This week’s your last chance. Don’t give zero

So it’s Giving Week and I’m here to tell you about a wonderful charity to give your money to before 30 June sails by:

Anyone

Last year, I wrote about my views on the disappointing proportion of Australians that give nothing back. A decision to give nothing is still a decision and I call the members of this club the Zero Donors.

Zero Donors aren’t the 1%, they are 55% of people earning between $50,000 and $100,000 who give nothing in the financial year.

Now don’t get me wrong – I have plenty of friends that are seriously in the red from supporting family and friends through ill health, injury and serious financial strain. I would believe them if they said giving $50 could put their finances in jeopardy.

But for the rest of us, let’s seize this Giving Week, stop making excuses, get our wallets out and follow a few simple steps that I personally believe will avoid Zero Donor status.

1. Set your budget

If you’re a student, it could be $200. If you’re working it could be $1,000. You don’t want to bankrupt yourself and nor will you. It may seem like a lot at once, but consider that the average wage in Australia is around $78,000 and $1,000 is less than 1.5% of that. Count up all those amounts you’ve chipped in for friends’ charity swims, cycles and marathons and think about it how much you’ve given over the year. Are you as generous as you want to be, or is it time for a top up?

2. Determine your priorities

What’s underfunded? Is it international development or local artists with a social justice message? Do you have a soft spot for endangered animals or the urban homelessness? What makes you furious when it gets cut from a State or Federal budget? Think of 4-5 causes that you care about and write them down.

3. Work out who does it best

There are many registers you can search that catalogue charities by interest and don’t forget about international charities. Talk to friends who are involved in the non-profit sector or that have raised money before and know who does great work. And if all else fails, a google search prevails. Avoid nasty scammers and always do your research. Zero Donors are suspicious of all charities and eliminate the risk of high transaction costs by making no transactions.

4. Feel free to opt out

Many charities will use your details to thank you, explain where the money went and ask you to donate for further projects. It can be a great way to keep up to date, but if you’re done giving, don’t feel guilty about opting out of communications and ask to be removed from the mailing/call list. You’ve already done something that you should be proud of.

5. Don’t be a Zero Donor

Whatever you do, don’t read this and give up. You can break away from Zero Donorship. Give something before 30 June and talk about it! If it’s worth giving too, it’s worth discussing and essential for eliminating the Zero Donor population. Post it on social media or talk about it over lunch so that you not only feel great, but are spreading the message of your favourite causes at the same time.

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