Hubert Burda Media

Season of Giving

Melissa Kwee, CEO of the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre, shares eight ways to be a giver in 2015.


Plan tax relief giving ahead of time

We can all plan for more tax efficient giving. Do a quick calculation and know how much you want to reduce your tax burden ahead of time.

Celebrate by giving

Instead of collecting more things we don’t really need, designate a charity or cause to direct your birthday, anniversary, wedding or other celebratory gifts. See

Give up one thing to give

Think of one thing you could do without, ever or once a week. Save $5 a day on coffee and that’s $1825 a year! Imagine what it would be if it was larger purchase!


Explore something that has always caught your heart strings. If it’s your first time, then do a one day activity to start or get into a project with friends. See

Integrate giving and travel

On one of your travels, select a charity at the location that helps the local community, protects the environment or wildlife or perhaps preserves some of their heritage. After all, a great destination is where the whole community benefits from your tourist dollar.

Start a family tradition

The spirit of giving starts at home. Consider an annual giving project that helps build values and character in your kids. My aunt used to give her kids a small sum of money and their job was to wisely give it away. They could add to the money, volunteer time, or outreach friends to match or seek additional pledges to support their cause of choice. I recall it building compassion, creativity and entrepreneurial flair in their characters.

Compete for a cause

People love competitions and I’d love to see more of us compete for a cause: completing a marathon, doing an extreme sport, or just participating in a hobby competitively for a purpose is great way to share your competitive spirit.

Be a good neighbour

I remember my mother bringing fruit over to our new neighbours and likewise receiving a nice cake in return. Our neighbours can literally be the people who move in next door, or they can be the people who live a stone’s throw from us who may be in a time of need. Feed or walk their dogs, watch their kids, share your food, or just visit someone who may be alone.
For information on how to start a fund to help a beneficiary, click here.