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Guest Blogger Shannon Roszell on why monthly donations make a difference in Haiti

3 Comments

calender-i_yudaiPeople are being so generous in supporting the people of Haiti and the relief work going on there. I would encourage individuals interested in providing support to consider becoming monthly donors with charities rather than giving larger one-time gifts.

In a nutshell, sign up to be a monthly donor because:

  • it allows charities to provide immediate relief when an emergency occurs
  • it helps the charity budget effectively
  • the admin fees are as low as possible
  • small amounts every month are affordable for the donor

Allow me to explain.

Small monthly gifts provide stable, reliable funding for the organization. With charities having a consistent pool of donors who give humble donations on a monthly basis the charities are able to provide relief immediately following a natural disaster rather than having to send out a call to action to donors who have given one time gifts in the past. We live in such unpredictable times and a charity’s needs and demands are in constant flux. No charity could have predicted this sudden need for humanitarian relief in Haiti but with the consistency of small monthly contributions, the organizations are able to act immediately.

Monthly donations also allow the organization to budget effectively month to month. One time donations are appreciated but they are similar to receiving one pay cheque per year. I cannot imagine trying to allocate the funds effectively for the year. If my cheque came in January, I would be homeless by July!

For me as a donor, the biggest reason to become a monthly contributor is that the administrative fees are as low as they can be. If you give a one-time gift, there is an administrative cost associated with sending you a tax receipt (which is also there with monthly giving) but then the charity invests a lot of money in getting you to hopefully donate again the following year. When it’s done monthly, you they don’t have to harass you with unnecessary and costly mailings.

The thing that’s nice is that small amounts go a long way. The minimum contribution to a monthly giving program is usually around $10/month which I admit I spend in two trips to Second Cup. You can also consider thinking of your donation as equivalent to one or two hours of your wage a month which over the year adds up to a nice donation that you can claim against your taxes! Oh, and don’t be scared because monthly donor programs are not contracts so you only have to give as much as you want for as long as you want (which I hope, is for the rest of your life).

These charities are doing amazing relief work in Haiti and throughout the world:

MÉDECINS SANS FRONTIÈRES/DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS (MSF)

SAVE THE CHILDREN CANADA

UNICEF

THE CANADIAN RED CROSS

3 Comments »

  • katej (author) said:

    Thanks Shannon! Monthly donations are also good because they will help in Haiti beyond the immediate humanitarian need to support the rebuilding process.

  • Sam Davidson said:

    Well put! As a giver to three nonprofits each month, I’ve chosen organizations I believe in so they can best do with my contribution what they feel needs doing. And, it’s automatic, so I don’t even have to think about it.

  • Irene Whittaker-Cumming said:

    Shannon, thanks so much for your insight and knowledge, and for taking the time to share this important information. You should work as a professional fundraiser! Thanks again.

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