Charitable Donation Advice
Charitable Donation Advice is a recurring column here at Change Gangs: Virtual Giving Circles. We want to make an impact with our donations, but that means we have to donate first! Sometimes though, it can feel like we don’t have the money to donate. If that feels like you, you might find this blog post helpful.
How to Donate When You’re Broke
2 reasons WHY should donate even when you’re broke
1. You’re not as broke as you think
Maybe you are. Personally, I’ve found when I feel broke, it’s because there are more things that I want than I can afford. In my budget, there is usually some wiggle room and quite frankly, I’m spending my money on optional stuff. Here are just a few places, optional money can go.
- Nails (the one’s at the end of your fingers, not the one’s at the hardware store)
- Drinks at restaurants or after work
- More toys
- Cable T.V.
Where are you spending your optional dollars?
Yes, all these things are nice and they feel good, BUT… they are still optional. And most importantly, they are temporary enjoyments. Fleeting satisfactions that leave you in the same emotional state you arrived in.
Cutting out one or a combination of these things can leave you with enough money to donate and doing so will help you feel better, which is the second reason you should donate even when you’re broke.
2. Feel better
Being broke sucks. When you’re broke, you can spend a lot of time thinking about the things you can’t afford, the things you can’t do or buy. It’s a real pity party, and a pity party is not a fun place to be.
- Donating money when you’re broke reminds you that even as bad as things are, there are others who have it worse than you.
- Donating money when you’re broke reminds you that you can still do SOMETHING. You are not just a passive victim of circumstance. You have POWER to impact the world.
- Donating money when you’re broke reminds you that you are not alone, that you are connected to everyone and everything, and that your actions matter.
- Donating money reminds you that you have more than you think and helps you be grateful for how much you have.
- Donating money triggers endorphins and pleasure centers in your brain. It’s a cheap way to get your thrills when you’re broke.
- Donating money is good for your soul, and the right time to do something good for your soul is NOW!
3 Tips How to Donate When You’re Broke
1. Redirect a fun expense to donations
Looking through the list of optional expenses you have, which one can you cut out and redirect to charitable donations?
What if instead of visiting Starbucks on the way to the office, you brewed a cup at home and put it in a travel mug to take with you. Then every sip of coffee you took, reminded you that you were doing something for others.
What if you proudly wore your unpainted nails as the badge you earned for helping poor children eat?
What if you checked out a movie from the library, and as you snuggled up at home on the couch, you knew that the world was a better place because of you?
2. Set aside small amount from each paycheck
The strategy that I use is to have $50 a month automatically deducted from my checking account. $25 goes to my Poverty Busters Giving Circle and $25 goes to my People With Compassion for Pets Giving Circle. Poverty and pets are two topics I care most about, and my automatic withdrawal means that I’m doing something about it. My actions are consistent with my belief, and that’s a fantastic feeling.
Because the withdrawal comes out automatically, I’m not tempted to spend that money on something else. I don’t arrive at the end of the month, saying, “I would have donated but I have no money left.” We all know how easy it is to spend money sitting in our checking accounts, so get it out before you have time to spend it!
3. Enlist Support
Isn’t it easier to do things when other people support you? The same is true for donating money, so don’t go it alone.
Donating money impacts the family’s financial situation, so it’s a decision you can approach together. Help your children understand the importance of helping others. Help them be grateful for how much they have. Help them know that they have the power to change the world.
When your family buys in to donating, together you can all plan on how to find the money to donate. It can be a family challenge and everyone gets to feel great about achieving it!
A giving circle is a group of people who pool their donations so that together they can make larger group donations that make a bigger impact. A giving circle is a great support for donating money, because you’ll be sharing the experience with others. Other people will care if you donate. Other people will want you to feel great. Other people will support you.
I LOVE my giving circles, and I speak with people all over the country about their giving circles and they all tell me the same thing!
Do you have an experience to share about donating when you thought you couldn’t?