The Act of Giving - Ways to Donate in 2015

HR Manager Kathryn Mills provides ideas on how you can diversify - or start - your charitable giving this year.

Compassion is one of our leading human instincts, and it is through our compassion that we can act with empathy and altruism. Empathy being more related to the emotional side of giving, altruism is the unselfish act of caring for others through actions that benefit someone else. For example, the act of making a donation to a cause.

Giving to charities and NPOs is a highly personal decision and there are almost countless options. Luckily, there have been some interesting developments in the charitable giving sector, and we now have more choice than ever as to how we want to give.

1. Cash

Maybe it's because I've been doing it for so long, but an old-fashioned cash donation can sometimes be the quickest, easiest way to give. Why not surprise your local food bank or children's charity by delivering an envelope to their director or front desk? How can they not be pleasantly surprised?!

2. Social media

Twitter and other social media sites are making it easier than ever to promote widescale giving campaigns, sometimes with startling results.

For example, a young Toronto woman recently stirred up controversy when she started her own campaign, asking people to post photos of themselves giving pizza to homeless people, using the hashtag #PassThePizza. 

3. Through a third party

There are businesses popping up that make the process of donating more transparent for individual and corporate donors. Vancouver organization Chimp pairs donors with NPOs and charities; in 2014 they ran a campaign called Ignite Giving that raised over $540,000 for charities across Canada. They also paired up with Hootsuite to cover donor admin fees, allowing for a much higher than usual percentage of donations to reach their intended recipients.

4. Donating shares

We recommend seeking professional advice first, but donating shares instead of cash is growing in popularity, and can offer better tax savings than traditional methods.

5. Donating items

How about donating products, like gently-used clothing or non-perishable food items? Consider all the organizing, planning, expense and generosity involved in shipping containers of household items to communities around the globe ravaged by fierce weather events.

6. Giving your time

Of course, one of the most important methods of donating is to give a few hours of our time through volunteering. Tutoring, cleaning up your local park or beach, spending time with animals in need, bagging goceries...there is truly an option for everyone.


May your 2015 be personally enriched through the act of giving;

And may the benefits of your generosity be endless.