As the age-old saying goes, ‘tis better to give than to receive, and giving back– big or small -can make a real difference to those in your community. While contributing to your community is a worthwhile endeavor, it can be a source of great financial stress without proper financial planning.
The good news is, there are a variety of ways for you to spread goodwill while preserving your financial well-being.
Here are a few tips for giving back to your community without breaking the bank:
1. Contribute your time by volunteering
Want to give back to your community, but are concerned you don’t have the financial means? Donate your time instead! There is nothing more valuable than time, and what we choose to do with it. Consider dedicating anywhere between 5-15 hours a week and offering your skills to a social cause that is close to your heart. If food feeds your soul, consider helping out at a soup kitchen to prepare meals for those in your community. Alternatively, if you have business or marketing experience, you could use those skills to help an organization reach a wider audience. By donating your time, you are giving back something more meaningful than what money can buy.
2. Partner with a non-profit
If you are an entrepreneur or a small business owner, it may be beneficial to partner with a non-profit you care about and whose values you share. Consider co-running events and cross-promoting your campaigns to expand your reach and target new audiences.
3. Donate items
Let’s face it, many of us have more stuff in our closets or homes than we need, use, or even want. Donating household items is yet another way to show your support for the charities and non-profit organizations you care for in your community. From clothes and food to blankets, furniture, or other household items, many non-profit organizations accept these donations and provide them to those in need. So next time you’re going through your closet, rather than throwing away your older items (that wind up in a landfill), donate them to a good cause instead.
4. Sharing your passion for the cause
People are drawn to passion. Sharing your heartfelt words online about a social cause that stirs you will undoubtedly draw the attention and even interest of others that are curious about what you have to say. Write without limitation, and you will bring many more eyes to the organization’s page, ultimately benefiting them and their reach.
5. Financially Supporting in Small Increments
From gym memberships to streaming services, many Canadians spend significant amounts of money each month on products, services, or subscriptions that aren’t always necessary. Take the time to evaluate where your monthly expenses are being spent to help you identify the frivolous spending you can cut back on. Rather than having three different streaming services subscriptions, consider cutting back to one or two and using the extra funds to contribute to social causes of your choice by setting up a small monthly donation.
6. Raise Funds
The online world offers many opportunities to raise funds for the causes that inspire you. Spreading the word will be effortless through different social media channels, and setting up a Crowdfunding page can be completed in a heartbeat. With a little bit of hustle and caring connections, you can raise a lot of money.
Social responsibility is not something that is limited to businesses, millionaires, or those with hundreds of dollars to spare. Authentic support comes in many shapes and forms, and there are many options to contribute to a cause that is near and dear to your heart during this giving season and beyond.
Show your love for your community… become a member at your local credit union
Credit unions are locally-based financial institutions that have their community at the heart of everything they do. They contribute to their communities’ economic, social, and environmental well-being and reinvest part of their profits back into their local communities through donations, volunteering, scholarships, and more. Not yet a credit union member? To find your nearest credit union, click here.