I am already hearing holiday music and feeling bombarded by “black Friday” and the other countless shopping offers. Personally, I am focused on not overspending this season. While I consider myself someone who is financially responsible, I am imagine how hard it is for those of you that feel less in control. Start your holiday season by giving back. There are some amazing websites and organizations that allow you to help others in need – and get your money back! Interested? In the meantime, if the holidays are pushing your budget, “My Money Matters” (www.mymoneykit.com) is available at a special pre-publication $5 savings – I can’t guarantee Christmas shipping, but you’ll be one of the first to receive this already-popular new kit.
Kiva has been on my radar for some time now. You can loan as little as $25 to a specific entrepreneur. More than 2 million dollars have been lent and 99.8% has been paid back. So, you are helping someone out of poverty and there is an excellent chance you will get your money back. Visit www.kiva.org.
Another site that offers micro-loans in a similar fashion is Oikocredit (www.oikocredit.org). They are one of the largest financiers of the microfinance sector worldwide.
If you want to donate your money with no strings attached, it can not hurt to do your homework. Charity Navigator is an independent charity evaluator that helps you analyze how much of your hard earned dollar donation are being spent. They award charities stars and give a percentage rating as well. There are also great articles and top ten lists. Visit www.charitynavigator.org.
Some other sites for researching charities:
Give.org Investigate before you donate
CharityWatch.org. A nationally prominent charity watchdog service whose purpose is to help donors make informed giving decisions.
Check out “MY MONEY MATTERS” kit.
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