even had the opportunity to go and meet their sponsored child. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-give-to-charity-that-fit-a-holiday-budget?ref=seealso">15 Ways to Give to Charity That Fit a Holiday Budget</a>)</p> <h2>For Health Advancement</h2> <p>A cure is out there. We just need to give scientists the chance to find it.</p> <h3>6. Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research</h3> <p>The <a href="https://www.michaeljfox.org/">Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research</a> goal is to eliminate Parkinson's disease. Over $87 million went straight to research programs in 2015. Overall the foundation has funded more than $650 million to find a cure.</p> <h2>For Veteran Support</h2> <p>After protecting our freedom, our veterans should have everything they need.</p> <h3>7. Homes for Our Troops</h3> <p><a href="https://www.hfotusa.org/">Homes For Our Troops</a> (HFOT) is a privately funded 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that builds mortgage-free homes for severely injured veterans. Since 2004, HFOT has spent 90 cents for every dollar donated on veterans. The organization has already built 226 homes and has another 80 projects underway nationwide.</p> <h3>8. Operation Homefront</h3> <p><a href="http://www.operationhomefront.net/">Operation Homefront</a> matches specific veterans needs with donors. Donors can donate money or in-kind gifts, such as services or items. Operation Homefront accepts donated in-kind services to include, but not limited to, legal support, automotive repair, heating and air conditioning services, roofing, and accounting services. Donated goods may be items such as gift cards, household items, children's books, furniture, computers, or any other non-monetary items that are new or like new.</p> <h2>How to Avoid a Charity Scam</h2> <p>There are several more amazing charities out there, so don't think that this list is the end all, be all. However, it is important that you know <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-charity-scam-from-a-mile-away?ref=internal">how to spot a charity scam</a>. Here are some quick tips to keep in mind:</p> <ul> <li>Charities should be upfront with what they are using the funds for.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Charities should have a federal tax ID number so you can write off your donations.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>It's a huge red flag if they are pushing you for donations or ask you to wire the money.</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-charities-you-can-trust-with-your-holiday-donations">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-charity-scam-from-a-mile-away">How to Spot a Charity Scam From a Mile Away</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-give-to-charity-that-fit-a-holiday-budget">15 Ways to Give to Charity That Fit a Holiday Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-give-back-on-givingtuesday-without-breaking-the-bank">10 Ways to Give Back on #GivingTuesday Without Breaking the Bank</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-financial-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season">13 Financial Gifts to Give Yourself This Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-tidy-up-your-finances-before-the-holidays">10 Ways to Tidy Up Your Finances Before the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living animals charity donating environment Giving Back Holidays nonprofits veterans Fri, 09 Dec 2016 11:00:15 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1849996 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Spot a Charity Scam From a Mile Away http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-charity-scam-from-a-mile-away <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-spot-a-charity-scam-from-a-mile-away" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_phone_park_621595942.jpg" alt="Man learning how to spot a charity scam from a mile away" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to donating to charity, people have good intentions. They want to give to a worthy cause, but unfortunately, so many individuals do very little research before opening up their checkbooks.</p> <p>While many charities are legitimate, there are several that should be avoided. They are the ones that rate low, with the majority of their funds being funneled into the pockets of CEOs or marketing efforts. For example, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights is one charity that is low-rated by <a href="http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=topten.detail&amp;listid=8">Charity Navigator</a>, yet has one of the highest paid CEOs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/surprisingly-easy-ways-you-can-support-charity?Ref=seealso">Surprisingly Easy Ways You Can Support Charity</a>)</p> <p>Here's how to make sure your donation is winding up in the right hands.</p> <h2>Make Sure the Name Is Right</h2> <p>Some notable low-rated charities have made it a point to choose names similar to popular nonprofit organizations. For example, Cancer Research Institute is a highly rated charity, but Cancer Survivors' Fund and American Association for Cancer Support are both low-rated charities, according to <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/charitable-donations/best-and-worst-charities-for-your-donations/">Consumer Reports</a>. Both of the low-rated charities have important sounding names, and it can be easy to confuse them when there are so many to keep track of.</p> <h2>Avoid Callers</h2> <p>Don't give in to pesky callers asking for donations. Often telemarketers are hired by select charities to help raise funds. However, the charity does not get all of those funds. Instead, a lot of your donation will end up going to the marketers rather than your cause. Definitely do not give any personal information, such as your credit card or Social Security number to any charity. Most importantly, if anybody pressures you to give money, then it is best to walk away.</p> <h2>Know Where the Money Goes</h2> <p>The highest rated charities are very transparent about where their money goes. You should be able to see the organization's annual expense reports or the charity's Form 990. Churches and other big religious groups are not required to file 990s, so be sure to check them out at <a href="http://www.ministrywatch.com/">Ministry Watch</a>, a website that helps alert donors to fraudulent religious charities. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-giving-to-charity-is-good-for-you?ref=seealso">5 Ways Giving to Charity Is Good for You</a>)</p> <h2>Don't Donate Cash or Give Through Wire Transfers</h2> <p>Never give any charity cash or send money through wire transfers. If the charity insists on cash or a wire transfer, it should make you suspicious of the organization. But what about religious tithing? While dropping cash in your local place of worship's donation bucket doesn't mean you are donating to a scam charity, it is still wiser to write a check or donate online. This will allow you to keep track of your charitable giving for tax purposes. If you do give cash, try your best to get a receipt.</p> <h2>Be on Alert</h2> <p>During the holidays, more for-profit charities are likely to increase their marketing. Expect more calls and emails that will appeal to your emotions. Of course you want to help wounded veterans, homeless children, and abused pets but if you have never heard of the charity, then don't rush into donating. Charity scams also are more likely to pop up after a natural disaster, such as a hurricane.</p> <p>Ask a charity if they are registered, and if they claim they are, then get the registration number. Also know that most respectable charities do not ask for donations via email, unless an individual has already signed up for the mailing list.</p> <h2>Do Some Research</h2> <p>Before you donate a large sum of money to any charity, spend a few minutes researching the organization. You should be able to find the rating of charities on the <a href="https://www.bbb.org/">Better Business Bureau</a>, <a href="http://www.charitynavigator.org/">Charity Navigator</a>, <a href="https://www.charitywatch.org/">Charity Watch</a>, <a href="http://www.give.org/">BBB Wise Giving Alliance</a>, and <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/">Consumer Reports</a>.</p> <p>It is best to decide at the beginning of the year what your annual charitable giving will be and which charities you want to donate to. This then puts you and your budget in the right place for donating money and helping those in need.</p> <p>Charity scammers take advantage of people's goodwill and desire to help. However, these scammers can steal more than just your money. They can steal your identity if you give out too much information. Give to causes you care about while also protecting your bank account and personal information.