Pool your resources

By Dan Kadlec, contributing editor


BILLIONAIRES: Take their wealthy pals on a weekend retreat and hit them up for pledges.

YOU: Round up your like-minded friends and pool your charitable resources.

Teaming up with a dozen or so friends to make a large gift to a single charity has become far easier, thanks to social networks. On Facebook you can use the Causes application to create a page for a charity you want to support. Then invite friends to join the cause and give money through the site.

You can use Twitter to broadcast news about a charitable goal you'd like to accomplish, what your deadline is, and updates on how you're doing.

"It helps if there's a sense of urgency," says Beth Kanter, author of The Networked Nonprofit.

Offline, once you've found a willing group of people interested in the same good works, formalize the connection with what's known as a giving circle. In a giving circle, a small group of friends pay annual dues and meet a few times a year to discuss causes they'd like to fund.

Check whether you or your friends might be eligible for a program to match charitable gifts at your company; 34% of large firms offer matches, according to human resources consultancy Aon Hewitt, on amounts from a few hundred to a few thousands dollars a year.

Just the hot list include
Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.46%4.40%
15 yr fixed3.86%3.81%
5/1 ARM4.32%4.19%
30 yr refi4.45%4.36%
15 yr refi3.83%3.79%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 24,322.34 238.51 0.99%
Nasdaq 7,118.68 114.94 1.64%
S&P 500 2,666.94 27.54 1.04%
Treasuries 2.99 -0.03 -1.12%
Data as of 9:22pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Advanced Micro Devic... 11.04 1.33 13.70%
AT&T Inc 33.10 -2.10 -5.97%
Ford Motor Co 11.43 0.32 2.88%
Facebook Inc 174.16 14.47 9.06%
General Electric Co 14.38 0.33 2.35%
Data as of 4:01pm ET

Sections