10 fun ways you can celebrate National Philanthropy Day

Yes, happy National Philanthropy Day. Easily defined as giving of our time, talent and/or treasure. It’s the art of giving to help another. There are countless sizes, types and ways of giving. The point is that you should. Regularly. Especially today.

Give it a shot. You’ll feel better by doing good.

10. Make a donation, large or small, to your favorite charity

They’ll be glad to hear from you. Don’t have one? Pick one!

9. Think of someone close to you and make a gift in their name

Make an extra gift to your church in honor of your youth pastor.  Give to an education organization in honor of your favorite teacher. Support your local zoo or animal shelter because you miss Harry your college pet iguana. Giving in honor or memory of someone is a great way to pay it back and forward then back again.

8. Join a crowd-sourced giving movement

Never say that you can’t afford to make a difference.  Give $1 to movements like Love Drop or the Philanthroper. Find a project by Groupon’s new giving effort, the G-Team. Or, my personal favorite, nominate someone for the Sussie Project.

7. Give Klout on Twitter

Klout is a tool on Twitter that measures influence. Ironically, it’s influence is subject, but give people K+ if they’ve influenced you on topics. It’s basically brownie points for social media nerds. Mmmm.

6. Donate a tweet

Tell your followers why you follow or support a particular person, cause or effort. Give some public kudos…and don’t wait for #followfriday.

5. Look up an old coach, teacher, mentor you haven’t talked to in a while & thank them

I found my first grade class picture in the garage a while back. And yes, I looked up my 1st grade crush on Facebook.  Be less creepy. Find someone who might actually want to hear from you, say hi, and thank them for their influence in your life. Even if it’s your parents. Don’t wait for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day to do the right thing.  ‘Just because’ are some of the best words in the English language. Use them.

4. Do a random act of kindness

Stop reading here for ideas. It’s supposed to be random. C’mon. Try harder. Not feeling it? Ok.  Give the barista a $20 and ask her to buy the next 3 people’s coffee after you leave. It’s likely one of them is having an awful day and you just turned it around. Talk to a homeless person. Carry someone’s groceries to the car.  Make cookies and deliver them with a personal but anonymous note.  Go to a nursing home and play music for (or games with) the residents. Being old stinks. Being old and lonely stinks more. Need more ideas?

3. Teach someone the joy of giving

Tell your friend that isn’t so community minded that you’ll match any $10 donation they make.  Have kids? Grab a shoebox and 3 containers and make a Spend, Save, Share bank. Or just buy one. More great resources for parents, teachers and youth workers.

2. Increase your household budget directed towards giving

Move your 5% up to %7. Go from 8% to 10%. I met a CEO of a large company the other day who’s currently giving 10% of corporate profits to charity. What’s more amazing is that they’re moving to 25%.  Be different. Be incredible. Philanthropy needs to (and can) grow and you can help.

1. Give anonymously

Yes, there’s a good and bad way to give. The 12th century philosopher Maimonides described the 8 ways of giving and as a favor, he put them in order for us to follow. Giving anonymously is the 2nd best. Right after giving for self-sustainability. Want a real challenge? Find an organization you think you think addresses root-causes of issues and give anonymously.

My gift to you is this post. How you celebrate today is up to you.

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