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-charity-scam-from-a-mile-away">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-charities-you-can-trust-with-your-holiday-donations">8 Charities You Can Trust With Your Holiday Donations</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-safe-is-craigslist">How Safe Is Craigslist?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-more-scams-everyone-should-know-about">10 More Scams Everyone Should Know About</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-from-an-investment-scam">How to Protect Yourself From an Investment Scam</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-these-6-phony-irs-calls-and-emails">Beware These 6 Phony IRS Calls and Emails</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Consumer Affairs charity donating fraud Giving Back scams theft things to watch out for wire transfers Thu, 08 Dec 2016 12:30:07 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1849882 at http://www.wisebread.com Improve Your Giving With 5 Smart Charity Tricks http://www.wisebread.com/improve-your-giving-with-5-smart-charity-tricks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/improve-your-giving-with-5-smart-charity-tricks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-470950762.jpg" alt="make the most out of giving to charity" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Year's end is fast approaching, and now's a good time to pull out your wallet and make a charitable donation. Deductions, baby! Of course, donating to charity isn't just about the tax advantages; your contribution can make a difference in someone's life. Nonprofits will accept donations of any size, so there's no excuse to hold back your generosity. Still, there are ways to make the most out of being charitable. Take a look.</p> <h2>1. Select an Organization You're Passionate About<strong> </strong></h2> <p>You can give to any cause, whether it's one that helps women, children, churches, hospitals, or veterans. Some people choose a random organization to support, which is perfectly okay. But to make the most out of being charitable, choose a cause that means something to you.</p> <p>Maybe you have a relative or friend who is visually impaired. If so, you could make a donation to the American Foundation for the Blind or a similar organization. Or if you've been affected by childhood cancer, a donation to St. Jude might be up your alley.</p> <p>Whatever organization you choose, make sure it's reputable to avoid scam artists. It's unfortunate, but some people will take advantage of your generosity. In 2015, the Federal Trade Commission busted and <a href="https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2015/05/ftc-all-50-states-dc-charge-four-cancer-charities-bilking-over">charged four fake cancer charities</a> for scamming more than $187 million from generous donors. Do your research and learn about organizations before you give a dime. Sites like <a href="http://www.charitynavigator.org/">Charity Navigator</a> and <a href="http://www.givewell.org/">Givewell</a> will help you evaluate.</p> <h2>2. Ask About the Charity's Needs</h2> <p>Although your favorite charities may accept any donation you give, you can make the most out of being charitable by contacting individual charities to see if they have any specific needs.</p> <p>Just about every charity can benefit from a cash donation. If you don't have the resources to write a check, you can donate old items cluttering your house. But depending on the item, the charity could already have a stockpile in their inventory and a shortage of other items. If you know what an organization needs, you increase the likelihood of your donation being put to good use.</p> <h2>3. Put Donations on Autopilot</h2> <p>Even if you have every intention of making regular charitable donations, it's easy to get busy and forget. Fortunately, there's a simple way to be charitable &mdash; put your donations on autopilot.</p> <p>Many organizations allow givers to set up automatic or recurring monthly donations. Give your favorite charity a call to see if this is an option, and then ask for details on setting up your account. Some credit cards also have online portals that allow cardholders to donate to a chosen charity using their credit cards, plus the option of donating their rewards points and cash back rewards to charity. You can also apply for a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-give-back-to-charity?ref=internal">credit card that partners with an organization that gives back</a> for your purchases.</p> <h2>4. Save Receipts for Tax Purposes</h2> <p>One benefit of being charitable is the opportunity to write off donations on your tax return and reduce your tax obligation. This can result in a lower tax bill or a bigger refund.</p> <p>There are a number of ways to save with charitable donations, so talk to your tax preparer to see how you can get the most bang for your generosity. For example, you can donate appreciated stock that you've held for at least a year to avoid long-term capital gains tax. You'll also get a tax deduction, which turns your good deed into a win-win situation.</p> <p>If you don't own stock and want to donate cash, keep in mind that any amount $250 or more requires proof of the donation, either with a bank statement or a receipt from the organization. If you're giving a non-cash donation (clothing, gifts, household items, etc.), contributions greater than $500 requires filling out IRS Form 8283 and attaching the form to your tax return. If your donation is greater than $5,000, you'll need a qualified appraisal to benefit from the donation.</p> <h2>5. Make Sure the Organization Qualifies for a Deduction</h2> <p>Just because an organization accepts donations doesn't mean it's an <a href="https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-organizations/charitable-contribution-deductions">IRS qualified charity</a>. If you itemize your tax return and deduct charitable contributions, you can write off deductions up to 20% to 50% of your adjusted gross income. Larger donations can lower your taxable income significantly, but you'll only reduce your tax liability if your money goes to the right organizations.</p> <p>The IRS explains the rules for determining whether a cause is a qualifying organization for a tax deduction. Qualified organizations include those that support religious groups, war veterans, non-profits, volunteer firemen, civil defense organizations, foundations. etc. If you're unsure whether a particular organization qualifies, contact the IRS.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/improve-your-giving-with-5-smart-charity-tricks">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-clever-tax-shelters-anyone-can-use">5 Clever Tax Shelters Anyone Can Use</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-you-should-know-about-the-new-tax-law">12 Things You Should Know About the New Tax Law</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-get-audited-how-your-side-gig-needs-to-handle-taxes">Don&#039;t Get Audited! How Your Side Gig Needs to Handle Taxes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-tax-deductions-for-bloggers-and-freelancers">101 Tax deductions for bloggers and freelancers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-organizations-that-need-your-help-during-christmas">7 Organizations That Need Your Help During Christmas</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Taxes charitable donations charities deductions Giving Back good causes organizations Tue, 06 Dec 2016 12:30:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 1848173 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Give Back on #GivingTuesday Without Breaking the Bank http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-give-back-on-givingtuesday-without-breaking-the-bank <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-give-back-on-givingtuesday-without-breaking-the-bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-597674192.jpg" alt="give back on giving tuesday without breaking the bank" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Get out your wallet and warm up your charitable spirit because #GivingTuesday is right around the corner. This worldwide day of philanthropy takes place on November 29th, (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving) and marks the start of the charitable giving season. In 2015, over 700,000 people in 70 countries participated in <a href="https://www.givingtuesday.org">#GivingTuesday</a>, giving $116 million in online donations. However, in a time when money is tight due to holiday expenses, finding the funds to make donations can be challenging. The good news? You can still participate and get in the charitable spirit.</p> <p>Here are 10 ways you can give on #GivingTuesday without breaking your budget.</p> <h2>1. Use Philanthropic Apps</h2> <p>Put your smartphone to good use and download apps that can help you give back without spending a dime! If you are active, download <a href="http://www.charitymiles.org">Charity Miles</a>, <a href="http://resqwalk.com/">ResQWalk</a>, or <a href="http://www.wooftrax.com/">WoofTrax</a> to have the miles you walk or run earn money for charity. Or if you love taking photos, use the <a href="http://donateaphoto.com/en_US">Donate a Photo</a> app to share your photos and have $1 per photo be donated to charity.