While you may want to give your money to charity, it’s difficult to know how to get started. Here are 5 different ways that you can give to charity.
You may have wanted to give to charity but just not got round to it. I want to get fitter and yet when it comes to waking up for my early morning alarm, I hit the snooze button and dream on through for another half hour.
Making a decision with your money and time has to be meaningful to you in order to be something you’ll commit to regularly. While we’ve previously talked about reasons you should donate money, the hard part is putting your money where your mouth is and actually taking action.
Here’s 5 ways you can give to charity:
1. Donate before tax time
One of the major reasons you might choose to donate is for tax reasons. Most countries, including Australia have tax years that run from 1 July to 30 June which means that June can be a great time to donate to a charity. If you’re wondering whether this is right for you, look at your income and spending for the year and see if you can afford to make a donation. Whatever you can afford to give to charity can be counted as a tax deduction on your tax return so long as the organisation you’re donating to has a registered charitable status for tax purposes. You can’t claim gifts or donations that provide you with a personal benefit so it’s worth checking what the criteria is for claiming a donation as a deduction on your tax return before you make the donation.
2. Donate small amounts regularly
If you’re committed to a particular cause and organisation, it can be effective to give small amounts regularly throughout the year. You can make these donations part of your budget, with an amount allocated each month to be donated. If you’re wondering who you might give these donations to, GiveWell is a great place to start for international donations. This non-profit organisation identifies evidence-backed, thoroughly vetted, underfunded organisations each year that you might want to consider donating to if you’re wondering where to direct your donations to.
3. Give your time
Giving up your time to volunteer for organisations is a particularly good way to give back if you’re on a budget with not much wiggle room. Students in particular can find volunteering for charities a great opportunity to build up experience on their CV, give back to society and explore how they can contribute to causes they are passionate about. Volunteering your time is a financial decision because it is time that you could otherwise spending working for money. In deciding to give your time to charity, you are providing an organisation with hours of your time at no cost, which can just as impactful for an organisation as a monetary donation.
4. Give your skills
Just as you might give up your time to volunteer for organisations, your skills are also a valuable commodity that you can choose to give to an organisation at no cost. Whether it’s your organisation or conversational skills or a specific career-related skill like accounting or legal expertise, skills are valuable because we devote time to working on doing something well. You can also join a community board to help improve the governance of an organisation so that it is more likely to achieve long-term benefits. Choosing to give your skills to an organisation is a great way to donate beyond just giving an organisation money.
5. Give as a social activity
Fundraising as a social activity is something that more of us are choosing to do. Whether it’s the ice bucket challenge to raise awareness of ASL or joining a team for a community run to raise money for charity, giving as part of a group can be a powerful way to donate money. Not only are you more likely to enjoy the experience but you’re also maximising the contribution you make by giving as a community activity. If four people in a team are all taking part in a fundraiser, that is four contributions to a particular charity and those in their community are also more likely to donate by seeing their peers do so.
Giving to charity is a deeply personal act.
You work hard for your money and choosing how and why you might give to an organisation is something that should be methodically thought through and be meaningful to you. Giving away money has benefits for your health, your taxes and the community you live in. Take advantage of some of those benefits today by taking action and looking at how you can give your money, time and skills to an organisation and cause you care about.
Read more: 10 reasons you should donate money