Georgians are making a difference in their communities and beyond through their generosity.
According to the Year-End 2014 Consumer Survey conducted by the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA), 73 percent of respondents said they planned to actively support at least one charitable event in 2015.
Georgia is in the top five states in the nation when it comes to being charitable, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy. In 2012, the most recent data, Georgians contributed $4.8 billion to charitable efforts, which was an average giving rate of 4 percent based on the ratio of contributions to adjusted gross income.
The most recent annual report published by The National Philanthropic Trust shows Americans contributed $335 billion in 2013, an average annual household contribution of $2,974.
According to the GCUA survey, half of all respondents said they believe doing business with organizations that have a “give back” philosophy is very important, 32 percent said it’s somewhat important and 14 percent said they don’t consider it at all when making a decision.
“Supporting a charity monetarily is important for obvious reasons, but don’t underestimate the power of volunteering time. Non-profit leaders are spread very thin, so by volunteering time, it alleviates their workload so they can focus on more pressing issues,” said Associated Credit Union Public Relations and Foundation Coordinator Claire Calderbank. “It’s really important to a lot of credit union members – especially millennial members – that the companies they do business with make it a priority to give back to the community. We have a social responsibility to take care of one another and it’s an added bonus that the credit union
philosophy is one that really attracts millennials.”
Tips for charitable giving:
- Find out where the need is. Local government and churches often have insight into where donations are needed most. Consider attending a city council meeting or contacting a church official to ask.
- Make sure you’re giving to a reputable charity. Giving to organizations you’re already familiar with is safest, but when you’re not sure, the IRS keeps a database of reputable organizations called Exempt Organizations Select Check. You can also check out one of the largest charity databases at http://www.charitynavigator.org/.
- Combine your interests with your giving. If you like to run, sign up for a 5K. If you’re interested in construction, help build a house with Habitat for Humanity. If you’re a member at a church, consider signing up for a mission trip. There’s a variety of opportunities throughout Georgia to get involved.
- To learn more about credit unions in your community and how they help people afford life, visit: http://www.asmarterchoice.org/.