</p> <h2>2. Donate Your Rewards</h2> <p>If you earn rewards through loyalty programs or credit cards, why not use your points for good? Donate your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-sell-or-donate-your-airline-miles">frequent flyer miles</a> that are about to expire to charity, or if you have a rewards credit card, you may be able to use your points to donate to charity. Some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-give-back-to-charity?ref=internal">credit cards even give to charity</a> when you sign up, or use your card.</p> <h2>3. Shop Socially Conscious Companies</h2> <p>Do some research before you start your holiday spending and give your business to companies that give back. For example, when buying a new pair of shoes for your kids, buy from <a href="http://www.toms.com">TOMS</a> to ensure that for every shoe you buy, one is given to someone in need. Or, if you have holiday travel plans and need a pet sitter, booking one through <a href="http://www.sittingforacause.com">Sitting for a Cause</a> (which, full disclosure, I own and operate) ensures a portion of the money you spend on your pet's care helps homeless animals.</p> <h2>4. Ask Your Employer About Charitable Benefits</h2> <p>Find out if your employer offers donation matching, and if they do, have them match any charitable contributions you make. Or see if your employer offers paid volunteer hours so you can give your time to a worthy cause. If your employer doesn't offer these programs, bring them up at your next review and see if you can get either option added to your benefits package.</p> <h2>5. Give Through Decluttering</h2> <p>Take a few hours to do declutter your home and get rid of items you no longer use. Have old blankets or towels? Donate them to your local animal shelter. Have tons of books collecting dust? Donate them to the library. Are extra clothes taking up space in your closet? Donate them to Goodwill.</p> <h2>6. Purchase Through AmazonSmile</h2> <p>Almost everyone uses Amazon to shop these days, but the next time you decide to make a purchase through Amazon, use&nbsp;<a href="https://smile.amazon.com/">AmazonSmile</a> instead. You can select a charity you'd like to benefit from your purchases and each time you make an eligible purchase, .5% of your payment will be sent to your designated charity.</p> <h2>7. Give Your Expertise</h2> <p>Are you a superstar at social media, a pro at photography, or a whiz at writing? Use your expertise to help one of your local nonprofits. It's not uncommon for a charity's resources to be limited, so helping with their social media, contributing to their blog, or offering to take photos at their events (or for animal shelters, taking photos of their adoptable pets) can have a positive impact on their success.</p> <h2>8. Become a Foster Parent</h2> <p>If you have the emotional stamina, open up your home to a child or animal in need. Foster homes are always needed for children or pets who are waiting to find permanent homes. Especially when it comes to animals, having a foster home alleviates the stress of being in a shelter and opens up space for another pet to wait for their home, so you've helped save two lives instead of just one!</p> <h2>9. Give Parts of Yourself</h2> <p>Do you have long hair? Are needles not at all scary to you? Then give to help others! Charities like&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wigsforkids.org/donate-hair">Wigs for Kids</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.locksoflove.org/">Locks of Love</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="http://pantene.com/en-us/brandexperience/prepare-your-hair">Pantene Beautiful Lengths</a> are always looking for hair donations to make wigs for those in need. Alternately, you can head to your local hospital or participate in a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.redcrossblood.org/">Red Cross blood drive</a> to donate blood or platelets.</p> <h2>10. Volunteer</h2> <p>When money is tight, the simplest way to give back is by donating your time to a worthy cause. Volunteers are often the backbone that keep nonprofits running, so by taking the time to volunteer, you are enabling the cause you work with to keep making a difference.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-give-back-on-givingtuesday-without-breaking-the-bank">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-local-charities-that-could-use-your-stuff">10 Local Charities That Could Use Your Stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-charity-scam-from-a-mile-away">How to Spot a Charity Scam From a Mile Away</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-charities-you-can-trust-with-your-holiday-donations">8 Charities You Can Trust With Your Holiday Donations</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/charitable-giving-give-in-order-to-receive">Charitable Giving: Give in Order to Receive</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-places-where-you-can-always-shop-for-a-worthy-cause">20 Places Where You Can Always Shop for a Worthy Cause</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping charitable giving charity donations fostering Giving Back giving Tuesday Fri, 25 Nov 2016 11:00:08 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1839209 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Charitable Donations That Do the Most Good http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-charitable-donations-that-do-the-most-good <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-charitable-donations-that-do-the-most-good" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_thank_you_000020658220.jpg" alt="Girl holding thank you sign for charity" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You don&rsquo;t have to be as wealthy as Bill Gates to do good with your money. If fact, you can make quite a big splash in this world even if you can only afford to give a relatively small sum. The key is <a href="http://time.com/money/3611880/charitable-giving-tips-advice-katherina-rosqueta/">finding charity organizations</a> that are using your money to the maximum effect. But with more than one million nonprofits registered in the U.S., it can be difficult to determine which ones will use your donation in a way that&rsquo;s most impactful. Lucky for you, we&rsquo;ve done the homework &mdash; read on for our roundup of the charities that will give you the biggest bang for your buck.</p> <h2>1. Compassion International</h2> <p>In an in-depth analysis by Charity Navigator, this Christian child advocacy ministry earned the most consecutive four-star ratings, demonstrating <a href="http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&amp;orgid=3555">fiscal excellence over time</a>. That means the Colorado-based youth services charity is well-positioned to pursue and achieve long-term change; every dollar donated to Compassion International is well spent.</p> <p>Founded in 1952, Compassion launched with a mission to provide Korean War orphans with food, shelter, education, and health care, as well as Christian training. Today, the organization aids more than 1.5 million children in 26 countries. You can donate in many ways, including via a $38 a month <a href="http://www.compassion.com/compassion/sponsor_a_child.htm">child sponsorship</a> that provides health care, hygiene training, supplementary food, personal attention, guidance, and an opportunity to learn about Jesus. Compassion even organizes visitation trips for donors who want to see first-hand how their money is saving a life.</p> <h2>2. Carnegie Institution for Science</h2> <p>Ranking second in Charity Navigator&rsquo;s four-star rating is <a href="http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&amp;orgid=3424#.VQc_D47F98F">Carnegie Institution for Science</a>, which funds research in the earth, space, and life sciences. Headquartered in the nation&rsquo;s capital, the 110-year-old nonprofit is dedicated to scientific discovery. Some of its greatest accomplishments include providing support to Edwin Hubble, who revolutionized astronomy with his discovery that the universe is expanding and that there are galaxies other than our own Milky Way, and the work of Andrew Fire, who won the Nobel Prize in 2006 for his and his colleagues&rsquo; discoveries related to <a href="http://firelab.stanford.edu/">gene silencing</a>. Through Carnegie Science&rsquo;s research support program, donors can choose to <a href="http://carnegiescience.edu/support/giving/research">fund specific research projects</a>, which helps make the giving process all that more personal.