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According to a recent New York Times article, philanthropy's newest hero is the everyday donor. While megamillionaire philanthropists like Bill and Melinda Gates of Microsoft (NYSE: MSFT ) or Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A ) contribute billions to charitable causes, nonprofits are now depending more than ever on average Janes and Joes.
These "everyday donors" will generally give $10, $15, or $20 to an organization -- a small amount that's nonetheless more powerful than you might think. As Wendy Smith, author of Give A Little: How Your Small Donations Can Transform the World is quoted, "Small checks coming through the mail are the bread and butter for most organizations."
While the everyday donor may be the current focus in the philanthropy world, the Fool has always embraced this idea through its annual Foolanthropy campaign. Large corporations with generous philanthropic arms, like Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) , Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT ) , ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM ) , Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ ) , and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE ) , are certainly admirable, but the Fool to continues to rally individual donors through community-driven grassroots campaigns.
In the past 12 years, our Foolish community has helped Foolanthropy raise more than $3 million for a wide range of worthy causes. In 2007, we narrowed our focus to financial literacy. This year, we're focusing on volunteerism by "adopting" a local D.C. public charter school and pledging $0.10 to the school for every article comment, CAPS blog post or comment, and discussion board post our users make for the duration of the campaign. In addition, Fool employees will volunteer throughout the year and teach financial literacy workshops to students and parents. (If you're interested, you can learn more about the school or make a direct donation here.)
The campaign has caught on considerably in our CAPS community, generating a record number of comments on one single blog post. In that post, our co-founder Tom Gardner challenged the community to provide money or investing advice for a young person.
In the spirit of Tom Gardner's challenge, we're posing that same question to you: What's the one piece of money and/or investing advice you'd give to a child or teenager?
We'll aggregate these responses and pass them along to the students of Thurgood Marshall Academy, our "adopted" D.C. public charter school. The person who provides the best answer to our financial-literacy themed question in fewer than 250 words will win a one-year digital subscription to Rule Your Retirement (a $149 retail value).
The contest will end at 8:00 p.m. ET on Dec. 17. You can view full contest rules here. And remember, for every comment below, another $0.10 will go toward our adopted school.
Share your wisdom, help donate to a worthy cause with your comment, and enter to win a free year of great retirement advice!