How to Donate to Charity When Money Is Tight

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A sudden change in your financial situation doesn’t affect your heart for charitable causes. You still want to serve your local food pantry, homeless shelter, or other favorite charity. Whether you don’t want to relinquish a longstanding charitable habit or you feel the pull towards giving when funds are low, there are still ways forward. For everyone considering how to donate to charity when money is tight, here are some helpful tips.

Give Your Time or Talents

Charities need much more than money to function well, so consider giving your time and specialized skills when money is in short supply. For example, if you have experience with graphic design or website development, your services could enhance a charity’s donor-facing image. If you lean towards copywriting, you can articulate an organization’s mission by generating promotional content. There are so many options, so investigate how your specific skills could fit a charity’s needs.

If you’re a young person without many well-honed skills or you can’t think of much to offer, give your time. Charities often have more work than hands to do it, so there are sure to be many menial jobs for you to do that can make a huge difference. Think of it this way—if you free up staff from tedious work, they can focus resources on more specialized work. Though these forms of giving don’t come from your wallet, they have a real monetary value to the organizations for which you volunteer.

Make the Time You Give Valuable

Another strategy for donating to charity when money is tight is making each donation clearly valuable to you and the people you’re serving. Pare down the causes you support and focus on your highest priorities. For example, if you think homeless shelters do the most good, give your occasional gift to one in your area and forgo other charitable partnerships for now. Also, make a bigger deal out of the time you give, especially if you have kids. This is just one way to effectively teach your children about giving back to their community, even if you don’t give as often. Making an event out of delivering donated wholesale supplies together, for instance, helps you instill solid principles in them so that they grow up to be generous with whatever money they have.

Research Charities You’re Considering

One final note—don’t trust a charity based only on their promotional appeals. Research their past programs, financial situation, and more via third-party online resources such as GuideStar. Though many charities honestly seek gifts to do their good work, you can’t afford to mismanage your giving money when you don’t have much. Learn how to spot a charity that isn’t legit to skirt these traps and give your hard-earned money wisely.

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