</p> <h2>3. Development Media International</h2> <p>Of the six million children under the age of five who die each year, two out of three could have remained healthy if their families made use of simple, inexpensive, or free interventions like hand-washing and anti-malaria bed nets. Development Media International is trying to fix this by using television and radio campaigns to spread these public service messages. So far it&rsquo;s working &mdash; DMI&rsquo;s media campaigns are actively reducing the global child mortality rate. In fact, the charity has the potential to prevent nearly 23% of all future child deaths, according to some forecast models, which has helped earn DMI a spot at the top of The Life You Can Save&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.thelifeyoucansave.org/Where-to-Donate/Development-Media-International">recommended charity list</a>. Previous successful public service campaigns launched by DMI include those targeting leprosy, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, and tuberculosis abroad.</p> <h2>4. Brother&rsquo;s Brother Foundation</h2> <p>Since 1958, Brother&rsquo;s Brother has delivered food, medicine, and educational supplies to people impacted by disease, poverty, and natural disasters &mdash; all from its humble headquarters in a run-down neighborhood in Pittsburgh. This family-run foundation is at the forefront of Forbes&rsquo; all-star list of the most committed, <a href="http://www.forbes.com/companies/brothers-brother-foundation/">financially efficient charities</a> in America. Over <a href="http://brothersbrother.org/bbfstats/">99% of all donations</a> to Brother&rsquo;s Brother go to those in need, making this charity a great place to donate your hard-earned money. With just 16 full-time employees and $245M in annual donations, Brother&rsquo;s Brother last year shipped 4,821,381 pounds of goods to 60 countries, including people affected by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.</p> <h2>5. PetSmart Charities</h2> <p>When it comes to animal welfare charities, <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/12/best-and-worst-charities-for-your-money/index.htm">PetSmart is ranked highest</a> by the three major charity watchdogs: the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, and CharityWatch. That&rsquo;s because the Phoenix-based charity has excellent ratings when it comes to financial efficiency, accountability, and transparency &mdash; the most important indicators of whether you should donate to a particular charity. In 2013, PetSmart used 90 cents of every dollar received to help save 400,000 animals by moving them out of shelters and into loving homes. PetSmart also spays and neuters about 285,000 animals annually, and funnels millions of dollars to animal welfare groups across the nation. As a donor, you can give money, or instead adopt a pet, thereby helping PetSmart achieve its goal of giving every animal a loving home.</p> <p><em>What&rsquo;s your favorite charity </em>&mdash;<em> and why?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-charitable-donations-that-do-the-most-good">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-give-back-on-givingtuesday-without-breaking-the-bank">10 Ways to Give Back on #GivingTuesday Without Breaking the Bank</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-organizations-that-need-your-help-during-christmas">7 Organizations That Need Your Help During Christmas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-be-a-better-person-today">25 Ways to Be a Better Person Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-a-charity-scam-from-a-mile-away">How to Spot a Charity Scam From a Mile Away</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-sell-or-donate-your-airline-miles">6 Ways to Sell or Donate Your Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development animal shelters charity donations Giving Back poverty Mon, 23 Mar 2015 09:00:05 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1350896 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Frugal Ways to "Pay It Forward" http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-ways-to-pay-it-forward <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-frugal-ways-to-pay-it-forward" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5735443325_6526e4f08b_z.jpg" alt="donations" title="donations" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We&rsquo;ve all seen the movie where little Haley Joel Osment starts a movement that compels others to commit random acts of kindness. And after we watched &ldquo;Pay It Forward,&rdquo; we were all like, &quot;I totally want to do that&quot; &mdash; except we never did.</p> <p>Now&rsquo;s your chance. Here are 25 small, inexpensive ways you can do something nice for someone you know &mdash; or a stranger, even. The only caveat is that the recipient of your good deed should pass it on. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gratitude-and-frugality">Gratitude and Frugality</a>)</p> <h3>1. Pay for Somebody&rsquo;s Coffee</h3> <p>What a nice treat it would be if you ordered your coffee and the barista told you it was already paid for. To brighten someone else&rsquo;s day this way, leave $5 with the barista and tell him or her to use that cash to pay for the next person&rsquo;s joe. If there&rsquo;s any change left over, they can put it in their tip jar. Two smiles, one stone.</p> <h3>2. Hold the Door Open</h3> <p>It seems simple, but I see so many people in such a rush that they neglect to hold the door open for another person. It only takes a few seconds, and the guy or girl on the other side will definitely appreciate it.</p> <h3>3. Donate Goods to Charity</h3> <p>Whether you're donating your closet clutter to the Goodwill or handing over warm coats and blankets during a drive, your surplus may be someone else&rsquo;s saving grace.</p> <h3>4. Give Your Favorite Restaurant a Positive Online Review</h3> <p>So many people focus on the negative when leaving a review, so why not go to Yelp and sing the praises of your favorite place to eat? It&rsquo;ll be good for business, and it&rsquo;ll give the owner of the establishment a surge or happiness, however fleeting it may be.</p> <h3>5. Donate Blood</h3> <p>Your donated blood could mean the difference between life and death for someone who needs it.</p> <h3>6. Volunteer at a Nursing Home</h3> <p>There are many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/volunteer-to-travel-11-opportunities-for-free-or-very-cheap-travel">ways to volunteer</a>, but I&rsquo;ve always liked the idea of spending some time with the elderly. Many residents of nursing homes have been abandoned by their families, so your presence can cheer them up. You don&rsquo;t have to do much, either. Chatting, watching TV, and playing games are all acceptable activities to help ease the loneliness of living in a nursing home.</p> <h3>7. Welcome New Neighbors With a Housewarming Gift</h3> <p>We used to see this all the time on TV, but do people really do this anymore? Resurrect an old tradition when a new family moves into your hood by bringing them a basket of baked goods or a small herb garden. You&rsquo;ll start out on the right foot with your neighbors and perhaps gain a new friend in the process.</p> <h3>8. Let Someone Check Out Before You at the Supermarket</h3> <p>I have let someone who only has a few items in front of me at the grocery store, and others have let me go before them too. Unless you&rsquo;re in a serious rush, there&rsquo;s no harm in letting someone get out of the store before you if their purchase will be quick.</p> <h3>9. Send a Friend an Unexpected Gift</h3> <p>As part of my job I&rsquo;m often sent CDs, DVDs, and books to review, and when I&rsquo;m finished with them I pop them in the mail and send them to the friend who I think will be most interested in that particular item. You may not have access to this kind of media all the time, so think of other small things a friend might like to get in the mail and send them their way.</p> <h3>10. Bring in Breakfast for the Office</h3> <p>When I worked in an office, I loved when a coworker brought in donuts or homemade muffins for breakfast. Sometimes it&rsquo;s nice to have a sweet treat first thing in the morning.</p> <h3>11. Offer Your Parking Space in a Crowded Lot</h3> <p>We&rsquo;ve all been in this situation, especially around the holidays. You will totally make someone&rsquo;s day if you actively help them get the parking spot you&rsquo;re about to vacate. Just signal to a nearby driver that you&rsquo;re about to leave as you&rsquo;re walking to your car so they can swoop in for the win.</p> <h3>12. Make a Care Package for a Member of the Military</h3> <p>They&rsquo;re risking their lives on a daily basis to keep America safe. The least we can do is pick up a few essentials and mementos from home to make their tour more bearable.</p> <h3>13. Provide Roadside Assistance to Someone in Need</h3> <p>My dad has stopped on several occasions to help a stranded motorist on the side of the road. If you&rsquo;re particularly good with car problems or know how to change a flat in a flash, lend a hand to someone who&rsquo;s currently not having a great day.</p> <h3>14. Give Someone Who&rsquo;s Short on Change That Extra Dime</h3> <p>Have you ever been behind someone at the checkout counter who&rsquo;s 5 or 10 cents short? If you&rsquo;ve got the extra change in your pocket, hand it over to help your fellow consumer.