No book this week again. Just trying to phase in a new type of The Guide to get Rich. This week I want to talk about non-profits. The word actually used to make me cringe. The idea of doing something that didn't have a capitalistic end-result didn't process for me. I was young(er) and naive. I now realize how necessary they are in the world. Aside from the fact that they do great things for the people they support, they also are a necessity for anyone needing to reduce their taxable income. Or at least it gives a sort of financial incentive to do something good with your money.
I was recently asked for money from a friend. She wanted to bring in a speaker to her Teach for America class. I was all for it! However, the whole time I was gearing up to write the check I was thinking about how much more I would be willing to give if it were tax deductible. The check would have to be written to a charitable organization (having the IRS 501(c) status), and a receipt of the donation would be given back. 501(c)3 status is actually fairly easy to receive. It is meant for Religious, Educational, Charitable, Scientific, Literary and some other obscure organizations. The only thing I encourage people that wish to start a charitable organization to think about is how much they expect to receive in donations. If you expect to receive $10,000 or more the filing fee is about $850 and if you expect to receive less than $10,000 it's $450. So if you don't expect to even receive $450 in donations then it doesn't make a lot of sense to start up. The girl that asked for the money would be an ideal person to run a non-profit. Having the courage to ask for money from friends and family is not easy. People have a real issue with swallowing their pride and because she was able to do that I had no problem giving.
I think that donations are very important. The younger me ideologies are dying a little more everyday. I think it's called maturity or something. Regardless, I chose to spend my life pursuing making money, while other people that could very well have chosen the same path I did, decided to donate their lives to a cause. I would be disappointed in myself if I didn't do at least a little bit to help them in their challenge. Donating is very important. Whether you do it at church or somewhere else, or both.... give it away because you can't take it with you.
Now let me switch gears a little and talk about alleviating poverty in third world countries. Sure you can donate to accomplish this task, but there is another way to use your money to do this. It's a website called Kiva. Kiva allows you to give small loans (as little as $25) to third world country entrepreneurs. You can sort the different ventures by classifications. I recently funded a General Store in the Philippines. I encourage you to check it out and have a little fun making someone across the world able to achieve some entrepreneurial dreams.
Here is a video on Kiva:
How Kiva Works from Kiva Microfunds on Vimeo.