What if celebrating your birthday could change someone's life? What if your special day could affect positive change? Well, this is a possibility now. There are non-profits that allow you to
donate your birthday to charity.
The idea intrigued me since my birthday is coming up. When I first thought about it, I had images of donating my birthday cake or giving up my plans to spend any money on a nice dinner or a trip to the movies. But donating your birthday isn't about giving up what you have. It's more than that.
If you're thinking of donating your special day to charity, here's what you need to know.
Expressing Your Gratitude
Enjoying a special treat or outing for your birthday is appropriate and expected. But stop and think about whether you actually need anything. Do you have a home, a vehicle, a job, food to eat, and clothes to wear? Well, then you're better off than many other people around the world.
This isn't supposed to make you feel guilty for enjoying something nice on your special day. Rather, it should help you appreciate the fact that you're in a place in life where the basics are not a problem. Sure, we may say we need something new, like a coffeemaker, a suit, or even a computer.
But what we mean is that we currently have one that's not meeting our standards. That, in itself, is the opposite of need. Starting with this concept, a growing number of people have begun to take a look at how they can fulfill someone else's needs on their birthday.
Donating Your Special Day
I read a post from a writer who realized he didn't need anything for his special day and decided to take the opportunity to use it as a fundraising event for a charity he feels passionate about.
He set up an event on his blog, which linked to his charity, and allowed people to donate electronically towards his cause. If you have a website platform like this available, then you can go about it this way too.
Otherwise, many non-profit organizations have their own recommendations on how to do this. If you're not affiliated with a particular charity, you can visit sites like CharityBirthday.com to create a birthday donate campaign for one of many well-known charity organizations.
In this example, my friend donated his birthday to Charity Water by:
- Setting up a goal for the amount he wanted to raise
- Suggesting donation amounts based on multiples of his age
- Campaigning among his friends and family to reach this goal
Many people utilizes social media accounts, personal blogs, or create a crowdfunding events to get the word out. However you do it, the idea is to use your birthday as a day to raise awareness about your cause.
Celebrities, athletes, and politicians are all joining this trend, which could transform the way we think about giving to charity and fundraising.
Calling It Investing May Resonate Better Than Donating
Research shows that younger generations feel disengaged from traditional giving and gravitate more toward the concept of investing in causes rather than simply donating to them.
Perhaps this is because of the increasing value placed on future goals and making money work for you. If you'd like to donate your birthday but don't feel drawn to any particular charity, do some research to find one that has transparent financial records, and shows evidence of making money work in projects that have lasting value.
If you view giving up a day that's all about you as an opportunity to divert that attention toward investment in a good cause, you're more likely to feel like you are truly making a difference.
Don't Worry About Asking Your Friends for Money
I know some of you are hesitant because you don't like asking your friends for money, but let me reassure you here that there's nothing to worry about. Some of my friends have asked for donations through Facebook before. By doing it on social media, you aren't putting anybody on the spot and your friends can choose to donate or not without any pressure. It's also extremely easy, as the process takes less than five minutes to complete once they have done their research and are comfortable with the cause.
I've donated to a few worthy causes myself this way, and not only is the money a birthday gift that your friend will appreciate but you also get to help someone else who is truly in need.
In this case, you can help someone else have a birthday cake, and eat it too.
Written by David@MoneyNing.com for MoneyNing and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.