Maybe you just don’t have time to do any of the options I’ve described in this series of blog posts. If so, then maybe you can work a little charitable giving into your budget. There are three distinct ways that come to mind if giving money is your preferred method of giving back to the genealogical community:
- Make a donation to a genealogical society
- Establish or donated to a genealogical scholarship
- Make a monthly payment to the Preserve the Pensions Fund
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of genealogical societies across the United States, not to mention around the world. Perhaps you are a member of one or maybe you know of one in your area. Maybe you need to look one up. I know many genealogists are members of more than one society. I am a member of some in my local area as well as in areas in places where I research. Many of these societies are 501c3 organizations meaning they are non-profits and your contribution is tax-deductible. At the very least, you could consider becoming a member of one or two (or more) of these societies. Your membership fees help societies offer free programs and genealogical education to the public. To find a genealogical society, use the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ database or do a Google Search for your area.
There are a number of genealogical scholarships available. They are not all always well publicized but there is a good list of some on Cyndi’s List. You could also decide to set one up yourself for a specific reason, in memory of someone, to send someone to a specific conference or institute each year, and so on. Or you could donate to a society or other body that already has a scholarship fund. This promotes mentorship and genealogical education at a higher level.
My current favorite, one that will have a lasting effect on the genealogical community at large, is to donate to the Preserve the Pensions campaign. This project is seeking funding to digitize and make freely available through Fold3.com, the pensions of soldiers who served in the War of 1812. As of this post, the project is 50% funded. Ancestry.com has generously agreed to match funds, so your dollar goes twice as far!
So, if you can spare some money, there are plenty of genealogical needs that could benefit from your generous donation. Consider one of the above if cash is your preferred method of “giving back.”