5 Reasons to Give to Charity All Year Long

The season of charitable giving is upon us: It’s hard to crack open a newspaper, walk down the street or open someone’s holiday wish list without seeing an appeal for money. 72 percent of donations come from generous individuals like you, so it’s highly probable that you’re considering giving to one or more causes this year if you haven’t already.

But before you get out your checkbook, take a minute to think about whether you’re giving in the most effective way. Charitable appeals during the holiday season can raise a lot of money, but it’s actually better for many organizations if you donate all year long via a recurring donation, rather than with a simple lump sum.

Want to know more? Here are five reasons why recurring donations can be better than periodic ones.

1. It Helps You Stay Connected

When you’re donating monthly, you can feel more connected to the information that a charity is sending you. You’ll know about what they’re doing, when they’re doing, as well as how they’re spending your money. And charities tend to focus on talking about their work, not their need for money, in communications with recurring donors.

It’s also less abstract when you see the donation on your bank or credit card statement every month. If your favorite organization is doing something particularly important to you, you can always pitch in with a one-time extra sum.

2. It’s Easier to Budget — for You

If you’re on a limited income, giving a chunk of money during the holidays, when you already have a lot of expenses, can be rough. Recurring donations can be easier to budget and plan for, and you might even be able to give more money that way.

Think $10 every month versus $100 in December — you’re giving $120 over the course of the year! Recurring donations can always be canceled or changed if you have a tight month or you’re feeling more generous.

3. It’s Easier to Budget — for Them

Managing a charitable organization can be a struggle, especially for those on shoestrings. Regularly scheduled donations reflect recurring proceeds an organization can use in financial planning, whether they’re writing a grant application or developing a new program. This can help them dedicate more resources to helping people — and less to fundraising.

Recurring donations can be especially important for charities that only wind up in the headlines occasionally, even when they’re helping people all year round, like groups that aid in natural disaster relief.

4. It Helps You Keep in Touch

Are you giving a donation on behalf of someone else? Getting a monthly notification about a recurring gift can be a low-key way to stay in someone’s thoughts and let them know you’re thinking of them.

Or, if you’re like me and you have a few spite recurring donations set up — like your monthly abortion funds in honor of Mike Pence — your recipient gets a “friendly reminder” every month.

5. It Feels Good

Seriously: Charitable giving makes your brain feel good. And in grim times, the value of a little emotional boost can’t be overstated. The act of giving can be emotionally rewarding, and so can seeing the impact your contribution has — one good reason to consider donating locally, so you can see the effects of your work firsthand. Don’t throw your therapist’s phone number away just yet, of course.

Setting up recurring donations is extremely easy. Many charitable groups have enabled this as an option for prospective donors, but if a group you want to support doesn’t offer it, make a gentle suggestion. Sometimes it simply requires a change in the system they use to process donations that no one’s thought to do yet — because no donors have asked.

Photo Credit: Getty Images


Mely L
Mely Lu4 months ago


Dave fleming
Past Member 4 months ago

It is nice to be able to help others out when in need.

hELEN h4 months ago


Salla T
Salla Tuu4 months ago


Roxana Saez
Roxana S4 months ago


Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson4 months ago

Thank you.

Anna R
Anna R4 months ago

thank you

Danuta W
Danuta W4 months ago

Thanks for sharing

Tania N
Tania N4 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Tania N
Tania N4 months ago

Thanks for sharing.