COVID-19 has put a spotlight on income inequality in Canada. For those of us who are still employed, it’s imperative that we give back in order to life others up.

Last year, Maclean’s published a list of the Top 100 Charities in Canada. Although the organizations mentioned are large, they are go-to’s for first-time donators, and for good reason.

How do you know your charitable donation is going to the right place? If you’re worried about the majority of your money going towards a CEO’s paycheck (especially when money is tight), we’ve got you covered.

 Here are four things to consider when donating to a Canadian charity: 

#1: What’s Important To You?

With hundreds of options available, choosing a charitable organization to donate to can be overwhelming. When you’re having a tough time deciding, think of the social issues you’re most passionate about. Youth homelessness, animal shelters, and international medical assistance are all examples. This may change year-to-year, but take some time to think about what aligns with your values. 

#2: How Much Can You Donate?

If finances are so tight that now isn’t the time to donate, then don’t! However, if you can manage even a little bit, check your budget to see what you can get by with. Is it a monthly donation or a larger one-time sum? Perhaps holiday-focused donations are the way to go. At Christmas, my family donates gift cards to our local women’s shelter and makes an additional donation to our local food bank. 

#3: Can You Donate Time Instead Of Money?

Maybe you can’t afford to donate monetary funds – do you have any skills that could be beneficial to a charity? If you’re a really strong graphic designer, offer to ramp-up a website. If you have an accounting background, maybe you could help with an organization with their taxes. You also may want to start as a general volunteer and then leverage your skills if asked or needed. 

#4: Have You Done Your Research?

Simply Google “best charities to donate to in Canada” and start scrolling down the list. I tend to focus on local charities for my monthly donation in addition to larger international organizations if there has been a natural disaster or a human rights catastrophe. 

Whether it’s money or time, any sort of donation to a local charity is great. With the holiday season quickly approaching mixed with the pandemic, lots of families and individuals need help. Try to make space in your budget for charitable giving – everything matters.

Lindsey Hocanin

Lindsey Hocanin

Hi everyone! My name is Lindsey Hocanin and I love writing about personal finances. Weird, right?! We have a fickle relationship with our money and I am here to make finances not so confusing. When I am not writing, I work at a local college in student recruitment and I am going back to school to become an ESL teacher. I am a wife, mom, runner, avid reader and love spending my nights at home on the couch binging Netflix. Check out my blog, Making Cents of Life.

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