In case you are looking for ways to give back, but don’t have any cash to give away, I put together some ideas for philanthropy which don’t require you to give up your precious savings. We all know how important it is to give back to those in need; besides making a difference in the lives of other people, giving back benefits the giver as well (for more on this, read Want Happiness: Give Away Some Money).
Philanthropy doesn’t have to be monetary, but, there are ways to give monetary donations without using your cash. One great idea is to use philanthropic credit cards. Many charitable organizations have established relationships with major credit card companies which will donate to them a portion of all purchases made by the consumer. So you can give back simply by using your credit card as you normally do. One such credit card is the KIVA business card through Advanta. Business owners know that Advanta offers some of the best rates around on their credit cards, and now offers this philanthropic opportunity alongside the low rates. For every dollar spent on the card Advanta will move a dollar into your KIVA account (up to $200 a month), which allows you to sponsor aspiring business owners in developing countries. A few more examples of charity credit cards can be found here.
BizCovering did a write up on this subject awhile back as well, and in their article they point out websites that donate a portion of their advertising revenue simply for you using them. Instead of using Google for your searches, you can use a search engine such as Search Kindly, which donates a portion of their advertising revenue to charities determined by the users. There are also sites that you can use for e-mail, shopping and so on, which all donate their proceeds to charity.
Another way to give back without giving up your cash is the donation of your time. There are more volunteer opportunities out there then I could ever hope to list, but volunteermatch.org is a great place to start your search if you need some ideas.
Giving back doesn’t have to cost money or even time, so no matter whether you are busy or cash poor, you should still make sure that you are practicing some sort of philanthropy. Hopefully my ideas for philanthropy were helpful, and if anyone else has some good ideas feel free to share them.