Opportunities to share our prosperity and support causes abound in our society. Whether a friend is running a marathon to support research for a disease, a neighbour’s child is selling Girl Scout cookies, or we’ve received a petition from a non-profit organisation to aid in their mission, we are constantly aware of ways we can contribute and advocate for movements around the globe.
It can be deflating to feel unable to help others when on a budget. We want to offer a helping hand, but we also need to pay the bills! How can we overcome this?
First of all, it’s important to recognize that even a little bit counts. I’ve come to realize that people tend to be grateful for almost any contribution. After all, with so many opportunities to give, you chose them and they know it. If a particular cause has a goal of $500, even just $5 will account for 1% of the fundraising objective. If you still feel that this is too low of an amount to announce, you can always contribute anonymously and have that “feel good” sensation that you mustered as much support as you possibly could, given your circumstances.
Secondly, you can ask if a donation is tax deductible and focus on those that will ultimately reward you come tax season. Consider it a financial karmic kickback for later on! There is no shame in contributing in a way that helps you as well. One of my favourite sayings is “Rising tides lift all ships” and this is especially true for tax deductible donations.
Last but not least, an organised approach can make all the difference in ensuring you stay on track. Once a year, determine a fixed amount that you can comfortably donate to causes for the entire year. As with most everything, you can always change the figure later and add more if that makes sense. Take that number and divide it into 12. That is the amount you can give each month to a cause. You could choose a new one every month and mix it up, or stick with something as long as you like. Either way, you’ll have an ongoing sense of pride knowing you’re giving on a continuing basis without breaking the bank. You can even have some fun and once a month go searching online for something that lights you up!
All in all, by keeping these three things in mind you’ll be able to give with a big heart while also keeping a big bank account (or at least have something in the bank account)! Go forth and prosper!