As Financial Trainers, we’ve had the privilege of witnessing the amazing generosity of our clients throughout the past few months (+always!). An increasingly common question we receive from our clients and community is: how to donate and support charities while simultaneously paying off debt? So, here a list of ways that you can be thoughtfully generous while making your dollar stretch as far as possible!
1. Donate Your Points & Miles
Some nonprofits will accept those precious points and miles you’ve earned on your credit cards. We know they’re hard to part with! But this could be an alternative to giving cash, especially if you don’t see yourself using those points anytime soon. This is a great way to feel like you are doing good with the rewards you make from paying off your credit card bills in a timely manner!
2. Give a Percentage from Each Paycheck
Some clients commit to donating a certain percentage of their paycheck, regardless of how much they earn. For example, if you earn a commission, you could choose to set 1% or 5% or 10% from each commission check to go towards your preferred nonprofit. This can take the mental guesswork out of, “How much should I donate?”
Another way to make an impact with your money and commit to donating monthly, is to budget it into your monthly expenses. You can throw $20 (or whatever amount fits your budget!) onto your list of monthly expenses, so that you have factored that into your budget.
3. Use Charity Credit Cards and Apps
Sign up for a credit card that has a “donate the change program”. Every purchase is rounded to the next dollar and the difference is donated to the charity of your choice. This is an awesome way to donate without even thinking about it! Here are some of the Best Charity Credit Cards
4. Socially Responsible Investments
If your social impact is important, make an impact with your money by choosing to make your investment accounts socially responsible. SRI options are becoming more common! Some places to find them in a robo-advisor format are Betterment, Ellevest, or Locavesting. These sites are great to start investing in specific categories that you are passionate about. For example, sustainability, education, community development, equal opportunities, etc.
5. Company Match Program
Some employers will match your donation to various charities, so you can double your impact! Make sure to check your benefits to see if this is an option available to you!
6. Donate Your Time
You can share your talents with others whether that’s through helping an organization in your community or volunteering to offer to lead a free workshop. There’s many virtual volunteering opportunities now, too, so you don’t even have to leave your house!
As we like to say at the Gym, think about your finances like an oxygen mask on an airplane – put your mask on first before helping others. Same is true for donating. If you choose to donate with your wallet, talk to your Certified Financial Trainer about what you can afford. Is donating one of your non-negotiables? If so, there’s always a way to work it in!
Need help making an impact with your money, but aren’t sure where? You can use Charity Navigator to look up various charities and what your donated funds are used for.