Charitable Giving On A Budget

Love giving back but don't think you have much to give? No matter your income level, you are capable of contributing to your favorite organization. Today we're going to be breaking down charitable giving on a budget and give you realistic ways to give without breaking the bank:

1. Factor it in

Giving is something that should be factored into your budget. You may feel particularly charitable around Christmas or the holidays but may not be accurately preparing for it the remainder of the year. By starting today and factoring charitable giving into your budget, even if it is as small as $5 a month, can hold you accountable so when you want to give you are also ready to give. Try using personal capital to see where your money is currently going and how you can make adjustments to factor in giving. Also, many charities allow you to set up auto-pay directly to their organization. So, if budgeting isn't your thing, set it and forget it with auto-pay!

2. Create a challenge 

Unsure if your contribution can make a difference on your own? Create a challenge with your family and friends! By including others in your giving it not only helps you feel like you're giving more but helps others feel like they're doing something productive for the world too. By doing this, you are creating a win-win situation. You can contribute a higher dollar amount while getting others involved and having the recipients receive more. For inspiration on these challenges, a google search will provide you with hundreds of ideas.

3. Change Jar for Change

Are the previous two ideas too time intensive for you? Create a change jar! Easy peasy. Instead of saving up the change for a family vacation, give that change at the end of the year to your favorite organization. This way, the entire family can pitch in little by little creating one big donation for a lucky donor at the end. If your family doesn't accumulate much change, suggest doing this at your workplace. You may be surprised at how much support you get from your coworkers. Try giving to a different charity each month to keep your coworkers excited and vested in the concept.

4. Volunteer

If you are seriously strapped for cash but care about a cause, volunteer your most precious asset, your time. Many organizations need more people to lend a helping hand, and it isn’t always just soup kitchens. In today’s world, getting the word out about a charity can be inclusive of a marketing strategy, digital assets, and communication specialists. Your skill set may be what the organization needs most! Volunteering comes in many different forms, and it doesn't have to be what is obvious. Whatever you uniquely bring to the table could help the charity reach their full potential. Charities are always looking for help so pick up the phone or send an email to see how you can get involved.

5. TELL OTHERS

The last and simplest way to get involved is to bring awareness to the issue. Use your platform for good by posting about a charity on facebook, instagram, twitter, or pinterest. I have a friend who was financially strapped but posted about a new charity or company who was doing good in the world every week. Doing this alone raised thousands of dollars for those charities over the years. Bring some positivity to the internet!

P.S. - 

No matter what the organization or charity you would like to give to, do your homework. Not all charities are made equally. Make sure that the intended recipient is the person benefitting from your donation. A few sites that are helpful include Guidestar, CharityNavigator, and Charity Watch. It is a sad reminder that we have individuals looking to scam others, but as long as you do your homework, you will not get hoodwinked. Feel free to pass this article along so your friends and family can get in the charitable spirit!