A Handy Guide for Giving Back

Physician's Money Digest, January31 2004, Volume 11, Issue 2

If you've had the urge to give back to society in the form of money and/or time but didn't know exactly how to begin, the following tips can get you started. First, think about what kind of causes inspire you. Research those interests on Web sites such as guidestar.org and charitynavigator.org. Then once you find a charity that suits you, check out its financial records, get detailed descriptions of activities and goals, and visit the organization's Web site.

After you've researched an organization, decide on how much time or money you can afford to spend. You many want to contact the organization to see how they can best use your resources. Once you've decided on one or two organizations, set goals for yourself that are reachable. Be sure you can devote the time and/or the money you have agreed to invest. Consider getting friends involved in order to keep you motivated and increase charitable donations. By choosing an organization with goals close to your heart, you're more likely to get the most meaningful emotional investment and rewards.