</p> <h3>15. Offer Someone Your Seat</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re in a situation where there are more people than seats &mdash; I deal with this everyday on the subway &mdash; give up yours so someone else can relax for a bit.</p> <h3>16. Give a Homeless Person Your Leftovers</h3> <p>When you leave a restaurant with your doggie bag and you&rsquo;re approached by a homeless person, give them your food so they don&rsquo;t have to go hungry another night.&nbsp;</p> <h3>17. When Someone Drops Something, Pick It Up</h3> <p>Don&rsquo;t just stare at it. Lean over and get it for them if it&rsquo;s close to you.</p> <h3>18. Pick Up Litter in Your Neighborhood or a Park</h3> <p>If you see trash in your local park, pick it up and put it where it belongs. We all need to pitch in to keep our neighborhoods beautiful.</p> <h3>19. Teach Someone a Skill That You&rsquo;ve Mastered</h3> <p>I have a good friend who was kind enough to offer my husband guitar lessons for free, a gesture that is totally appreciated and not soon forgotten. If you have a teachable skill, impart your wisdom on someone in your life to make them a more well-rounded person.</p> <h3>20. Offer to Take a Picture for Tourists</h3> <p>When you&rsquo;re on vacation and you see a couple trying to take a picture of themselves, offer to take the picture for them. Nobody wants a photo of smushed faces and huge foreheads.</p> <h3>21. Bring Your Friend&rsquo;s Pet a Treat</h3> <p>We often think about the people in our lives, but what about the pets in our lives? If your good friend has a pet, pick up a treat for it. The pet &mdash; and your friend &mdash; will like you even more.</p> <h3>22. Pay the Toll Fare for the Person Behind You</h3> <p>Just like buying that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-drink-coffee">cup of coffee</a> for a stranger, paying someone&rsquo;s toll fare will put them in a better mood. Hopefully a mood good enough to pay it forward.</p> <h3>23. Add Change to an Expired Meter</h3> <p>If you see an expired meter near your parking spot, add a little extra change to help that person avoid a costly ticket.&nbsp;</p> <h3>24. Give Your Neighbor Produce From Your Garden</h3> <p>If you have a garden that&rsquo;s produce <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gadzukes-10-ways-to-use-up-your-zucchini-bounty">more fruits, veggies, and herbs than you can eat</a>, share them with your neighbor so they don&rsquo;t go to waste.</p> <h3>25. Leave Unused Coupons on the Item at the Grocery Store</h3> <p>If I have a coupon for a food item that I don&rsquo;t want and the coupon is about to expire, I leave it on or near the item for which it&rsquo;s intended. It&rsquo;s a nice money-saving surprise for someone else to find.</p> <p><em>There are lots more small ways you can pay it forward. I'd love to hear your ideas. Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-ways-to-pay-it-forward">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-organizations-that-need-your-help-during-christmas">7 Organizations That Need Your Help During Christmas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-talk-to-your-friends-about-debt">Can you talk to your friends about debt?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-practically-free-ways-to-make-new-friends">10 Fun, Practically Free Ways to Make New Friends</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-benefits-of-having-a-roommate-besides-saving-on-rent">The Benefits of Having a Roommate (Besides Saving on Rent)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-generosity-actually-improves-your-life">Here&#039;s How Generosity Actually Improves Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle friendship Giving Back giving gifts Mon, 13 Aug 2012 10:36:42 +0000 Mikey Rox 948754 at http://www.wisebread.com Investing With Your Values http://www.wisebread.com/investing-with-your-values <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/investing-with-your-values" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tree_hugger.jpg" alt="Woman hugging a tree" title="Woman hugging a tree" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you care about the environment, you&rsquo;d probably never throw something in the trash that could be recycled. But do you invest in companies that trash the environment? If spiritual matters are important to you, your faith probably influences many aspects of your life. But do you invest in companies that produce products or services that violate the principles of your faith?</p> <p>Today there are more values-based investment products than ever. However, finding those that line up with your exact values, and that strike the balance between doing good and getting a good return, can be a challenge. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/giving-to-charity-is-great-but-how-do-you-pick-one">Giving to&nbsp;Charity Is Great. But How Do You Pick One?</a>)</p> <h3>Defining Your Values</h3> <p>The best-known approach to values investing is Socially Responsible Investing (SRI), which is also known as Sustainable and Responsible Investing. Under its broad umbrella you&rsquo;ll find mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and investment advisers that aim to generate profitable returns from investing in companies that are <em>not</em> involved in certain activities and/or <em>are</em> involved in others.</p> <p>For example, today&rsquo;s SRI investors can choose funds that exclude companies that make tobacco products, alcohol, or weapons; those involved in the gambling industry, hurt the environment, mistreat workers or animals, or infringe on the rights of indigenous peoples; and a host of other issues. By the same token, SRI funds often seek to invest in companies that excel in their employment and environmental practices, contribute to the good of the communities where they are based, or promote social and economic justice.</p> <h3>Choosing a Values-Based Fund</h3> <p>According to the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, a trade organization for the SRI industry, there were 250 SRI mutual funds in 2010 &mdash; up from just 55 in 1995. Its Socially Responsible Mutual Fund Charts can help you <a href="http://ussif.org/resources/mfpc/">find an SRI fund</a> that meets your criteria.</p> <p>Social Funds, which describes itself as the largest personal finance site devoted to socially responsible investing, also has a free <a href="http://www.socialfunds.com/funds/mfc.cgi">tool that sorts SRI funds</a>, including numerous religious funds.</p> <h3>A Fund for Your Faith</h3> <p>An offshoot of Socially Responsible Investing is Faith-Based Investing. There are mutual and exchange-traded funds that follow the tenets of certain religions or have their roots in certain denominations, including:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://avemariafunds.com/">Ave Maria</a> and <a href="http://www.aquinasfunds.com/">LKCM Aquinas</a> (Catholic)</li> <li><a href="http://eventidefunds.com/">Eventide</a> and <a href="http://www.timothyplan.com/">The Timothy Plan</a> (Judeo-Christian)</li> <li><a href="http://www.amidex.com/">Amidex35</a> and <a href="http://www.amerisraelfund.com/index.aspx">American-Israeli Shared Values</a> (Israel-focused investments)</li> <li><a href="http://www.amanafunds.com/">Amana</a> (Islam)</li> <li><a href="http://www.guidestonefunds.org/">GuideStone</a> (Southern Baptist)</li> <li><a href="http://www.newcovenantfunds.com/">New Covenant</a> (Presbyterian)</li> <li><a href="https://www.thrivent.com/investments/index.html">Thrivent</a> (Lutheran)</li> <li><a href="http://www.everence.com/c.aspx?id=307&amp;token=1">Praxis</a> (Mennonite)</li> </ul> <h3>How Responsible Is Responsible Enough?</h3> <p>Just because a fund claims to be socially responsible doesn&rsquo;t mean it includes or excludes investments in industries you may care about, or that it defines the issues as you do. You have to read the prospectuses closely.</p> <p>There are free online tools that can help you analyze funds based on various social screens. Calvert Investments, which offers 40 SRI mutual funds, has a tool called <a href="http://www.calvert.com/kwyo.html">Know What You Own</a>. Just enter the name of a mutual fund, and you can see what companies held in the fund do not meet Calvert&rsquo;s sustainability criteria related to the environment, governance, social issues, and more.</p> <p>Vanguard&rsquo;s FTSE Social Index Fund, for example, says it screens investments based on certain social, human rights, and environmental criteria. However, running it through Calvert&rsquo;s Know What You Own tool finds that the fund holds investments in more than 20 companies that Calvert finds objectionable.</p> <p>With <a href="http://www.investedinterests.com/">Invested Interests&rsquo; Dashboard</a> (you have to provide your e-mail address to use this tool), you can research mutual funds based on 19 issues. I used it to analyze the Domini Social Equity Fund, which says it invests in companies based on their social and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-eco-friendly-changes-you-can-make-today">environmental priorities</a>. If you invested $5,000 in the fund, the tool says nearly half of the money would go toward companies that fail Invested Interests&rsquo; environmental screens.