We all know that there are people in this world who are hungry, that there are children suffering from birth defects and that there are people who are homeless. We all want to do our share in alleviating hunger, in giving them the operation they need and in sheltering them. However, we know that we can only do so much. While it’s impossible to give all your resources to charity, you can certainly take steps so that you can contribute more to the causes you support in.
Here are ways to help you do just that:
1. With proper money management, you can give more than what you are giving now.
Americans generally give three to four percent of their income to charity. However, you can certainly increase your donations if you take the time to properly manage your money. One way to do so would be to live on a budget. If you are not doing this yet, now would be the best time to start so that you know where every penny goes.
2. Paying off your debts will free up some money to help increase your contributions.
The interest alone that your debt earns is something that you can donate once you have gotten rid of your debts. Do something to eliminate your financial obligations as early as possible so that you can use your money to do some good in this world.
3. Reduce automobile expenses by driving your car for a longer period of time or taking public transportation when feasible.
It has become a common practice for many Americans to buy a new car every two to three years. Unfortunately, this constant upgrading is detrimental to one’s finances because the shift itself costs money. When you continue to drive your car long after you’ve paid it off, you avert the high costs of buying a new vehicle and can have the money to put towards your favorite charity.
Taking public transportation is also cheaper in the long run. If there are opportunities for you to ride the bus or train then by all means do so. You’ll be saving a lot of fuel and reducing your maintenance and repair expenses.
4. Contribute a percentage of your income regularly to charity.
The best way to ensure that you can make a considerable donation to charity is to see to it that you allocate a percentage of your income to the cause you believe in each month. By giving regularly, you are able to make a larger impact to the charity you support.
5. Money for charity should be money for charity.
If you want to give to charity, make sure that it is money allocated for charity. You have to make sure that you don’t use your retirement funds or money you have earmarked for your children’s college education for your charitable giving. Otherwise, you’ll end up being a charity case yourself.
6. Track your charitable giving to measure your progress.
When it comes to money matters, you need to have a way of measuring your progress. If you want to know if you have increased your giving through the years, you have to track the amounts you have allocated to charity. This is the only way to help you determine if you should increase your donations or not.
7. Focus your giving to a single cause.
One of the most effective ways to make your giving have an impact on the cause you support is to channel your funds to one charity. Of course, no one can stop you from giving to many different charities—and that would even be highly appreciated—but if you have limited funds to give, it is much better to concentrate your giving on a single cause so as to really make a difference.
8. Prioritize donations.
Since the donations you give are only minimal, it’s important to put them at the top of your budget. Otherwise, you would end up giving only what’s left and not the amount you had originally said you would give. If you can automate your donations or find a way to have a specific amount deducted from your pay and sent straight to the charity then by all means do so.
9. Encourage others to give to causes you support in.
If there is a particular charity that you really believe in, you can help it even more by encouraging your friends, neighbors, in-laws and family members to support it as well. Explain to your coworkers, children and friends why the charity needs their support and use your powers of persuasion so they will give.
10. Give your time as well.
Charities certainly look forward to your money so they can continue their operations. However, they may have activities when your physical presence is going to be largely appreciated. For instance, the charity you support may hold regular soup kitchens where a lot of hands to feed the hungry are needed. Giving your time to this cause will certainly matter a lot both to the organization and the people you serve.
11. All the things you give count.
It doesn’t matter what you give. You may just give one used blanket or a used pillow or a can of soup. You can give one dollar or two dollars and it would still help people. Every single thing you give matters. That blanket you give may warm a homeless person tonight and may even serve as enough incentive to get off the streets for good. Never underestimate the power of sharing.
12. Make giving a part of your life.
Giving should be a natural part of your life. You give because you want to. When you think about your charitable contributions this way, you are more inclined to increase your donations.
13. There will be times when you won’t be able to give. Just get back on track.
Life doesn’t always work out the way we want it to. You might lose your job or someone in your family might get sick and the medical expense is going to really hurt you. What’s important is that you are able to get back on track when you’ve weathered the storm you are facing.
14. Every little thing you give adds up.
Even if you only give a little thing but you just keep on giving, its effect is going to add up. Don’t be ashamed to give only small things. For as long as you do this regularly, you are certainly going to make an impact on your giving.
15. Stay humble.
Continue to keep on giving without expecting anything in return. When you give because you want to get recognized for it, the essence of giving gets lost. You also limit your giving because you will be after charitable activities where you are bound to receive credit. It also takes the fun out of giving since you will constantly wonder why your efforts are not being recognized while the good of others make the news.
16. Do what you do even when no one is looking.
The truly charitable person keeps on giving even when there are no cameras and even when the recipient does not even know who the giver is.
17. Believe that you are making a difference.
There are times when you will feel that what you do is not making any difference. This can discourage you. However, you have to believe that everything you do benefits someone who really needs it. This thought will comfort you when you feel that the good you do is too small to count.
18. Continue to feed the hungry.
There will always be hungry people in this world. You can’t hope to feed them all. But those whom you do feed will be glad that you keep on doing what you do. By setting a good example, you encourage more people to feed the hungry. When people work together, there will be less hungry mouths to feed.
19. Encourage your children to be charitable.
The life you lead is the best example you can set to your children. By explaining to them the reason why you do the things you do, you are doing your share in making them selfless individuals. Indirectly, you increase your contributions to charity because your children are surely going to follow your lead.
20. Love what you do.
No matter what you do with your finances or your budget, you can’t increase your contributions to charity if you don’t genuinely love what you do. You have to really love your work so that when you receive financial blessings or windfalls, you will naturally increase the donations you give to the causes you believe in. When you love what you do, you are also able to weather every storm that comes your way. It’s the same when you love a person, right? No matter what happens, you will always try to find a way to make everything right. Love your giving and you will do what you can so you help the charities you believe in even more.