Instead of setting a traditional New Year’s resolution of hitting the gym or reading books, you can be generous with your time and resources by setting a charitable resolution. If your 2024 resolution is to help those in need, you could get a head start by donating to a charitable organization or volunteering your time before the end of the year.
1. Identify a specific community or cause
Generosity doesn’t have to be an open-ended goal. Like any other objective, you can choose a specific community or cause you wish to support as part of your charitable 2024 New Year’s resolution. You may be more likely to follow through with your New Year’s goal by choosing a specific, measurable resolution. For example, instead of setting your goal as “helping others,” you could set a more specific goal of “volunteering X number of hours in 2024” or “donating X during 2024.”
For your 2024 New Year’s resolution, you can pick a community that you are a part of, a cause that is personal to you or a large-scale project you believe in. Some examples of charitable causes include poverty relief, animal welfare, world hunger projects and homelessness initiatives.
2. Choose a charity to work with
Once you’ve chosen your desired community or cause, you can further define your goals by picking one or two charities you want to work with. These could be groups that work locally, within your state or region, across the country or even throughout the world.
For each cause that you care about, there are countless charities and nonprofits to choose from. To narrow down your choices, look for an organization with the following qualities:
- High impact: The best charitable organizations have a significant, tangible impact on communities in need. For example, in 2022, World Vision — a Christian humanitarian organization — spent 89% of its total operating expenses on programs that had a real impact on children, families and communities. Partnering with high-impact organizations ensures that your time and resources can make a difference.
- Inclusive: A top-notch nonprofit impacts more than one small group of people. Inclusive charities help a wide range of people spanning ages and backgrounds.
- Trusted: When you dedicate your time and money to an organization, you want to make sure it can stand the test of time. You can trust that your money will be well-spent when you give to nonprofits like World Vision, which has over 70 years of experience helping others and making a difference.
3. Schedule volunteer hours
Once you’ve chosen which organization you want to support for 2024, you can start acting. One way to move toward your 2024 goals is to volunteer your time. Many organizations offer volunteer opportunities locally and abroad — allowing you to take a hands-on approach to making a difference.
You can get started on your volunteer work before 2024 even begins! Some nonprofits allow you to schedule your volunteer work weeks or months in advance. This means that you can start planning your 2024 volunteer plan before the year starts.
4. Make a donation
Another way to support an organization or cause is to donate money. Funds donated to nonprofit organizations support programs and initiatives that create real change. Donating is also a relatively quick and easy way to divert your resources to charitable causes when you lack the time for volunteering and other hands-on approaches.
Like with volunteering, you can get a head start on your 2024 New Year’s resolution by donating before the end of 2023. Any gifts to the World Vision Fund through the end of the year will be matched — up to $3 million! The deadline is midnight on Dec. 31 to double your impact for children and communities around the world.