There are many different ways that donors can give to a worthy cause. Whether you’re giving money, canned goods, used items, or your time, how you give is just as important as what you give.
According to the Giving USA Foundation, total estimated charitable giving in the United States rose 3.8 percent last year even with such challenging economic times.
The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance offers the following five common ways that people donate to charities over the holidays and a few things to consider.
Many organizations solicit for donations over the holidays including coats, toys, and canned goods.
Whatever you’re donating, make sure the items are of good condition and that the recipient charity is accepting such items to help further its cause.
Give when you shop
Many charities partner with businesses that agree to donate some amount of the purchase price from sales of items to a worthy cause. That means that you can help while you shop.
Check if the promotion identifies the actual or anticipated amount of the purchase price the charity will receive. Also some businesses, like grocery stores, ask if you want to donate to a charity and have that amount added to your receipt (also called embedded giving). See if the embedded promotion states which specific charity will receive the collected funds. Next
Giving online with a credit or debit card is among the most efficient ways to support a charity.
Give through text messaging
The option to give via text message took off in the wake of the disastrous earthquake in Haiti. After texting a message to a number, the donation is tacked on to your cellphone bill.
While donating via text is fast and easy for the donor, the actual money can take 60 to 90 days to reach the charity. During disaster giving periods like Haiti, however, cellphone carriers work to forward funds faster.
Give your time
In today’s tight economy, you may not have money, but you can always give a little bit of your time to help support a worthy cause.
In addition to volunteering around the holidays, you can also be a vocal supporter of a charity and help raise awareness among friends and family and on your Facebook page or blog.
Pictured: Volunteers hurried to prepare food for the holiday meal at the Pine Street Inn.
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