Do you blithely spend $5 on a latte every day — but hesitate and overthink before sending $5 to charity? If you suspect your spending habits don’t quite line up with your values, here’s a blog that might inspire you to realign your money with your passions: Living Philanthropically. This unique blog is written by Carlo Garcia, a guy who has committed to donating to 365 charities in 365 days!
How does he find this kind of money? According to MSNBC, Garcia started by giving up his daily Starbucks habit and taking advantage of the fact that, thanks to text donations and other new technologies, charities can now easily take small, microdonations — as little as $5 — and put them to good use.
Not all of Garcia’s donations are latte-sized. Sometimes, he donates as much as $200. According to the tally on Living Philanthropically, Garcia has donated $3,009 so far, 244 days into his year of giving.
And that’s not all — Garcia has amassed a nice crowd of would-be-philanthropic fans online, who’ve donated $4,482 to the charities he has profiled. And Garcia's followers have also donated time. In a recent post, Garcia relates an e-mail he got from Literacy Works Chicago, one of the charities he donated to and mentioned in an interview with TimeOut. “Our administrative assistant opened her e-mail this morning to six different messages from people who want to volunteer with us. We’re confident that this is the result of the TimeOut article.”
Quite a few of the beneficiaries are environmental organizations. Biggies like WWF, Global Green USA, charity: water, and Jane Goodall Institute have all received some of Garcia's money, as have smaller organizations like Chicago Rarities Orchard Project and The Dinner Garden.
His donation challenge is somewhat akin to the 29-Day Giving Challenge, which challenged participants to give away something, anything, for 29 days in a row. I participated in this — twice — and recommend it as a great feel-good challenge that has the second benefit of helping to declutter your home of stuff you don’t need — but others might.
Giving, as you may have heard, benefits not only the givee but also the giver — in feel-good happiness. Garcia's story has made me create a personal giving New Year’s resolution: To volunteer at least once a month for an environmental organization. What will you be giving in 2011?
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