How to Give to Charity When You’re Broke

LoveSo you’re a philanthropist with no money? Welcome to the club.

Twenty-somethings often run into the problem where they’re so broke setting up their financial foundation that they don’t have any money left over to give to charity.

It’s not that we’re a selfish generation as we’re often labeled to be in the media, but it’s that we have a long list of rites of passage that cost a lot of money to check off the list: paying off student loans, saving for a house, traveling with friends, possible starting a family, planning a wedding.

These are all really expensive things that are hard to financially manage when most of us are still in the beginning of our careers and some of us are probably still making entry-level salaries.

So what is a broke philanthropist-at-heart to do? Find other ways to give:

Give your skills. Are you a web designer? Know how to manage WordPress? Have you ever put in a status update on Facebook or Twitter? Then you’re talents are probably needed by small older-leaning generations. Think of lending your computer savvy or other talent to a local organization that is in dire need of social media management or website development.

Give your space. Are you an animal lover? A lot of animal organizations often seek foster homes for pets while they’re in transition for a permanent placement. This is a perfect organization to get involved in that doesn’t require a lot of financial commitment upfront.

Give your stuff. Cleaning out your closets and getting rid of items you no longer need is a great way to give back without breaking the bank. There are lots of organizations seeking clothing, not just Goodwill. There are groups that seeks prom dresses for underprivileged youth, groups that seek interview apparel for people getting back on their feet, and groups that seek clothing for scholarship recipients. Find a company you can support through sites like Volunteer Match. Another way to give is to find a charity that accepts boat donations and donate your boat. Donating your boat is an excellent way to give because it provides benefits for everyone involved. For starters, you get to provide a valuable commodity to a charity. The charity then sells your old boat and gives the proceeds to a children’s charity.. Finally, you receive a receipt for the sale of your boat, which you can use as a tax deduction. Overall, this is an outstanding way to give when you do not have any extra money and it is very easy for any boat owner to do.

Give your time. Volunteering in person is a great way to give to charity in a non-monetary way. Organizations are always looking for volunteers. Whether it’s tutoring inner-city youth, or walking pets at your local animal shelter, you can give as much or as little time that fits your schedule best.

Give in money. If none of these options are viable, and you’d still rather give financially, set a small amount that you can manage weekly or monthly, rather than doing a large lump sum payment. $260 may be too much to take out of one paycheck, but that’s only $5 a week or $22 a month. By making automatic nominal payments, you can contribute to the charity of your choice without going broke.