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Oprah remains one of the most successful — and generous — women in Hollywood. But while we may not all have her billions, we certainly can learn a lesson or two from how she shares the fortune she has built for herself. We promise, even for us regular folks, giving doesn’t have to be synonymous with extreme wealth.

Here are our favorite charitable lessons from Mama O!

When You Find Something You Love, Share It With Someone You Love

Oprah’s “Favorite Things” has become a staple of the holiday season. When her show was on the air, audience members would lose their minds when they found out they were a part of the famous gifting episode, because it meant they were all going home with Oprah’s picks, no matter the price. But whether it’s your favorite gadget, bottle of wine or simply the best Christmas candy, you can take a lesson from her book by gifting the same to your loved ones. We promise they’ll appreciate it!

Always Go For The Element Of Surprise!

Sure, gifting the ones you love with things they’ve picked out for themselves is easy and removes the concern that they will be returning something you put effort into buying. But there is nothing like the element of surprise. Earlier this month, Oprah surprised the Ron Clark Academy with a whopping $5M donation when she hosted their 10-year anniversary celebration. The reaction from Ron Clark was absolutely priceless and warmed our hearts (see it here). You don’t have to give $5M to achieve this — a small cup of coffee to your coworker on a tough day or a piece of jewelry your sister’s been eyeing can make all the difference.

Give To The Causes You Care About

It can be hard to choose a charity to donate your hard-earned money too. With so many options out there, you want to be sure that you give to an organization that is reputable and also supports a cause that’s near to your heart. Take a note from Oprah, who donates money to finance education for girls in South Africa at her Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, as well as organizations like the World Food Programme and the ALS Association. All of these are causes near and dear to her heart. Whether you have $20 or $20M to spare, it’s the thought that counts.

Help The Ones You Love Get In On It Too

A few years ago, Oprah gave her audience each $1000 to donate to the charity of their choice. Feel free to take inspiration from this move as well. If you’re in a position this holiday season to spare a little extra cash, help your family get in on the charitable action as well. Maybe the kids are concerned about other kids who are hungry or less fortunate, or perhaps it’s hubby’s passion for animals. You can help them help the things they care about by making a donation in their name. If you’re tight this year, perhaps you can just provide them with some assistance in tracking down the proper information on what to do.

Spread The Love

You don’t have to commit to giving to just one charity. Oprah, like many philanthropists, is known to give to multiple organizations. If you have a set budget for how much you can donate this year, try giving a bit to more than one charity. Or perhaps it’s making meals for different shelters or neighbors in need and dropping it off with the family. You’ll feel great with how much you can do with whatever you’re able to share.


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