Tight budget this Giving Tuesday? Try these 7 tips to maximize your donations

This year’s Giving Tuesday comes at a difficult time for both nonprofits and the people who donate to them.

About 70% of charities serving low-income and moderate-income communities say they are still seeing increased demand for services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent Fed Communities survey. At the same time, these nonprofits are dealing with labor shortages, inflation and a lack of childcare, the survey found.

Donors themselves face financial setbacks. Inflation is eating into household budgets and layoffs are occurring at several tech companies. Meanwhile, the markets



are on a downward slide this year, which is bad news for shareholders and for charitable giving, as charitable giving tends to mirror market performance.

If your budget is tight, here are some tips on how to make the most impact on Giving Tuesday, the annual online campaign that encourages people to donate to charity and the unofficial start of the donation season.

“Whether you can give $5 or $5 million, it’s important to find a way to give back on Giving Tuesday — charities are society’s safety net, and they’re being stretched more than ever,” said Kevin Scally, a spokesman. from the charity rating website Charity Navigator.

Donate your time

If donating money isn’t an option for you this year, consider donating your skills by volunteering with a nonprofit. In addition to helping with basic duties such as sorting through food donations, volunteers can make a real impact by providing specialized professional help, such as writing, graphic design, website management or legal advice. Plus, it’s good for you: There’s evidence that volunteering improves your mental health when you’re 50 or older.

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VolunteerMatch and Engage are two national sites where you can quickly search for volunteer opportunities in your area. Cities and counties often run their own sites that list volunteer positions, as do national umbrella nonprofits, including Habitat for Humanity, Feeding America, Meals on Wheels and United Way.

Get your donation matched

One easy way to get more bang for your donation is to match your donation. Many companies match employee donations to nonprofits, but much of that money goes unused because employees are unaware that they are eligible for this benefit.

To find out if your company does this, contact your HR office if you have one, or do a quick search of the Charity Navigator Employee Match Programs database. Some companies offer significant matches: Johnson & Johnson


Matches up to $10,000 in donations to General Electric


Matches up to $5,000, according to Double Don.

Many charities also offer their own matching challenges on Giving Tuesday, making it easy to double or triple your gift or multiply it even more, Scally said. “Typically, a donor commits to match every contribution that comes in within a specific time frame up to a certain amount to inspire generosity,” Scally said. “Every gift you give will open up a portion of the match fund.”

There is also a charitable donation platform called Giving Multiplier that matches donations with charitable organizations that are considered highly effective.

Act like MacKenzie Scott

The billionaire philanthropist and former wife of Amazon


Founder Jeff Bezos has become one of the most famous donors in the United States, giving more than $12 billion to nonprofits since 2019. She has received a lot of attention because she donated so much money so quickly, which is not something that many people can do on their own to do.

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But everyday donors can take a page from their playbook by making gifts with no strings attached. Scott gave mostly “unrestricted” gifts, meaning she lets nonprofits decide how to use their money. It’s a strategy that seems to be working well so far, according to a recent analysis of Scott’s publication by the Center for Effective Philanthropy.

How can non-billionaire donors do this? “Allow nonprofits to use resources where they are needed,” said Phil Buchanan, president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy. “Don’t tell the food pantry, ‘You can only use my gift for food’ when the reality is the rent for the place where the food is served and the salaries for the staff who coordinate the volunteers, just as necessary to feed the feds. hungry.”

Break up your donation into smaller parts

Can’t swing a $50 donation during a pay period? Split your donation into smaller amounts and spread them over several months with a recurring donation. Many nonprofits make it easy to set up a recurring donation on their websites, but make sure you know how to cancel the donation if your budget changes.

This is the season, Facebook


Users who sign up to make a recurring donation through a Facebook fundraiser will have up to $100 of their donation matched with Facebook’s parent company Meta after the second monthly donation. Meta says it will match up to $7 million in donations this way.

A new company is now offering “donate now, pay later”, similar to “buy now, pay later” services. As with BNPL, donors considering this route should read the terms of service carefully and understand the impact of late payments before signing up.

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Host your own fundraiser on social media

Both Facebook and Instagram let users host fundraisers for nonprofits, and it’s one way to raise more dollars for a charity than you would be able to give on your own.

“This gives you the opportunity to tell your loved ones about a cause close to your heart and encourage them to support a charity that makes a difference,” Scally said. “Often people can raise hundreds or thousands more than they can give personally by having their friends and family donate to their fundraisers.”

Pool your money in a given circle

Another way to maximize the impact of your giving is to join a fundraising circle. This is a group of people who pool their money so that they can collectively make larger donations to nonprofits. Get circles decided as a group where they donate, so they are also a way to build community and meet new people. You can search for a giving circle in your area on Philanthropie Together.

Small acts count too

Helping a neighbor rake the leaves or paying for the coffee order of the person behind you in line are just two examples of how you can participate in Giving Tuesday without spending a lot of money, according to Giving Tuesday organizers, who list other low-cost ideas here.

“Sometimes a kind word is all you need to start a chain of generosity that lasts all day,” says the Giving Tuesday website.


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