Giving Back Like a Billionaire

by Joe Lavelle on December 20, 2010

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This time of year has us thinking not only about what we are going to buy family and friends to open on Christmas morning, but also how we can give back to our communities and the causes that mean so much to us.  Charitable organizations certainly appreciate the increase in donations that come with year-end giving, and the emphasis on giving during the holidays is wonderful.  However, CNN Money has an outstanding article detailing several ways in which we can make it part of our regular habit to give generously, no matter our salary, and uses the examples of several philanthropic billionaires to make its points.

Maybe you cannot donate $100 million of stock earnings to Newark public schools like Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook and the youngest billionaire in the world, was able to do this year.  Perhaps is beyond your financial capability to contribute $14.5 billion towards vaccines like Bill and Melinda Gates.   But, as “Give Like a Billionaire — even on your salary” points out, their methods can be copied on a smaller scale.

Here are a few recommendations offered in the article:

Make a plan for your annual contributions and then work that amount into your budget all year long.

Find something that is valuable to you (stock, collectible item, etc) and give it away to an organization that could use it even more.

Talk with friends who have similar interests and priorities and pool your resources to give larger amounts to one charity.

I urge you to read the entire piece.  I think you will be inspired to give back and also learn more about how a few incredibly successful people (in terms of their finances) are giving away a good part of their assets to others around the world.

What are your philosophies concerning how and where you choose to donate your time and money?

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