</p> <h3>Maximizing Your Values-Based Investments</h3> <p>As with any type of investing, in order to get the most from values-based investing you need to make sure you have <a href="http://www.mattaboutmoney.com/2011/07/11/the-most-important-key-to-investing-success/">the proper asset allocation</a> for your age and goals.</p> <p>You should also avoid paying too much for your investments. That can be especially challenging with values-based investing because such funds tend to have fairly high expense ratios. Still, if you want to put your money where your values are, perhaps that&rsquo;s a price worth paying.</p> <p><em>How do your values guide your investment decisions?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/investing-with-your-values">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/socially-responsible-investing-goes-green">Socially Responsible Investing Goes Green</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-rules-every-mediocre-investor-must-know">The 3 Rules Every Mediocre Investor Must Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-meeting-the-2018-401k-contribution-limits-will-brighten-your-future">6 Ways Meeting the 2018 401(k) Contribution Limits Will Brighten Your Future</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-pick-your-first-stocks-and-funds">How to Pick Your First Stocks and Funds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-be-fooled-by-an-investments-rate-of-return">Don&#039;t Be Fooled by an Investment&#039;s Rate of Return</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment Giving Back mutual funds socially responsible investing Mon, 19 Dec 2011 10:48:24 +0000 Matt Bell 804352 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Ways to Be a Better Person Today http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-be-a-better-person-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-ways-to-be-a-better-person-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_woman.jpg" alt="Happy woman" title="Happy woman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="134" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I recently came across five principles for living well. They are:</p> <blockquote><p>Today &mdash; do not be angry. <br /> Today &mdash; do not worry. <br /> Today &mdash; be kind to yourself and others. <br /> Today &mdash; be honest to yourself and others. <br /> Today &mdash; work diligently.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;">&ndash; Usui Sensei, 1865-1926</p> </blockquote> <p>On the whole, these principles would make you a better person. But they're a bit intangible, and adapting them into your life right away could be overwhelming. What I like about them is the focus on today &mdash; just today. There are so many things we can do just today that can inspire some amazing life changes. Changes that will not only make you a better person, but can enrich your life, save you money, help others and the environment, and instigate a true sense of happiness. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/44-ways-to-improve-your-health-and-happiness">44 Ways to Improve Your Health and Happiness</a>)</p> <p>Here are 25 practical ways to apply the above principles and be a better person &mdash; today.</p> <ol> <li>Say thanks &mdash; and mean it. (Here are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-say-thanks">25 really nice ways to do just that</a>).</li> <li>Smile at a stranger.</li> <li>Learn to lean into vulnerability and express your true self. (<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-out-there-the-power-of-vulnerability">Watch this video</a> as an inspirational primer).</li> <li>Perform one senseless act of kindness per day.</li> <li>Take a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/how-taking-a-sabbatical-can-help-your-business">sabbatical</a> and learn something new about yourself in the process.</li> <li>Do something you've never done before.</li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/goal-setting-getting-out-of-debt-once-and-for-all">Set goals wisely</a> &mdash; and reward yourself for making progress.</li> <li>Start a conversation with a random stranger (in line at the grocery store for example).</li> <li>Create a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/vision-boards-dream-big-play-with-pictures-and-watch-your-life-change">vision board</a> to visualize &mdash; and achieve &mdash; the life of your dreams.</li> <li>Help somebody.</li> <li>Reflect on the amazing moments in your life, and figure out <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/looking-for-answers-in-life-heres-your-key">how to replicate them</a>.</li> <li>Be 100% honest for an entire day.</li> <li>Be <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/generosity-or-stupidity">generous</a> &mdash; but not to your own detriment.</li> <li>Express disagreement towards injustice.</li> <li>Learn something new. For example, learn how to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-e-books-to-help-you-make-money-travel-and-change-your-life">change your life</a> and design the lifestyle you want.</li> <li>Interact with nature. Go for a walk using all your senses, start a garden, or just admire a beautiful sunset.</li> <li>Have fun with a brainstorm session of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/feeling-stuck-100-ways-to-change-your-life">100 ways to change your life in 20 minutes</a>.</li> <li>Cook a meal for somebody.</li> <li>Save money. (Here are 37 ways <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/37-savings-changes-you-can-make-today">start saving today</a>).</li> <li>Try letting somebody in line in front of you or driving consciously and kindly, and see if it actually makes you late. (You might surprise yourself).</li> <li>Give your kids a leg up in life and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-financially-educate-your-children">make finance a family affair</a>.</li> <li>Learn about a worthwhile cause, and get involved.</li> <li>Choose three ways to be <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-be-nicer-to-the-environment-and-your-wallet">nicer to the environment</a> and implement them. (For example, reduce your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hands-in-your-pocket-the-cost-of-standby-power-environmental-and-otherwise">standby power</a> consumption, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/30-easy-ways-to-go-green-in-the-office">make your office green</a>, start a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-coffee-cup-revolution-lets-take-a-stand">coffee cup revolution</a>, or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/saving-the-planet-one-drop-at-a-time">conserve water</a>).</li> <li>Create your own definition of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-freedom-and-using-passion-to-budget">financial freedom</a>, and inject a dose of passion into your budget.</li> <li>Regain your youth, and play with some children.</li> </ol> <p>This is just a start. How can you become a better person today?</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F25-ways-to-be-a-better-person-today&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F25%2520Ways%2520To%2520Be%2520A%2520Better%2520Person%2520Today.jpg&amp;description=25%20Ways%20To%20Be%20A%20Better%20Person%20Today"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/25%20Ways%20To%20Be%20A%20Better%20Person%20Today.jpg" alt="25 Ways To Be A Better Person Today" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-be-a-better-person-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-improve-your-well-being-and-delight-the-soul">5 Ways to Improve Your Well Being and Delight the Soul</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-feel-better-fast">25 Ways to Feel Better Fast</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/100-small-things-that-can-bring-you-joy">100 Small Things That Can Bring You Joy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-organizations-that-need-your-help-during-christmas">7 Organizations That Need Your Help During Christmas</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development Giving Back happiness self improvement Wed, 31 Aug 2011 10:36:16 +0000 Nora Dunn 679839 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Questions to Ask When Starting a Business http://www.wisebread.com/3-questions-to-ask-when-starting-a-business <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-questions-to-ask-when-starting-a-business" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mario_questions.jpg" alt="Question blocks" title="Question blocks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm thinking of starting a business. And as I'm brainstorming ideas for this business, I'm focusing on three questions, and only three questions:</p> <ol> <li>Will there be a demand for what I would offer?