Op Ed | The Time to Give is Now

publication date: Mar 29, 2020
author/source: Roger D. Ali

Every year, millions of Canadians donate their time, talent and treasures to charities and non-profit organizations around the globe. These donations help the vulnerable, feed the homeless and support the purchase of vital equipment in our local hospitals.

In the past several weeks, we have seen the increased demand for critical health care services due to COVID-19. During this difficult time, many concerned individuals have asked how they can help our local community and those most vulnerable. Charities have postponed or canceled events and critical revenue programs that help generate funds for their services. Community organizers are still thinking about the viability of events planned in the late spring, summer and early fall.

Unfortunately, with less donations coming in over the next several weeks, local charities will be increasingly strapped for resources and will continue to face larger financial obstacles when trying to improve the quality of life for vulnerable Canadians.

As a non-profit leader, I know firsthand charities and nonprofits rely on the help of our community to carry out their services and to make a positive impact in our community. When you choose to give back, you do more than help your favourite cause. Giving can provide you with many personal benefits as well.

1.  There are financial benefits when you donate to charity.
When you make a donation to a registered charity in Canada, you will receive a tax receipt for your donation. Your receipt can then be submitted with your annual tax return to receive ​a tax credit​ for your donation.

2.  Teach the next generation about the importance of giving.
Teaching children to care about others is an important life lesson. When children watch you give, they will grow up knowing that giving back is the right thing to do and follow in your footsteps. This is more important than ever as we have had time to spend with our families at home and enjoy the simplicity of life that was perhaps forgotten or undervalued.

3.  Giving promotes feelings of happiness.
Helping others feels good. When you donate to a charity that is important to you, you not only help them continue their vital work, you’re also improving your emotional wellbeing. And more than ever, our community and local charities and hospitals need our help.

I encourage you to think about what causes are dear to your heart and show your appreciation and support to that cause with a donation. The more you are passionate about the cause, the more rewarding the experience will be. You have the ability to make a positive impact in our community at this critical time when we are faced with a world health crisis. There are hundreds of programs and services in our community that would benefit from your generosity.

If you would like to learn more about supporting a local charity, contact the organization you are interested in or visit their website.

Roger D. Ali is the president and CEO of Niagara Health Foundation and immediate past chair (volunteer) for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Foundation for Philanthropy Canada. Follow Roger on Twitter @FundraiseRoger.

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