According to Forbes, economically, 2018 is going to be an okay year for the U.S. For most household budgets, charitable donations fall under the category of “disposable income,” and that indicator isn’t quite as strong. Income is rising, but the growth rate of disposable income has been slow.
Most how-to-donate advice says to stop donating sporadic, small amounts and focus on one or two charities, building your donation into your budget so they can build their budget based on your donation. It makes sense! But make no mistake – there are no charities that will turn away donations of any size, and we’re not too proud to beg, either!
How to Help in 2018
Even if you’ve never made regular donations to a charitable organization, you can build financial support into your budget for 2018. Here’s how:
- Pick Your Cause
“The more you can align your actions with your beliefs, the happier you will start to become in every area of your life.” –Kate Dillman
Focus on your values and explore your passions. If easing hunger or preventing animal cruelty is something you would like to support, go that direction and research local, state, national, or international organizations.
- Set Up a Bank Account
Create a savings account called “Donations,” and begin stashing money in it every paycheck. No matter how tight you are that particular pay period or month, there’s always something; buying a grocery store pizza vs. home delivery saves you $10, for example. Ten dollars may not seem like much, but it adds up.
- What Can You Sacrifice?
“Your sacrifice doesn’t have to be big.” –Jennifer Bernstein
Your venti mocha latte is almost $5/day or $150/month. Maybe you can make an adjustment in your budget and sacrifice one or two items often enough to make a difference to those who are needy.
- Automated Deductions, Donations
If you’re like most people, it’s easier to save money when it is paycheck-deducted. Try to set up auto-deductions into your “Donations” savings account. Once you’ve built up a respectable amount, decide how much you want to donate, how often, and set it up on autopay. Your charity will jump for joy because your monthly or quarterly donation is something they can depend on! They can better balance their own budget, thanks to you.
- Matching Gifts
If your company does not have a matching gifts program, make a case for your charity and their help! Even “We’ll think about it,” is better than nothing and may lead to…something.