Giving Back: How to Give with No MoneyI’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 MoneyWhenever 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 TimeDonating 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 SkillsGiving 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 GivingThere 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 MoreFor 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.