9 Ways to Donate on a Budget

You don't have to break the piggy bank to give


(Tiko Armyan / Shutterstock.com)

Many people give donations on Giving Tuesday, which falls on December 3 this year or they wait until the end of the year to maximize the tax benefits. But you don't have to give your donations all at once, you can spread them throughout the year and do it in ways that meet your budget without breaking the bank.

Donate Your Change

Many stores have charity collection boxes near the registers. They could be for a pet shelter or to raise money for a sick child. Pick your cause and donate the change you receive instead of keeping it. Or this time of year, throw your change in the Salvation Army Kettle. It is a pain free way to give.

(Marian Weyo / Shutterstock.com)

Give Blood

Donate blood to the Red Cross or your local hospital blood drive. It doesn’t cost you a penny, but the rewards are huge. Your blood can save a persons' life.

(Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com)

Gift Your Free Gift

This time of year, many stores offer free gifts with cosmetic or other purchases. You can donate those gifts to a homeless shelter or to an organization that helps victims of domestic abuse. If a grocery store has a buy-one get-one sale, leave the second item in the food collection box without going over your food budget.

(orientalprincess / Shutterstock.com)

Donate Your Time

Many nonprofits depend on volunteers. Your time is worth big money. So, if you can't write a big check to your child's little league team, be a coach. Walk pets for your local animal shelter or help out at a soup kitchen or food pantry.

(LightField Studios / Shutterstock.com)

Help Your Charity Raise Funds

There are so many ways to help. Run in a turkey trot or charity race, organize a bake sale or car wash, or man the telephones in a phone-a-thon. You can man the line for PBS, or against a specific disease. Jerry Lewis's televised phone-a-thons for the Muscular Dystrophy Association was held annually from 1966 to 2010 and raised over $2.45 billion for the organization.

(Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com)

Employer Gift Matching

You can double the impact of your donation if your employer offers matching gifts for some, or all, of your charitable donations to nonprofits. Here's a list of some of the companies that do. 

(magic pictures / Shutterstock.com)

Round up at the Register

You can round up an extra $1 or $5 in stores that ask you if you want to round up. Many big box stores like Walmart and Costco as well as online retailers like eBay and Apple offers this service. It is a very easy way to give.

(gpointstudio / Shutterstock.com)

Use a Charity Focused Credit Card

Some credit cards are designed for charitable giving according to Credit.com.  You can use these cards like any other card and instead of earning rewards like airline miles, your favorite charity gets funded instead. Some cards allow you to choose the charity and some like the World Wildlife Fund has their own.

(Prostock-studio / Shutterstock.com)

Donate Your Bank Interest or Cash Rewards

This is a very painless way to give. Every month when you check your statement, you can send a donation directly from your bank or credit card. No stamp required.

(A_stockphoto / Shutterstock.com)