When someone refers to the “season of giving”, most people conjure up images of roaring fires, volunteers in Santa hats ringing donation bells, and ample amounts of family time. The holiday season calls generosity forward in a way that helps unite communities in a beautiful way. I know that I personally, always find myself in a giving spirit around that time of the year.
Unfortunately, that is not always when charities want to receive such ample donations. I recently launched the Blake Johnson Alliance – a philanthropic organization that offers monthly grants to organizations focused on advancing education, arts, science, and social well-being. In working with fantastic organizations like Big Brother, Big Sister, the International Justice Mission, and MOCA, I have noticed a pretty prominent pattern. Most organizations ask for donations in springtime.
I have not asked any of these organizations why, but to me it feels like the time of year when their holiday funds run out. Charitable donations always spike in November/December, and organizations may bring in enough money to keep them running up until…right about now. I now consider the day after tax day the unofficial kick-off to the season of giving.
I illuminate this season for two reasons: 1) To offer some insight into why organizations you support may be knocking on your door, and 2) To encourage the philanthropic among us to reschedule their holiday giving. Holiday giving is fantastic, but why are we limiting ourselves to holidays?
I challenge everyone out there to redefine the season of giving, and to align it more with a organization’s needs rather than a personal desire to be generous. So this holiday season, sit back and enjoy your turkey dinner. Your season of giving will actually start in spring.