One of my goals for 2009 is to save at least $2000 and take 10% of it to make a donation to one or two charities. This is my variation on titheing. I have my mind on Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto.
Last night I decided that I needed something to be excited about sooner, so today I am going to take $25* from my paycheque and donate it to Kiva.org. It's not really a donation, it's actually a loan negotiated through a microfinance NGO in a developing country to an individual who will invest it in a self-employment venture. Examples are a woman who will buy produce for resale in a village market, a man who will open a small mechanical shop, or a woman who will put it towards her textile business.
I feel so fortunate to have been born in a developed country, to have my education and my union job at the university. Some of the big financial advisors may tell me that I should put my $25 towards debt reduction, but some of them also say that we need small rewards for incentive. My contribution to the improvement of another's livelihood is a great reward, and greatly motivating.
*actually the amount came to $31.36 CDN with the exchange rate