With all of the big changes taking place lately, you might feel a growing sense of desire to give back to local or distant communities. Whether it’s to help during a pandemic, long-lasting bushfire, or unjust political corruption, the truth of the matter is, you might not always have the financial means to give as much as you’d like. Fortunately, there are many ways you can create a positive impact, even if it’s on a shoestring budget. 

1 ) Volunteer your Time and Skills 

Anyone will tell you that a great alternative to giving money is to donate your time. But what people often forget, is that volunteering can also mean sharing specific skills. For instance, if you have a unique talent that you think would benefit a charity or nonprofit in need, reach out and offer it free of charge. This can include building their organization’s social media, performing financial services, or any other strength you think would help. 

If you don’t feel comfortable offering your skills but would like to volunteer in the traditional sense, charities are almost always looking for a helping hand and, depending on where you live, there are several great websites you can use to find them. If you’re nervous about the time commitment, take pride in the notion that volunteering even once a year can create a positive impact on your community.

2 ) Donate Items You No Longer Need 

Another alternative to giving money is to donate pantries or clothing items you no longer need. As Marie Kondo will tell you, let go of anything that no longer brings you joy.

Start by doing a deep clean of your household items & clothing and gather the pieces that no longer serve you joy. Donate the items to your local charity or thrift store, or take it a step further by searching for repurposing stores. Stores tied to a charity will donate a percentage of their profits in what we call a “double-win” (i.e., a community member gets to purchase your goods at a fair price and the proceeds are donated to a local charity). 

As for pantry items, these can be dropped off at your local food bank, provided they are unopened and in good condition. What most people don’t realize about charities is that they often work together. During times of need, your local organization might ship supplies to other food banks dealing with an unplanned change.

3 ) Use your Purchasing Power

Purchasing everyday items may also be a great way to flex your purchasing power and empower your local neighborhood or communities at a distance. Buying small or local may financially stimulate your community and help hard-working individuals within it, especially after a big change takes place. And if they have shut down in these hard times, you can try to support them by buying gift cards of shop products online.

4 ) Be a Global Citizen

Not everyone knows but for a few years I’m a global citizen. Which basically means you download an app and take action. It can be as simple as signing a petition or sending out a tweet. It doesn’t cost you any money and only a few seconds of your time. But the impact is huge, with your help we can really make a difference. There are even some special benefits as a member you can get rewards for concerts or the big Global Citizen Festival. I mean can it gets any better?!

5 ) Budget your Donations 

Finally, the last way to make your hard-earned euro go further is by planning and budgeting appropriately. Taking time to establish how much you can afford to give and setting aside a budget after each paycheck, can prevent financially tricky situations caused by emotional giving.

There are a number of ways you can give back to your local or distant communities with limited means. The only requirement is that you have the will to do so. As we kick off spring 2020, let us focus on what we can accomplish with the resources we have and empower one another to be positive forces for good.

Chat soon,

x Sanne

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