Giving Tuesday My List



I really don’t buy into the Black Friday, Cyber Monday and such tom-foolery, but Giving Tuesday is something I can get behind. There are many wonderful charities that need your help, and for those unsure here is a short list you could use. Make sure you give to them and not over arching “charities”, they take too much for Management Fees.

Giving Tuesday

Charities that Need Your Help:

You shouldn’t really need a specific day to give, Charity is an important part of any financial plan. It is also near the end of the year, money you give now counts towards this years taxes! Keep that in mind. You could give Charity as a Christmas gift too.

 

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Payroll Donations at Work

As an employee of the government every year the GCWCC canvasses employees to set up payroll donations for the charities of their choice. The past few years those donations have been lower due to the Phoenix Pay system issues.

I have participated in this program for many years, but I suspect this year will be my last for a few reasons.

The primary reason is the overhead charged by the United Way to administer this program for the Government. The program has negotiated a lowering of the normal fees the United Way takes 26% or higher of money donated.

Payroll Donations

Currently the Government program claims to only be losing 15% (up to a maximum of $750 per year) to United Way management fees.

The 15% fee is not exactly what you think either. My Church did a bit of research and in fact, because I want to donate using a “payroll donation”, there is an “additional 5% adjustment due to “pledge loss“. This means 20% of the money I  give will get scraped off for admin fees.

My Payroll Donations Plans for Next Year

I realize that charities have overhead costs, but this fee schedule is too much. To scrape over 20% from a donation, is a non-starter for me. Next year I will simply give directly and figure out a way to do pay roll donations in a more roundabout way (i.e. putting money in a separate account, and make donations quarterly to specific charities).

The business of charity always upsets me. I have learned enough about it that I keep wondering why does it cost so much to try to help people ?

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Phoenix Pay System Side Swipe

As most Canadians hear every few weeks, the pay  system for the federal Civil Service has been updated, and the new system (called Phoenix) has had many problems, which has caused many serious problems for Civil Servants. These issues are being addressed, but there are still many issues with the new system. I am not affected by this system.

Folks have had to declare bankruptcy, have seen their credit rating destroyed, defaulted on mortgages, and many other serious issues. Who is to blame? I won’t touch on that point, but there is plenty of blame to go around.

phoenix pay system

One of the side effects is that the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign has suffered. Most Civil Servants are petrified to make any change that would cause their Phoenix profile to change. Evidently profile changes have caused Phoenix Issues (like stoppage of pay, wild changes in pay levels, etc.,).

Charities Paying the Price

This paralysis of profiles has meant that folks have not enrolled in the GCWCC or increased their charitable donations either. Many folks haven’t done this because they are recovering from Phoenix Issues, but still more are just afraid of what the changes might cause.

Let us hope the pay system issues with Phoenix are resolved (I say that both as a taxpayer and a Civil Servant) soon. I know the charities in Ottawa are hoping for resolution soon as well.

 

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An Easter Story: The Leather Coat

Sometimes some interesting stories happen around me that I like passing on in this forum. I am recounting this Easter story to show that for all the complaining about the youth, I think the world will be in good hands when we old farts finally move on.

On Ash Wednesday this year, our Church ran its normal activity day (where the kids come and learn about Lent, Ash Wednesday and Easter), and a few other parishes also participated (my wife helps run these).

One of the activities for the high school kids (who actually take the day off school) is to go down to one of the Churches in the Ottawa Core, where there is a “lunch club” where folks of modest means (and many homeless people) come to have lunch, and have somewhere to “be”.  The teenagers from our churches went to help out at the lunch room, and to maybe get a glimpse of how some people have to live.

A few of the teenagers brought their coats in and hung them up, and unfortunately one of the coats went missing after lunch. Evidently where the kids hung up their coats was an “if you need one take one, if you have one leave one” area of the closet, so a very nice leather coat went missing. The jacket that disappeared was a treasured family keepsake (it had been owned by one of the young men’s grandfather). Needless to say there was a lot of rushing around to find the coat, but it was gone.

The kids returned to our Church and our minister got the whole story so he took the young man aside to talk to him about the missing coat. When our minister asked the young man if he was upset about the coat going missing, the young man’s only response was, “… at least someone will have a warm coat to wear tonight …”.

My Feelings

This is astounding, a kid who could have whined, complained, blamed, or at least been upset about the loss simply viewed the coat for what it most likely had become, a gift to someone who might need something warm to wear.

An astounding young man

Note: I feel I can repeat this story, because our minister spoke about it in his sermon.

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Bloggers for Charity

The Blunt Bean Counter has asked some of us blogging folk to support charities by auctioning off the opportunity to write guest posts on our blogs. I have no idea how this will work out, but I’m happy to give it a shot for a good cause. The first announcement about this blogger charity effort came out yesterday.

Guest Post: Charity Competition

I won’t repeat all the information in The Blunt Bean Counter’s announcement, but suffice it to say it is not often that I will offer to let folks do Guest Posts here (I get offers every day folks, so no this is not me asking for unsolicited content, if it is NOT in this context). If you want my point of view on Guest Posts, read Guest Posts: Please Stop the Madness)

I will blatantly steal the “rules” from Michael James description:
  • Click Here to submit your “bid” via e-mail to my secret lair.
  • The auction will close on 2011 Dec. 16. I will publish periodic updates of the highest bid and will notify the winner after the auction closes.
  • The winning bidder must send me (by email) a scanned copy of a donation receipt, dated between Dec. 17 and Dec. 31 to confirm that the donation has been made. Please block out any personal information; I only want to check the amount and that it seems to be a legitimate charity receipt. You may choose your favourite charity.
  • The “blogger for a day” post will appear on 2012 Jan. 17. I must approve the post contents. I will be very liberal with a genuine attempt to contribute an interesting article and will be very harsh with an obvious marketing piece. At the bottom of the post, the guest blogger can provide their name, name of their company and a brief description of their company and its products. Alternatively, the guest blogger can remain anonymous.

This is your one chance to guest post on this site!

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