It’s the same old song every new year. We vow to eat healthier. We’re determined to exercise. Lose a few pounds. Many of us also made New Year’s resolutions to give more to charity … hoping our budgets will allow it. The truth is, charitable giving is a lot more feasible than you might think.
If your heart is tugging toward giving, but you just don’t know how you can swing it, here are some ideas that may help!
1. Forget the gifts.
Let’s face it: Buying presents for your loved ones can be stressful — especially when they already have everything under the sun. Or maybe it’s you who doesn’t need yet another blanket or coffee mug with a witty saying scribbled across the front. Either way, why not turn your birthday or some other special occasion into a day of giving back?
Instead of your friends and family sending you gifts, ask them for donations that you can then give to your favorite charity. That’s what one recently engaged couple did. Rather than spend thousands on their wedding, they donated most of their wedding fund to provide clean-water wells in Zambia.
You can have that same impact on someone else’s life. By donating your birthday money or gifts from another celebration, you’ll receive a blessing far greater than any present.
2. Collect coins.
Here’s a throwback to your Vacation Bible School days when perhaps your church set up a jar for boys and girls to donate their coins to a good cause. Start your own personal “coin drive” by keeping a container at home where everyone in your household can dump their loose change at the end of the day. Kids can get involved too!
It may sound simple, but you’ll be amazed at how quickly your pennies, dimes, and quarters add up. Once the jar is full, cash it out and let your family decide how you’d like to donate it!
3. Donate your time.
Think life is too busy and you don’t have a moment to spare? Consider your weekends. Chances are, many of them are filled with eating out, watching movies, or hanging out with friends.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with those things. But what if you took a couple of hours on the weekend and did something for someone else? Raked leaves for an elderly neighbor. Served lunch at the soup kitchen. Read to a nursing home resident. And World Help’s Humanitarian Aid department is always looking for volunteers to help sort, process, and package donations.
4. Sell it.
To be honest, most of us have items lying around the house just collecting dust. A child’s bike he’s outgrown. That two-slice toaster that hasn’t seen the light of day since the four-slice one arrived. Books galore. Knickknacks. Old electronic devices. Instead of letting those things continue to pile up, why not have a yard sale or sell them online?
Not only will your house benefit from a little spring cleaning, but it’ll put some extra cash in your wallet. And instead of buying a large diet Coke or another knickknack, why not give that money to a worthy cause?
5. Sign up for a recurring gift.
Perhaps the simplest way to fit charitable giving into your budget is to have it done automatically. Think about it: Many of us subscribe to Netflix, Hulu, or some other streaming service. When you sign up for those services, you agree to an automatic monthly payment. And that’s that. You don’t think about it anymore.
So, why not approach charitable giving with that same mindset? Why not make it an automatic part of your monthly budget?
It’s easy, and you don’t have to worry about forgetting. By becoming a World Help monthly giver, your support will help transform lives around the world all year long. You’ll play a vital part in meeting the most urgent needs when they arise like delivering food to a starving child or bringing lifesaving medical care to someone in need.
Plus, when you sign up for a recurring gift, you’ll receive monthly updates on the impact of your giving and the people you’ve helped.
There’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to charitable giving. Whether you keep it simple or try something a little more creative, find the strategy that works best for you. Choose a plan and stick to it. Remind yourself why you wanted to give in the first place. Do it for others. Not only will it be a blessing to those on the other side of the globe, but you’re sure to find a special blessing in giving, too.