Despite seeing marked increases in charitable donations across the country for years, a certain way of thinking seems to hold back many Americans from engaging in charitable giving: that a small donation won’t make a difference.
Throughout the news, you see reports of celebrities and world leaders giving away exorbitant amounts of money in the name of good–Microsoft founder Bill Gates donating $28 billion of his own money so far, the Koch Brothers Foundation donating millions in support educational research and disease cures/prevention, or soccer superstar Ronaldo helping to pay for a fan’s cancer treatments. Compared to these people, it can feel as though writing a $50 check to your local charity is, well, insignificant.
But, of course, not everyone has $28 billion to give away at any given time, so “giving what we can” sometimes feels like a waste. This feeling could be stopping millions around the world from helping their favorite charities–and it couldn’t be further from the truth. There are numerous ways to get involved and make tangible impacts on those in need for little to no money.
Give a Small Donation
Not every charitable donation has to be a big one.
If you’ve visited Wikipedia in recent years, there’s a good chance that, at some point, you were greeted with a message from founder Jimmy Wales. Due to the sheer volume of traffic that Wikipedia gets in a given day, Wales and his team calculated that if everyone that read that message donated $3–just three dollars–the fundraiser would be complete in just a few hours. That’s the power of a small donation!
If you think back to the 2016 elections, you’ll remember that now President Donald Trump raised almost $38 million from small donors in just over a month, with the average donation amount coming in at just under $70.
Give Your Time
Monetary donations may be the most popular, but they certainly aren’t the only means of giving back to your community.
Volunteering your time can be both beneficial to local organizations in need and immensely gratifying to the volunteer. Getting involved in a hands-on manner allows you to see first-hand the impact you’re having on those you’re helping.
Common volunteer spots available in most areas include soup kitchens, food pantries, community centers and, of course, political campaigns!
Donate Unused Items
Instead of throwing out items you don’t need or don’t want like old clothes, blankets, toys or books, consider donating them. Places like Goodwill, the Salvation Army and the Purple Heart Foundation all accept physical donations like these. Just make sure the items you plan to give are in good condition!
While it might seem impossible to make a big difference on a small budget, you don’t need to write a six figure check to change someone’s life. Small donations, volunteer efforts and physical donations can all work towards achieving the common goal of helping those in need.