Philanthropy on a Budget

Food Bank JulyNow that I’m back working in the States, I’m in re-build mode—re-building my savings and my business after years of traveling abroad.

I’m trying to balance this need to be responsible (and therefore ensure an independent future for myself) with all my current projects and creative ideas. At the same time, I also want to continue to give back to my community. There’s so much I want to do!

Being in re-build mode is encouraging me to think of philanthropy in all its forms and how I can best participate given my present circumstances. I want to donate money, but I don’t have a lot to give right now. What I do have though is time, a voice and numerous ways to contribute that are still meaningful.

Here’s how I’m continuing to be philanthropic on a budget:

Volunteering Time

I’ve decided to only consult part-time so I have the time and space to continue writing. This is a big decision to forgo income in favor of personal development, so I want to make the most of it.

GT2Part of using this time wisely is volunteering locally on a regular basis. Since I tend to give where I am at the moment, I want to support local agencies that address issues in which I feel strongly: access to healthy food for families and animal protection.

Lucky for me two nonprofits working toward solving these issues are right here in my neighborhood. So I’ve started to volunteer at the local food bank and pet shelter, making monthly commitments to roll up my sleeves and help out where I’m needed most.

Lending my Voice

I’m also active on several social media outlets (Facebook & Twitter) where I regularly promote adventure philanthropists—individuals around the world who are making a difference in their communities—through my #APprofiles and by sharing #GivingTips.

I also continue to not only write about everyday philanthropy and volunteering on my site, but also to highlight social issues like ending sexual harassment, promoting girl’s empowerment, and helping children in conflict situations.

I truly believe that helping raise awareness about important issues is an integral part of being an engaged philanthropist.

Giving Money – Two Ways

16323-Project-Pearls-Rain-Boots-Drive-CD-1-417x614Being an adventure philanthropist is about making choices to integrate giving in your life and so donating money, even small amounts, is meaningful for me. I regularly think about what I can eliminate in my life in order to help someone else—forgoing a cup of coffee or a new pair of shoes, or making dinner in. Every bit I save, I then have more to donate.

  • Mini Giving - 

And so I’m participating in “mini giving,” supporting causes I like with small token donations. A good example of mini-giving is a recent $5 donation I gave to Project PEARLS, which bought a child living in poverty a pair of rain boots. This much I can do.

  • Linking Philanthropy & Profits - 

I’ve also linked my philanthropy with my publishing profits, making a $1 donation with each book sold during readings. This may not sound like a lot, but usually I only earn $1.50 per book! So depending on the success of the event, I donate anywhere from $5-$50 with each speaking engagement.

Giving More or Less

In the end, philanthropy is an important part of my life and I always struggle with wanting to give more. But I also realize that being a financially responsible adult means I can only give so much.

With just a little discipline and creativity, I find I can still participate in philanthropy in a way that’s meaningful for me. And that’s what being an adventure philanthropist is all about—making philanthropy your own.

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This entry was posted on Friday, August 8th, 2014 and is filed under The Giving Guide.

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