December is the month when folks are feeling extra generous. Not only are they buying presents for their family and friends, but they’re closing the year out by giving back to others. In fact, the first Tuesday in the month is now called Giving Tuesday, and non-profits and other social good organizations get to take center stage and receive tons of publicity and financial support. It really does feel great to give back, but what if you don’t have the money? I know from personal experience that sometimes a desire to give isn’t enough. Organizations need funding. But guess what? There are plenty of other ways to give back to your world and society, even when you don’t have a lot of money. You could:
- Follow your favorite organization online. We’re in the digital age now, so there are often many ways to give without actually donating money. For example, right now Second Harvest Food Bank has a campaign where they receive $5 from a donor for every new follower they get on their social media accounts! I already liked them on Facebook and Twitter, but by liking them on LinkedIn and Google+, I was able to help them to earn $10.
- Go volunteer. Even if you’re short on time, many organizations offer different opportunities based on how long you can give. Don’t forget to ask your employer if there is a policy on volunteer time. You may find that you can get off without having to lose income!
- Connect someone with money to your favorite organization. Even if you don’t have a lot of money to be able to support, introducing your well off friends to organizations that you think they might be interested in supporting could actually be an even greater support if your friend is loaded and loves to give!
I also asked some of my favorite do-good bloggers for ideas on ways to give when you don’t have money, and here’s what they suggested. Keep in mind that these tips can be used to support the people who are running the organizations, too. They work hard, and a little bit of gratitude towards them will help keep them motivated to continue to do good!
One act of kindness that can go a long way to showing someone how much you care for them is to bring them a meal.
-Nic from My Fabulous Boobies (read: Take A Meal To A Friend)
If you can’t give money, surprise then with a homemade gift. We all can do a service which sometimes is more valuable than a monetary reward.
-Bernetta from Bernetta Style
When you don’t have money to give gifts, you should be like the little drummer boy in the Christmas Carol and give the best of yourself, advice, encouragement, praise, compliments. I have a group of people I send encouraging texts messages to each morning when I get up. This encouragement costs me nothing but makes all those who receive the messages feel encouraged, inspired and powerful.
-Janeane from Janeane’s World
Time and effort can often go further than money. Reading to and playing games with children at a local shelter can open doors and ignite wonder that wouldn’t be possible with just a monetary donation.
-Vaneese from Mommy Works A Lot (read: 5 Ways To Give When You’re On A Budget)
I would suggest volunteering at a local school, nursing home or food bank. There’s a great need for volunteers at each of these places and you’ll get as much out of it, (if not more), as the folks you’re helping!
-Lynda from Mommy Powers