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6 Easy Ways to Build Charitable Giving into Everyday Life

Lisa Manfield June 10, 2014

Studies have long shown that giving makes us feel good. Helping others raises our endorphin levels, reduces our stress, and actually promotes longevity. But although charity is the health equivalent of eating an apple a day, many people limit their charitable giving to special occasions -- seasonal holidays or the annual fundraiser for their favourite charity.

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Photo: Flickr / Sandford Kerns

Of course, the most benefits -- for donors and recipients -- occur with regular giving, and technology has made it easier than ever to infuse charitable donation into everyday life. So if you want to make donating more than an annual act, here are some easy ways to build it into your daily life.

Charitable Allowance

Teaching your kids to be generous early in life not only reaps big rewards in the long run, it can also help to instill important skills around responsibility. Tie a portion of their allowance to a charitable giving account and let them choose which charity to donate to.

Take a look at how five-year-old Jasper and eight-year-old Felix are learning about giving with their charitable allowances.

Gift Giving

Whether it’s Christmas, Canada Day or Halloween, many holidays and special occasions come with gifts, treats and expensive accoutrements. It can add up to a lot of spending on things you may never use again -- or don’t even really need. Why not allocate some -- or all -- of your budget to charity instead, and make a real difference to a cause close to your heart.

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Photo: Flickr / JD Hancock

Last Christmas, for example, a Giving Group launched by Deloitte invited donors to give the gift of sport to kids in need via donations to KidSport Vancouver. A matching sponsor, Champions in Sport, doubled every dollar donated (up to $1,000).

Wedding Registries

Sure, it’s tradition to shower the bride and groom with gifts, but these days, many couples already have all the housewares they need. Rather than accumulating more stuff, choose a charity and invite your guests to make an online contribution in your name.

Baby Showers

The arrival of a new baby often means the acquisition of a lot of stuff, but if you’d rather avoid an abundance of pink and blue items you’ll only use once or twice, eschew gifts and opt for charitable donations for a charity that supports families in need.

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Photo: Flickr / Bada Bing

This Giving Group for Aunt Leah's Thresholds House for Homeless Moms & Babies raised over $50,000 to create additional beds, support and programming at a transitional house for homeless moms and newborns in New Westminster.

Life Celebration

Flowers are a traditional accompaniment to an individual’s funeral or celebration of life, but if your loved one cared about a cause, inviting friends and family to donate to a relevant charity instead of sending flowers can build a beautiful legacy that lasts a lot longer than blossoms.

Achievement Incentives

Need a little push to finish your book before the next book club meeting? Or to complete that hill training with your running club? Or to rid yourself of that bad habit? Why not make an online donation to the charity of your choice whenever you achieve a goal -- or, conversely, succumb to a bad habit. That way, you’ll be doing good for others while you work toward bettering yourself.

Want to build charity into your daily life? Set up your Chimp account now and get started!

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