</li> <li>Do I enjoy what I would offer (or at least a major component of it)?</li> <li>Is what I'm offering making the world a better place in some way?</li> </ol> <p>I'm not worried about exactly how I'd monetize it, how I could fund it, logistics, marketing, or anything else. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-real-deal-what-to-expect-when-starting-your-own-business">The Real Deal: What to Expect When Starting Your Own Business</a>)</p> <p>I simply want to know that people will want what I offer, that I enjoy it in some way, and that it will help make the world a better place. Maybe I'm naive in keeping things this simple, but I don't think so. If these three questions were asked at the outset of every new business, we would have a much more engaged and thoughtful capitalist economy. I want to dissect each of the questions to show you why.</p> <h3>1. Will There Be a Demand for What I Would Offer?</h3> <p>Most businesses start out with this one question in mind. You have to make money somehow, and the best way to do that is to give people what they want or need via a product or service. The really adventurous and creative entrepreneurs will anticipate demand before it happens or manufacture a demand that did not exist before. Either way, it's all about creating a value that people are willing to purchase. Any sustainable business has to make money, right?</p> <p>Unfortunately, it's often the only question that is considered when most businesses are conceived.</p> <h3>2. Do I Enjoy What I Would Offer (or at Least a Major Component of It)?</h3> <p>Many business &quot;gurus&quot; like to give the advice that you should not create a business around <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-your-passion">something you love</a>. Their reasoning often follows one of the following three paths of thought:</p> <ul> <li>You can't make money doing what you love, otherwise we'd all be laying on the beach somewhere expecting money to show up at our doorsteps.</li> <li>Your love for something clouds your judgment of anticipation or demand for that product or service.</li> <li>You'll stop enjoying it once you do it for a living.</li> </ul> <p>There may be some truth in these lines of thought, but how much fun is that? In one hour, I was able to come up with a list of 55 <a href="http://20somethingfinance.com/55-marketable-hobbies-that-you-love-can-get-paid-for/">hobbies you can get paid for</a> &mdash; things that people love doing and that there's a demand for. You can't tell me that making money and enjoying what you're making money from are mutually exclusive. I've seen too many people &quot;have their cake&quot; to believe that.</p> <p>How many times have you dealt with business owners who seemingly hated what they did or were at least indifferent to it? Did you want to buy from them again?</p> <p>Many people will disagree with me, but I'm of the opinion that there's more to business than just making money. I want to enjoy something, be interested in it, and be passionate about it. Is that expecting too much?</p> <h3>3. Is What I'm Offering Making the World a Better Place in Some Way?</h3> <p>There is presently a small, yet seismic, shift in how many businesses are thinking about their roles in society. Capitalism has always had the guiding principle of &quot;make money and all else will be solved.&quot; Most of us are smart enough to know that's a dangerous philosophy.</p> <p>Fortunately, a few businesses are catching on as well. They are realizing that &quot;max profit&quot; and &quot;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-save-water-energy-money-the-world-in-one-afternoon">good for the planet</a>&quot; can co-exist, and max profit might even be MORE likely to exist if products and services are designed with &quot;good for the planet&quot; in mind.</p> <h3>What Questions Guide Your Entrepreneurship?</h3> <p>Like I said, I'm a novice at this, but I can't think of any other questions I should ask when dreaming up my business ventures that should have a higher priority than these.</p> <p><em>What questions have you asked or would you ask when creating your business?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ge-miller">G.E. Miller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-questions-to-ask-when-starting-a-business">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-real-deal-what-to-expect-when-starting-your-own-business">The Real Deal: What to Expect When Starting Your Own Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-tips-to-good-business-management">Six Tips to Good Business Management</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-business-lessons-i-learned-the-hard-way">7 Business Lessons I Learned the Hard Way</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-start-a-business-with-your-401k">How to Start a Business With Your 401(k)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-the-one-skill-you-need-if-you-want-to-work-for-yourself">This Is the One Skill You Need If You Want to Work for Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Giving Back starting a business work passion Thu, 17 Feb 2011 13:00:13 +0000 G.E. Miller 490678 at http://www.wisebread.com Interview With Love Drop Co-Founder J. Money http://www.wisebread.com/interview-with-love-drop-co-founder-j-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/interview-with-love-drop-co-founder-j-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/love-candy-flickr.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Recently, J. Money over at <a href="http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/">Budgets Are Sexy</a> reached out to us to let us know about a new project he and Nate St. Pierre started called <a href="http://www.lovedrop.us/">Love Drop</a>&mdash;a new micro-giving network designed to help one family per month.</p> <p>Check out Nate's video on the inspiring premise of Love Drop and our interview with J. Money below.</p> <p><object width="640" height="385"> <param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/k9FsUECYW_M?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" /> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /> <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/k9FsUECYW_M?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object></p> <p><b>Wise Bread:&nbsp;Tell us how Love Drop works.</b></p> <p>J. Money: It's nice and simple. Every month our members come together and &quot;drop&quot; some financial love on a family who really needs our help. Some give $5.00, and others $1.00 - but it's the whole idea that if hundreds of people did it all at the same time, we could directly affect a person's life in a major way! (Think Home Extreme Makeover, only not with homes... yet.)</p> <p>The money is just part of it. We don't show up on their doorstep and just give them a pile of cash - we learn all about these families and share their stories of positivity and generosity online despite their current situation. As these video episodes and stories are released every week, our Love Droppers are behind the scenes raising other goods and services to support these families even more. And that's what this whole project is really about - community. People coming together to give back and make a difference in a super easy way.</p> <p><b>How did you come up with the idea of Love Drop? </b></p> <p>We (myself and Nate St. Pierre) both came up with this idea a long time ago before even meeting each other! Nate was already leading a team of people giving time in small increments every week and I was blogging all day long about personal finances. When we were introduced, it was the perfect combination of skills and interests to finally get this puppy started. The organization has been constantly evolving ever since, but our main goals of providing a fun and unique way to give back is still the cornerstone of what we're doing here. And one of our favorite parts is the fact that everyone can DIRECTLY see where their support is going each month! Within four weeks (max) you get to watch your money or clothes or tax services/etc go right into the hands of the family we're currently helping. You literally see us presenting these gifts right there at their home. We put it all online, and then we start all over again the next day. It's awesome.</p> <p><b>Tell us about yourself and your cofounder, Nate.</b></p> <p>I <i>(J. Money</i>) have been blogging at my site <a target="_blank" href="http://budgetsaresexy.com/">BudgetsAreSexy.com</a> for almost 3 years now. It started as a place for me to ramble on about money and how I was saving (and spending!) a lot here and there, but now I like to think of it as a place where we as a community start up conversations based around a certain topic every day. A lot of people aren't comfortable talking about money in &quot;real life,&quot; so it's nice to have places like this where we can share our ideas and solutions freely without worrying about Uncle Joe jumping down our throat. Exactly like how it is here at Wise Bread.