How To Make Room In Your Budget To Donate To Charity, Even If Finances Are Tight


Huffington Post, Nov 16, 2017

We asked charities and financial experts for advice on how to start donating even though you’re operating on a shoestring. Their tips are an excellent starter kit to making 2018 (and beyond!) a year of giving to causes you care about.

1. Decide which cause is important to YOU.

Nearly every financial expert or charity we spoke with listed passion as the No. 1 thing to gauge before you start budgeting for donations. Since giving money often involves a sacrifice on your end, it’s critical that you believe in the cause you’re donating to, according to Tyler Dolan, a financial planner with finance site Society of Grownups.

“Contributing to a cause that resonates with your values is better than donating to everything that comes across your email or Facebook feed, because it will mean more to you,” he told HuffPost.

Katie Dillman is a nonprofit organizer who started her charity, Make Our Day, after years of “periodically starting and stopping monthly donations” to big-name charities she didn’t know much about, she told HuffPost. “For the life of me, I can’t tell you why I made the donations I did … other than ‘Charity is good, you should give to charities, I give to these charities because I see people on TV giving to them in massive amounts.’”

Now, the elementary school tutor carefully picks and chooses causes she directly cares about, like Kickstarter campaigns to fund books for her students. She said life “feels radically different” giving to causes that affect her.

“The more you can align your actions with your beliefs, the happier you will start to become in every area of your life,” Dillman said.

2. Set up a savings account called “donations.”

Priya Malani is the founder of Stash Wealth, a finance company that helps young people manage their money. She says she sets up labeled savings accounts for her clients who want to start giving, then works with them to decide how much they’ll stash in that account each month.

“People say, ‘Should I or shouldn’t I donate?’ But if the money’s already there, you’re going to do it,” Malani said. The same applies to other goals, like saving for a vacation. “Nickname your account ‘donations’ or ‘Amalfi coast trip.’ If you label it as such, you’re much less likely to touch that money.”

Read more here.

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