July 17, 2021

Do your charitable donations kick back to society?

Ever wonder if your charitable donations make a difference?

Well, according to a new study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), few charitable investments equal a donation like those to the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Canada organization.

To come to this conclusion, the research compared the life outcomes of 500 former Little Brothers and Little Sisters with a control group of individuals from similar family and economic backgrounds who did not belong to the charitable organization as children.

The study revealed that, over their working lives, the former "Littles" will earn on average $315,000 more than those in the control group.

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July 09, 2021

Teach kids about money this summer

Forget summer camps.

Teach your kids about saving money this summer and ignite their entrepreneurial spirit.

Starting a first job or a new job can be an exciting experience for your children.

Earning their own money and learning how to start a savings account or save-up for something they really want all adds up to growing up and being responsible with finances.

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June 05, 2021

Canadians give back to their community

Count me in.

I worked for many years for a non-profit association that relied solely on its volunteers.

Just witnessing the enthusiasm and dedication of the volunteer board of directors and volunteers who worked diligently organizing business and social events was inspiring.

And volunteerism is not only rewarding but it is also contagious. In fact, many people who attended the events often asked how they could volunteer to help out as well.

This group of individuals held full-time jobs yet gave so willingly and selflessly of their time and talents.

According to a new study by BMO Financial Group, 70 per cent of Canadians say they volunteered for a charitable organization in the past year.

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April 03, 2021

Phone for a pizza in April

Ever wonder what to do with your old mobile phone?

Or that outdated iPod that you upgraded from years ago?

Or the myriad of chargers tangled up in a drawer that don't seem to fit any of your current gadgets?

If you're hungry for an answer, Pizza Pizza might be the solution.

In delivering on its commitment to the environment, the pizza giant is offering up free pepperoni slices in return for your old phones, iPods and chargers during the month of April.

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December 06, 2021

Do you worry about what happens to your charitable dollars?

A few weeks ago, Ottawa's Salvation Army fired its executive director after an internal audit revealed that $240,000 had gone missing.

1387772_pizza_sliceA few days later, the charity revealed that some $2-million worth of toys and other donated goods went missing from, or never reached, its main distribution warehouse in Toronto.

Even though it's a great cause, sure makes you wonder who's minding the store.

But what about the case of Aaron Collins who passed away earlier this year, leaving behind one final wish for his family: Order a pizza and leave the server a $500 tip.

The family started a website to solicit donations, and then headed off to their favourite pizza spot to honour the 30-year-old's last request.

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September 13, 2021

Women much more generous than men: report

Women give more to charity than men and are more likely to give, when education, income and other factors affecting giving are equal, according to a new study from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at  Indiana University.

At every giving level, women were more likely to make donations and be more generous than men. The biggest difference was found among those who gave the most.

Both boomer and older women give 89% more to charity than their male counterparts. And, among those who are in the top 25% in income, the gap is even larger with these cohorts giving 156% more than similarly situated men.

There's one catch, however. The study concentrated on the giving habits of single heads of households; in other words, those who were separated, divorced, widowed or had never married. It didn't look at married couples because they often pool their incomes and make charitable decisions in tandem.

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July 30, 2021

Scams popping up in wake of 'Dark Knight Rises' shooting

Scammers are a heartless bunch, which is news to no one.

1144456_bullets_1But while everyone knows to keep an eye for fraudsters targeting seniors or surfacing ‘round the holidays, thieves know how to leverage tragedy, too.

They popped up after 9/11, and there they were following Norway’s massacre last year, pulling on heartstrings to pry on wallets.

Now? Merciless con men are turning the deadly Colorado Dark Knight Rises  shooting into an earning opportunity.

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March 21, 2022

Can supporting your favourite charity actually make you healthier?

We’ve all heard the expression, “give ’til it hurts.” Now, some researchers are talking about “give ‘til it heals.” Can giving money to charity improve your health and physical well-being, too?

Yes, according to the Institute of Noetic Sciences  which recently highlighted some research that suggests that giving is good for you – for your health, your happiness and your sense of purpose.

The IONS report identifies three aspects of gifting – altruism, interconnectedness and compassion – that have been positively linked to physical health by various researchers.

One study found that a correlation exists between the degree of generosity and patients’ descriptions of better health, more positive emotional well-being, higher self-esteem, and a sense of personal control in their lives.

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March 08, 2022

Will pay-what-you-can cafes ever catch on?

Is converting existing a few restaurants into a nonprofit pay-what-you-want eateries a gimmick or a good way of helping to feed the needy and raising money for charitable work?

Ron Shaich, who heads up the popular Panera Bread chain in the United States, certainly thinks it's the latter. The chainm's few pay-what-you-can spots look like a typical Panera location, except when you hit the checkout.

The menu board lists "suggested funding levels," not prices. Payments go into a donation box, though the cashiers provide change and handle credit card payments.

In many ways, "it was a test of humanity," says Shaich. "We didn't know if people would help each other or take advantage."

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January 25, 2022

Charity donations picked up in 2011: report

If you’re like me, who’s tasked with scouring financial headlines and articles all day, you really have no idea what shape the economy is in.

Well, you see the news. You know. Every story contradicts; one step forward, two steps back, another ahead to bring things even.

So what I’ve found is, since the recession’s outset in 2008, it takes a story that makes layman’s sense to put the economy in perspective.

Like this one: if you want proof things repaired last year, consider that people gave more to charity in 2011 than they did in 2010.

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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...