Monday, March 2, 2009

Top 5 Ways to Support Your Favorite Charity in a Recession

1. Attend an Event
No matter the state of the economy, we are all still eating, drinking and socializing and fundraising events are a way to do all of this and give back all at the same time. Pick an event with a ticket price that matches what you’d normally spend on a night out. It is such a simple way to get out and give back.

2. Buy brands that give back
This is the easiest way to kill two birds with one stone. Buy something you need from a company that will donate a percent of your purchase to charity. Cause-related marketing – as this is called – is everywhere.

3. Make a few small donations
In economic times like these, many of us don’t have the means to contribute at the levels we used to, so we stop altogether. Instead of skipping the check, consider making a few small donations. If you can no longer give $1,000 – send $250. If you can no longer spare $100 – send $10. Believe me, every penny helps and nonprofits appreciate your support no matter how small or large.

4. Don’t wait until the end of the year
Most people wait to donate until the end of the year in the midst of holiday shopping, stress, and over-spending. Instead, try donating in April (when you are reminded how beneficial those tax write-offs are!), summer months (when you are spending more time engaged in free activities like lazy days at the beach) or any other time of the year when there may be a little more flexibility in your budget.

5. Share your talents pro bono
Yes, this is a fancy way to say volunteer. But, when you hear volunteer you think stuffing envelopes and other non-glamorous activities. Instead, offer your talents to your favorite charities pro bono. Accountant? Offer to do their books. Graphic designer? Design a brochure or event invitation. Musician? Play at an event. PR expert? Create a media plan or send a press release to help the organization get highlighted by the media. There is no end to how you can help and it can be much more fun and rewarding than stuffing envelopes.

Do you have any other ideas to share on how to support your favorite charity in a recession?