Giving Back: How to Give with No Money
I’m going to be honest, I am not the best giver. But it’s something that I plan to work on over the next few years.
One of the primary reasons I am not the best giver is because I like to account for every dollar that I have, making it difficult to give up.
I have a mix of frugal tendencies, but I also have the “you get what you pay for” mentality ingrained in my brain.
This doesn’t mean I don’t give, however. Instead of giving dollar bills, I give other aspects of my life like my time or expertise and I encourage you to do the same.
Giving Without Money
Whenever we think of giving, it’s typically monetary. How much money did we give to our religious establishment? How much money did we donate to help our favorite cause?
But that’s not the only way to give. You don’t need to give in terms of money.
Giving With Time
Donating your time can be just as valuable (if not more) than your money. Whether it’s working at your local soup kitchen, or mowing your elderly neighbor's yard, there are many ways you can donate your time to help those in need.
While I don’t have a significant amount of free time available, I want to spend more time helping others.
Giving With Skills
Giving my skills is the most common type of giving I do. I have worked on several unpaid projects using my digital marketing and web development skills to help those in need.
Previously this year, I worked on a logo for the Santa Barbara Channel Keeper celebrating its 20th year of operation. The company works to keep the Santa Barbara channel free of debris and litter, working to provide clean water for our ocean life.
More recently, I have been working with Nickia Thomas from Integrity Budgets building her website aimed to help people and religious affiliations with their finances (More to come in the coming weeks!).
How to Get Started Giving
There are several places that are dedicated to helping connect businesses in need and freelancers looking to donate their time and skills. My favorite is Catchafire.org. You can filter companies based on their needs and cause to find the right project for you.
I am passionate about environmentally friendly causes and health education, allowing me to select these companies to work with. They offer a wide range of skills-based volunteer matching from accounting to human resources and even event planning.
My Plan to Give More
For myself, it’s hard to stay focused without a plan. So I’ve put together a plan on how I will increase my volunteer work and giving over the next few years.
- Donate $100 annually to various nonprofits
- Design and develop two websites annually for those in need.
- Schedule a 1-hour marketing consulting call twice annually.
Why Giving Back is Important?
For many people, they may not give because they feel that they won’t get anything in return. But that’s far from the case. Giving can provide many benefits detailed below.
Benefits of Giving Money
Making monetary donations help to keep many nonprofits operating. For example, the World Wildlife Foundation spent almost $250,000,000 on their efforts last year. Without monetary donations, a significant portion of their efforts would not be completed.
What Giving My Skills Has Done
Not only has giving my skills helped those in need, but it also expands my audience and gains exposure for my brands (something I would otherwise have to pay for). Moreover, it gives me the opportunity to sharpen my skills and learn how to become a more effective communicator and digital marketer.
But that’s not it! I also form personal connections with those I work with, giving me all the reasons to pursue more volunteer work.
Have a Purpose When Giving
While giving is important, you shouldn’t do it because of social norms or because “everyone does it”. You need to put a purpose behind your giving. Do you want to help others? Do you want to feel like you’re making a difference?
When it comes to giving, you get out of it what you put in. If you’re doing it for the wrong reasons, there’s a good chance you won’t get much out of it.
Conclusion: What are you doing to help others?
Becoming a better giver is going to become a priority in 2020. I am fortunate enough to have retained my full-time position (for now) throughout COVID-19, making it my responsibility to help those less fortunate.
I encourage you to give, in any form. For me, I still won’t be making any large monetary donations but I will instead take on more volunteer work using my skills to help others.
What are you doing to give back to the community? If you haven’t thought about it, this is your chance!