</p> <p>Our co-founder <i>Nate St. Pierre</i> is the man behind <a target="_blank" href="http://itstartswith.us/">ItStartsWith.US</a> and <a target="_blank" href="http://dropalovebomb.com/">DropALoveBomb.com</a>, where he organizes thousands of people to give back a few minutes of their time every week. At It Starts With Us he gives out a 15-minute mission to all his teammates asking them to do 1 small thing for their neighbor or friend, or even stranger, and with his Love Bomb crew he and his partner, Lauren Lankford, get hundreds of people to drop a comment of support and encouragement on a blogger who's really going through some tough times in their lives. It's all about giving back with Nate, and he's a damn good inspiration.</p> <p><b>Besides you and Nate, who else is on the team? Who is doing the day-to-day work?</b></p> <p>HAH! You're pretty much looking at it. Well actually, let me rephrase. Nate and I manage the day-to-day operations and management/marketing/organizing/community building/etc aspects of our company, but then we have the brilliant <a target="_blank" href="http://hildebrandcreative.com/">Hildebrand Creative</a> who produce and shoot our video series. It's the four of us who pretty much power this thing forward. We're not gonna lie - it's a LOT of work. Nate and I literally spend 10 hours a day making sure everything's on track, 7 days a week, and there's always more to do by the end of it. But as all small business owners know, there's nothing better than being emersed in your own projects and doing everything from top to bottom. We've made Love Drop our full-time gigs right now and we are beyond excited to continue watching it grow!</p> <p><b>How does one apply to become the next LoveDrop recipient? What are the qualifications? What is the selection process like?</b></p> <p>You can't necessarily apply to become a Love Drop recipient, but you can nominate someone you think could really benefit from our community's support. Only members have the ability to do this and there are a lot of variables for us to review each month. Believe me, it's heart wrenching trying to select just ONE out of dozens of people needing our help! One of the most important factors we look for is their general outlook on life. We want to help those who are positive and genuinely trying to give back despite their troubled situation. We're not about swooping in and paying things off just for the heck of it - we want to find those families who have the greatest hearts in the world and just need a little push to get back on their feet and continue improving their surroundings. One of the most surprising (and difficult) things we've actually found so far, is making these chosen recipients ACCEPT our gifts! The first thing they want to do is give it to someone who &quot;needs it more than them,&quot; and it's exactly that spirit that makes us proud to come together for them.</p> <p><b>According to your website, the donations break down as follows: 50% to the recipient, 20% to taxes, and 30% to running Love Drop. Can you tell us a little bit about how the 30% is spent?</b></p> <p>Yup, but first let me clarify that none of this money is considered a &quot;donation.&quot; We're not a 501(c)3 - which I'll explain more in a bit - and you can't take any tax write offs from it. Love Drop is more of a &quot;membership&quot; type site where people basically pay what they want. Whether you have $1 or $1,000 to spare, all members get the same access to our community platform and they can come and go as they please.</p> <p>Now back to your 30% question. You are correct - this portion of the membership money goes directly to our operating budget. Just like with other small businesses, this money covers production expenses, legal services, accounting services, marketing, travel, salaries, web design, hosting, etc. As you can imagine, 30% doesn't come close to covering it. This is where our corporate sponsors come in each month and really help us out. By using their portion to pay for a large chunk of our operations, it allows us to give out more of our member's money directly to the families every month! Currently, 50% of donations are given to recipients. That number will never go down, but our hope is to eventually bring that number up and up as we raise more awareness over time.</p> <p><b>Is Love Drop a 501(c)3 organization? If no, why not? Will you make your expenses transparent to the public?</b></p> <p>Nope, Love Drop is not a 501(c)3 charity. We are a small business doing charitable things. We wanted to build something super simple and scalable where we can focus on the &ldquo;doing of good&rdquo; over the red tape and restrictions a charity can bring (what you see online is what you get when it comes to our finances - there's really nothing more to it). It had been a constant work in progress for seven months straight, but as soon as we realized we could create our own little hybrid here, Love Drop was up and runnning in no time. Within 24 hours we had our first version of our site live and over 15 new members to our team! That was pretty eye opening for us and proves that at the end of the day people just want to help.</p> <p>We know there are those who feel more comfortable giving to a charity - and we totally encourage that - we're just offering another fun and creative way to get out there and directly make a difference in people's lives. It's nice and simple and we're having a blast so far.</p> <p><b>Tell us about the first Love Drop recipient and how and why you selected her.</b><br /> Our first recipient is Jill! She is an awesome role model with a great great family and really is one of the most inspirational people we now have the pleasure of knowing. When you can survive being homeless (TWICE!) and literally lose everything you own in a fire and still keep smiling, there's really no words to explain how moving that is. Her story of moving on and giving back to the community throughout everything is truly incredible. We can't wait to show her all we've raised so far for her family - you can pretty much bet on me crying at the end of it.</p> <p><object width="640" height="385"> <param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/Xm2mzGOQvYg?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" /> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /> <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/Xm2mzGOQvYg?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object></p> <p><b>If people don't have money to donate, are there other ways to help out?</b></p> <p>Absolutely! I'm glad you asked that because we're really excited about some of the things we're currently working on together:</p> <ol> <li><b>If you're a blogger, you can join our <a target="_blank" href="http://www.lovedrop.us/blogger-network">blogger network</a>!</b> We'll give you all the content you need and all you have to do is blog about the person we're helping that month. It's a super easy and rewarding way to spread the word and raise more support for our families.</li> <li><b>You can join our <a target="_blank" href="http://www.lovedrop.us/street-team">Street Team</a></b> - We have a small army of volunteers all around the web (and also on the ground) across North America. Their mission is to spread the word about Love Drop and provide support for our activities, both online and off - including social media.</li> <li><b>You can give a gift or service!</b> Gift cards, clothes, fun stuff for the kids, letters, home-made items, etc etc. Jill's family currently needs all of this stuff above, but every month we'll have a new list of items we think can really help out each of these families.</li> </ol> <p>If you'd like to provide any of these items above, or have other ideas of your own (we love ideas!) you can email us at <b>team</b> (at) <b>lovedrop.us</b> and we'll make it happen. To become a member of Love Drop, you can sign-up <a target="_blank" href="http://www.lovedrop.us/get-involved">here</a>. Thank you all!</p> <p><strong>Editor's Note</strong>: <em>We haven't tried out Love Drop yet but we're very interested in learning more about this fascinating new way to give. If you are a Love Drop member please share your experiences with this program in the comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/interview-with-love-drop-co-founder-j-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-organizations-that-need-your-help-during-christmas">7 Organizations That Need Your Help During Christmas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-ways-to-pay-it-forward">25 Frugal Ways to &quot;Pay It Forward&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-generosity-actually-improves-your-life">Here&#039;s How Generosity Actually Improves Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-new-things-to-do-today">25 New Things to Do Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-fishing-rods">The 5 Best Fishing Rods</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Budgets Are Sexy Giving Back J. Money Love Drop Nate St. Pierre Sun, 06 Feb 2011 03:00:08 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 458995 at http://www.wisebread.com