How to Make a Difference Without Going Broke

iStock_000019770691SmallI have always thought that giving back to the community and to the world is an important endeavour. After all, we need to look out for each other and giving back makes you feel part of something bigger. Furthermore, giving back builds up good karma, if you believe in that sort of thing.

We all want to live meaningful lives and most of us want to give back. There are many things that I’m passionate about, but even so, I can’t afford to give my money to all of the charities supporting these causes. I’d go broke if I even tried to financially support a couple of them.

Sure, monetary support is important and often one of the most helpful things to charities and non-profit organizations. Our donations fund research, rescue efforts, and resources for the charities and for the people and animals who use the services provided by them.

But giving back doesn’t have to mean giving your money. There are other ways to make a difference in the lives of others.

Mentor or Coach Somebody

I love this quote:

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.

This quote has so much truth to it. Giving money can actually just be a Band-Aid to the issue, whereas providing support to individuals through mentoring, coaching, or teaching people the skills or knowledge that they need to help themselves.

Mentoring a woman from the women’s shelter on how to interview well and write a resume and cover letter will benefit her greatly; so will donating appropriate interview attire.

To be clear, organizations need both types of support. If it weren’t for the monetary donations of the generous people of a community, they wouldn’t be able to run. But that’s not the only way to give back.

Volunteer

Of course, coaching or mentoring is really a solid way to provide support if you have a skill set to offer, or if your subjects are human; however, if you are anything like me, one of my biggest passions is animals, and I can’t mentor an animal (and even if I could, what would I try to teach one?).

Time is valuable as well, so volunteer whatever item you can give to help out. If it is animals that you are working with, clean cages, play and walk the pets, and help with community outreach.

Most organizations really need volunteers and rely on the help of volunteers to operate. There is always a job for a volunteer. Try looking at the smaller organizations if you want to give your time. Larger organizations, such as the SPCA usually have more then enough volunteer help but the smaller ones often struggle to find an extra set of hands.

Help by Providing Your Skills

If you are a PR professional and you are looking for a way to give back without going broke, why not offer your favourite organization your skills?

Chances are they could benefit from your expertise and can’t afford to pay big bucks for a professional to come in, so this might be the perfect opportunity to give back and utilize your skills for the greater good.

This can go for people working in trades, business, and even STEM organizations. Even if you aren’t a professional in something but have a knack for it (photography, writing, web design), many charities would jump at the chance to have your help.

As a bonus, you can build your resume in these areas which can help you land a job in the future.

Giving money isn’t the only way to give back. There are various other ways to help out those in need!


Comments

How to Make a Difference Without Going Broke — 12 Comments

  1. My husband and I were just talking about how it’s important for us to be systematic and consistent in our giving, just like we emphasize the importance of being systematic and consistent in our savings. Thank you for your encouragement to all of us!

  2. I believe that the way we choose to live our lives has the most impact. For example if you like animals, look into issues like conservation and the impact of suburban sprawl. If human rights is your issue, shop all fair trade; etc… Once we lower our impact first, then volunteering and donating should come into the picture.

    You might enjoy this post on Sustainable Philanthropy: http://greengirlsuccess.com/2014/06/17/sustainable-philanthropy/

  3. This is great. There is so much focus and concentration on negativity in the world why can’t we change that thought and action process. Instead of only seeing the bad and just living with it why can’t we do something and make a difference. Don’t sit back, live your life and help someone else at the same time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I appreciate your readership and really enjoy hearing your thoughts on different topics. Thank you for contributing to the discussion.