Last week, we discussed resources you can use to research charitable organizations to help focus your giving by narrowing the number or organizations you choose to give to. But just because your monetary donations are going to only a select few organizations, doesn’t mean you still can’t give to other charities as well.
Donate Time and Talent: If you still want to give to other organizations, but can’t find room in your budget to help them monetarily, then donate your time or special skills. Contact the organizations you used to donate to when you had extra income to spare and ask about volunteer opportunities, or describe your career and various skills you have that may come in handy. You may not be in physical shape to swing a hammer on a Habitat for Humanity home, but you may be able to assist with writing thank you letters to other volunteers and donors, or helping with newsletters or appreciation and fundraising events, donating your time and talents while allowing others to donate monetarily.
Donate Items: If your charitable giving budget is already drained, then see if you can donate tangible items to the other charities you want to assist. But don’t buy any requested items unless your budget allows. Many non-profit organizations, especially around the holidays, collect non-perishable food items, toiletries, books, blankets, coats and other winter wear to distribute to people in need. Scourer your cupboards for extra cans and boxed meals, and search your drawers and closets for new or gently used items, and take them to a local charity. You not only help the community, but remove clutter from your home as well.
Donate Blood: Not everyone can “give the gift of life” for medical reasons or out of personal fear, but if you can, blood is always in demand, especially following disasters where blood supplies may be drained quickly to help those in need. If you can’t donate blood yourself, encourage others to donate, volunteer to help register donors or provide donors with snacks and drinks following their donations.
You don’t have to sacrifice your budget to give to charitable organizations. Explore the options above for giving something other than cash. If you are set on finding a way to increase monetary donations to a specific charity, you may wish to consult with a Certified Financial Planner to review your savings and investment plans.
New Limit – The Social Security taxable wage base will be $113,700 in 2013. Eighty-three percent of earnings of all U.S. workers (at the $113,700 level) will be subject to the Social Security payroll tax (source: Social Security, BTN Research).
Oil And Milk – If the price of a gallon of milk is $2.79, then a barrel of milk would cost $117.18 (note that one barrel equals 42 gallons).The price of a barrel of oil closed Nov. 9, 2012, at $86.07 (source: BTN Research).
Percent Of The Whole – Fifty-seven percent of eligible Americans voted in the Presidential Election. The state of Minnesota had the greatest turnout of eligible voters (74.6 percent) for the fourth consecutive Presidential Election (source: Center for the Study of the American Electorate, BTN Research).