If you’ve ever wanted to give a gift without the person knowing it came from you, there’s a great way you can do that. Giving Anonymously is a non-profit organization that helps you give anonymously to those around you who are in need. The process is very simple:
- You create a virtual check with the amount and the name and address of the person you want to give to. You’ll also supply their phone number or email address. You can include a short note to the recipient as well.
- You then send the money to Giving Anonymously through a credit card transaction, electronic check, or by wire transfer. You can also choose to contribute to Giving Anonymously’s operating costs at this point. (If your gift is over $500, they require you contribute at least 3% of your gift to cover the transaction costs. Gifts of $500 or less have no minimum contribution to Giving Anonymously.)
- Giving Anonymously will contact the recipient to make sure they have the right address and to let them know they should be expecting the check. This keeps the check from getting thrown away or going to the wrong place.
- Once the recipient receives the check, there’s a toll-free number they can call to leave a voice message expressing their thanks. Giving Anonymously will then email you an audio file of the message so you can hear. If the recipient doesn’t leave a voice message, Giving Anonymously will send you a scanned image of the check to let you know it was cashed by the recipient. If your check is not cashed, Giving Anonymously will completely refund your gift and any overhead contribution you made.
I think Giving Anonymously is a great way to give money if you don’t want to create any sense of obligation for the recipient. Yes, you can try to communicate this when you give a gift in person, but it can be difficult to make the recipient understand there are no strings attached and to keep them from repaying you in the future.
If you use this service, I’d encourage you to at least contribute 3% of your gift to help cover the transaction costs. Giving Anonymously has to pay for the credit card and electronic check transactions plus the cost of the checks, postage, envelopes, and other overhead. There’s no transaction cost for them if you send a wire transfer, but you’re going to end up paying quite a bit for that and they’ll still have the other overhead costs. There are free ways to send money to people, but you’ll give up your anonymity with those methods.
Finally, if you’re worried that hearing the recipient’s thanks via the voice message would go against Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 6:1-4 (give in secret – your Father will reward you), you can always delete the email that Giving Anonymously sends you. But you might miss out on an amazing story and a blessing – check out the sample messages they’ve received at the bottom of their home page.
If you’re interested in using Giving Anonymously, I encourage you to check out their website and contact them if you have any questions.
What do you think of the idea of giving anonymously to others? Is it a good idea? Is there a better way to do it than through Giving Anonymously? Let me know in the comments!