Giving is a basic principle of proper money management. It is not only commanded in Scripture, but it is truly the most fun one will ever have with money. The joy received when we see someone blessed by some type of gift–whether it is money, a service, or a present–far outweighs the cost of that gift.
There are times in our lives, though, when we do not want recognition for giving. And while public recognition should never be the driving force behind any of our giving, there are times when we do not want any recognition at all. Possibly it is for safety’s sake, but usually it is because we simply want to bless someone with nothing in return.
Anonymous giving is a high level of charity, because it gives the gift without causing any friction on the other person or organization to feel as if they have to return the favor to you. You simply bless a person, organization, or cause and then watch them use that money or gift from afar.
5 Ways to Give Money Anonymously
So, how can we give while remaining anonymous? Here are a few steps to consider.
1. Create an alter-ego email address.
This may sound strange, but most online sites only require a valid email address and proper bank information (account number or card number). By using an email address not tied to your name, you fulfill those requirements while remaining anonymous to the person receiving the money. You might just create a Gmail account with the name “Anonymous Donor,” or “Giving Back” as the name, then send the money. An example might be through PayPal.com.
2. Use money transfer services.
The most well known service is WesternUnion.com, but there are others, like Xoom.com. Each of these services allows you to transfer money to someone anonymously. The best way to do this is to simply transfer the money directly to the other person’s account. You can have money ready to be picked up or sent to their address, too, but this might tip the person off if you are close.
3. Have a third party deliver cash.
Obviously, this needs to be someone who is trusted, but you can simply ask someone you trust to give someone money on your behalf. This is hard to do without being “found out,” but if you choose someone the other person or company does not really know, it can work. And, of course, you want to send cash (or a gift card). Sending a check would pretty much take the “anonymous” out of it!
4. Join in a group contribution anonymously.
If there are several people pooling money together to give, simply join in that group. Most groups will allow you to join in without listing your name. Some will simply list those participating, and then, at the end, have a notation that there were “others involved who wished to have their identities withheld.” By using the plural (“others”), you should be in the clear.
5. Go through a charity organization.
Obviously, this is another post entirely, but you need to do your homework before working through an agency. You need to be sure your money will actually be used for the purpose you intend. If you find a charity you feel comfortable with, nearly any organization will help you funnel your money to worthy individuals or causes while helping you remain anonymous. Often, if you are giving a large sum of money, this is the best way to go about it, because these organizations are experts in stretching large donations.
There are other ways to give anonymously, but these five are a good place to start. You may never choose to go this route, but I highly recommend it from time to time. It is a wonderful way to make sure your ego is in check, even as it relates to your giving, because you are helping someone and there will be no way you could ever “hold it over their head,” since you chose to not disclose your identity.
What other tips would you give? What are some great anonymous giving stories you have seen or heard about? Leave a comment below!