When the calendar flips to December, we’re all aware that the season to be jolly has begun. What’s more impactful than being jolly though, is passing along that holiday spirit to someone less fortunate.
The end of the year is typically when Canadians tend to ramp up on their charitable giving endeavors, and for good reason. We give you five reasons why you should consider giving to your favourite charity this holiday season, if you haven’t done so already.
1. To support your favourite charity According to Canada Helps, there are over 800 registered charities in Surrey. In this city alone, you could find every type of charity imaginable, including those that assist seniors, youth, immigrants, people with low-income and people with disabilities. Apologies for going out on a limb, but there’s a good chance that your favourite charity would happily accept a donation. These non-profits often survive off donations, so showing your support with a donation this holiday season would be a welcome addition to your favourite charity.
2. To empower your sense of purpose in the community After 27 years, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association highlighted the number one factor involved in living a longer life: live with a sense of purpose and meaning. When you donate to a charity in the community, your sense of purpose is enhanced. Donating money or time to a cause which helps someone less fortunate means that you’re not just a functioning member of society, but a philanthropic leader in your community.
3. To lower your tax bill There likely aren’t too many of us who enjoy paying taxes. Thankfully, the laws in Canada are generous for those who make a charitable donation. For any donation that exceeds $200, the donation tax credit for British Columbians is 43.7%. You can also claim charitable donations for up to 75% of your income. There are also ways you can structure your RRIFs and Insurance Policies to give more money to your loved ones and favourite charity when you die, rather than having your estate hit with a heavy tax bill. Regardless, there are a number of ways to both be charitable and pay less taxes. What a concept!
4. To teach the younger generation about giving back When you grow up with someone in your family that taught you about giving back, chances are you carry those lessons with you throughout your life. Giving back isn’t just about your purpose or the community, but the moments of learning you provide for the younger generations in your family. For a personal example, this writer spent a good chunk of his childhood volunteering at a food bank run by his grandparents. Low and behold, here I am towards the end of the year planning out my giving strategy, while volunteering my time to SurreyCares as well! It’s clear that this is a trend across all of Canada, with reports from earlier this decade suggesting that 84% of Canadians make a charitable donation each year.
5. To learn more about outlets for charitable giving There are a number of avenues to follow for charitable giving, and often being charitable leads you to finding out about other options. Even at SurreyCares, there are options for Donor-Advised Funds, Designated Funds, Legacy Funds, Personal and Family Endowments. Your breadth of charitable giving outlets is vast!
Whether you choose to complete your charitable giving through SurreyCares or elsewhere, just remember these five pointers every year when the holidays roll around, because a charitable community is one worth living in.