The beginning of fall also marks the beginning of many, many fundraising campaigns. To name a few, there’s the Montreal Walk 4 Friendship, Movember, the Federation CJA annual campaign and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Not to mention the request for donations that organizations promote all year long.
With so many campaigns and organizations asking for donations, how is a student supposed to respond?
Many students live on a tight budget but many students are also inclined to want to help worthwhile campaigns raise money. This is perhaps best exemplified by the number of Concordia student participants in Movember.
However, it isn’t fair to expect a student to be able to donate to all campaigns or that they can afford to donate at all. So, how does one decide who to donate to, how much to donate or whether to donate at all?
Donating one’s time is a good alternative to monetary donations, but like cash, a student’s time can also be in short supply.
It’s difficult to pit one cause against another and deem one to be more worthy, so how can you decide which cause to donate to?
If you want to be democratic about it you could seek information from Charity Intelligence Canada. This organization researches the effectiveness and efficiency of charities in Canada. On its website you will find its top 12 Canadian charity picks, a list of 100 major charities and information about donating to large cause charities such as cancer, the environment and homelessness.
Or you could simply choose to support the charity one of your friends or relatives is involved in. Unless, a number of people you know are involved in the same or different charities. In that case you might want to help out the person who is farthest from reaching their fundraising goal.
How much is an acceptable amount to donate?
According to an article published on money.cnn.com by Jean Chatzky, Money Magazine editor at large, it’s important to consider your budget. If you know that in the fall months there’s going to be people asking you for money, you should look at your budget to determine how much you are able to give and factor that amount into your regular spending. Then, based on the amount you have available to donate, you can decide how much to give to each charity of your choice.
The ultimate question, however, is do you have to donate at all? If you don’t have money to spare and donating to a charity will mean going without, then you shouldn’t feel obligated to give.
You are entitled to spend your money however you choose and you shouldn’t have to sacrifice for a fundraiser. Students are a small fraction of the population. A fundraiser shouldn’t need to depend on students to succeed.
Donating to a cause is a wonderful gesture,but you should always consider what is feasible and reasonable for you and if you can’t contribute to the fundraising season, you shouldn’t feel bad. Perhaps when you have the funds you can make up for it.