Foolanthropy

A Giving Strategy for Penny Pinchers

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Foolanthropy 2006 Donations
Charity Amt. Raised
Co-op America $169,425
NFTE $91,341
Rare Conservation $30,047
Room to Read $25,266
Half the Sky $21,350
TOTAL $337,429
As of January 9, 2007
Foolanthropy 2006
Recent Foolanthropy Articles

By Tim Beyers
December 21, 2006

When it comes to charitable giving, most of us open our wallets in December -- and we're pretty generous. A recent study from Canada's Fraser Institute says that 30.4% of Americans donate 1.67% of their income in December.

That's a lot of money for a nation of 300 million people. But let's be honest: Couldn't we do more? How much are you planning on spending for the holidays? $500? $1,000? What if you matched that in charitable giving?

When money is tight
You may not be able to. You may be like me -- deeply in debt and going light on gifts this year. Or you may have lost a job. Or been stuck with unexpected medical bills.

Whatever the reason, you may be unable to give as much year as you have in the past. If so, don't despair. Every Fool faces tough times. And it's not like you can't help in other ways.

Give us two cents, and we'll do the same
How about using your know-how? If you're here, chances are you're a pretty good stock picker. At the very least, you've probably investigated two or three companies you think would be worth owning in a portfolio of stocks.

We're willing to pay for that expertise. Post your thoughts to any of our discussion boards or in Motley Fool CAPS this month, and we'll contribute $0.02 to a fund to be distributed to the charities participating in this year's Foolanthropy drive. For this year, they are:

Only one of these organizations will receive a $10,000 donation from Fool HQ. That goes to the charity that raises the most money by Jan. 7. The remaining four will divide the proceeds raised from your posts.

Where to start
Need some ideas for where you can add value? Here's a list of some of our most active discussion boards:

  • Mishedlo, which was started by a Fool of the same nickname, and which today is a haven for interesting economic commentary and investing ideas.
  • Retire Early, for those who, as with our Rule Your Retirement subscribers, aim to leave the workforce financially independent.
  • Pet Lovers, which caters to those who can't imagine life without an animal companion.
  • Help with this STUPID computer!, for those who need relief from that sometimes-irresistible urge to flatten a PC with a steamroller.
  • Credit Cards and Consumer Debt, the best place on the Web for those who are struggling with the debt demon.

And here's a brief list of stocks that have recently earned stars in CAPS, but which need more pitches:

Stock

Stars

Pitches

NTT DoCoMo
(NYSE: DCM)

**

6

Gemstar-TV Guide
(Nasdaq: GMST)

*

2

Heartland Express
(Nasdaq: HTLD)

*

2

British Airways
(NYSE: BAB)

**

1

Coley Pharmaceutical
(Nasdaq: COLY)

***

1

Data current as of Dec. 21, 2006.

The Foolish bottom line
This is the 10th year of Foolanthropy. To date, more than $2.5 million has flowed from Fools to worthy charities. Many have generously opened their wallets in the effort, and for that, we're grateful.

But that won't be possible for some this year. We understand. Just don't let a run of bad luck ruin your giving mood. Instead, contribute time and talent to your fellow investors on our discussion boards and in CAPS, and then let us foot the bill for charity. It's the least we can do for a Fool like you.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers, ranked 889 out of 18,066, will once again be contributing through Foolanthropy. Won't you join him? Tim didn't own shares of any of the companies mentioned in this story at the time of publication. Get the skinny on all of Tim's stock holdings by checking his Fool profile. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy gives generously.