Online giving continues to be on the rise. Nonprofit software services provider Blackbaud stated in their 2013 charitable giving report that overall charitable giving grew 4.9% in 2013, while online giving grew 13.5%. Online giving alone accounted for 6.4% of all charitable giving in 2013!
The growth likely comes from the increase in awareness and number of methods to give. If you’re looking for more ways to give (both your time and your extra money), I’ve got a few here you can explore.
Give Money Directly Online or By Text
If you know what organization you want to give to, simply visit their website and look for the donate or give button. Most non-profits have the ability on their websites to handle a few different payment methods: credit or debit card, text message, bank draft, etc. This is how my family has given before. We handpicked our favorite charities using CharityNavigator.org and visited the websites direct to make a contribution.
You can typically set this up as a one time contribution or set up a recurring charge for ongoing giving. Another way to give on an automated, recurring basis would be to use recurring payments feature from your bank’s bill-pay account.
Give By Shopping Online
There are many websites online where you can shop for items you need and a portion of your payment will go towards the charity of your choice. Two of the most notable are We-Care.com and GoodShop.com.
Don’t forget couponing sites like Save1.com. Each time you use a coupon from their site, they feed a hungry child! You save and give at the same time!
Give By Surfing the Internet
You can use the search tool-bars created by iGive.com or GoodSearch.com to give proceeds you earn from simply searching the Internet. These sites make extra money off of the ads they show you along with the search results. Then they share these profits with you in the form of a charitable donation to the organization of your choice. A very easy way to give.
Micro-Lend: Help Small Businesses Around the Globe
Another way to give online is to offer up your funds for an interest-free loan. At a site like Kiva.org your funds are used to help start a small business in a country where business loans are hard to get or non-existent. You get your funds back over time and you get the satisfaction of knowing that your money was put to good use.
Micro-Volunteer: Donate Your Small Chunks of Free Time
One very interesting way to give is to donate your spare time using the web or mobile application at BeExtra.org. They’ve synced up with several organizations in need of people who can micro-volunteer, on-demand, and on-the-spot using their computer or iPhone. You do things like tagging photos and answering quick surveys.
Use Giving Apps
There are plenty of apps out there you can use to make giving easier and convenient. Here are just a few you might consider exploring. Instead encourages living on less and donating extra money. Charity Miles lets you earn donations as you exercise for your charity of choice. Donate a Photo is Johnson & Johnson’s way of getting you to share a photo on their network. Share a photo and they’ll donate a dollar to a charity you select. As you can see, there are all sorts of ways to give creatively from your smart phone. Check out this article from Huffington Post for 7 more apps to explore.
Remember the Tax Deduction
Remember that if you itemize, your cash donations can be deducted on your tax return as a charitable contribution. Be sure to keep a record of your donation including your canceled checks, credit card or bank statements, and the acknowledgment letters from the charity. Your records must indicate the name of the charitable organization, the date of your contribution, and the amount your contribution.
Photo Credit: hmrcgovuk