How can a giver make their donation go further? It’s easy to get lost in options, especially during the holidays. Fortunately, cooperation, planning, and understanding boost all donations.

Work Cooperatively

Although giving a homeless person a few dollars is a selfless act; it won’t provide that person shelter, safety, or even the certainty of a second meal. Supporting homeless shelters, halfway houses, and other critical service providers make a greater difference. Giving in coordination with others makes an even greater impact.

Social media makes it easier than ever to work as a team, even with strangers from the other side of the world, and projects like Giving Tuesday epitomize this. Giving Tuesday is a global organization helping people give back to their local communities the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. By providing local charity directories and resources for potential donors, Giving Tuesday makes it simple to coordinate holiday giving in a powerful and effective manner.

Have a Plan

Carl Richards of the New York Times suggests potential donors manage their giving by making a plan. This helps donors maintain control over their finances and give with the head as well as the heart. By planning for events like Giving Tuesday, donors can see how much they can keep on hand for the mall Santa while also contributing to organized events like giving trees, food drives, and special collections. It’s important to note that, although seasonal giving is wonderful, regular, reliable donations help charities accomplish a lot more in the long run. Holiday giving through organizations like Giving Tuesday may even help donors find an organization they feel comfortable supporting more often.

A Little Goes a Long Way

Many visitors see the plaque by the library door celebrating the millionaire who donated the building and wonder, “Why bother?” This is not a practical, personal approach to philanthropy. Few givers can provide the land for a park, equipment for a homeless shelter, or a new youth center on their own.

The thing is, they don’t have to. Small donations make a huge impact. If they didn’t, the Salvation Army wouldn’t populate the malls with bell-ringing Santas every year. Organizations like Giving Tuesday do not necessarily target billionaires, after all. They call on everyone to give a little to make a big difference.