Do you often think about trying to make a difference by making more charitable donations, but struggle to do so?
Maybe you find it hard to let go of the money you worked so hard for.
Maybe you find it difficult to trust that your money will be used the way you think it should be.
Or maybe you just can’t figure out how to balance making donations with all of your other money goals.
We all have our own reasons for wanting to give more, yet struggling to do so.
I look up to the people who find it easy to give their money away.
Because for me, it takes a bit more work.
I hold on to my money tightly, and donating does not come naturally to me.
At this point in my life, a point where I feel secure in my finances, I want to make giving back a more intentional part of my financial plans.
But because giving away my money doesn’t come naturally to me, I knew I would need some financial strategies, along with some self-reflection, to intentionally incorporate it into my life.
So if you find it hard to donate your money, or simply want to find a way to donate more, here is a list of things you can do to create the necessary space in your financial plans for giving back.
But first, it’s helpful to try and understand why it may be hard to give.
Why Is It Hard to Donate?
During our lives, we are not always in a position where we can give as much as we would like. There are times when we need to focus on building up our own financial security.
But in times where we are in a position to give financially, why do some of us struggle to give away our money when deep down we know we want to?
When we feel like a resource is in limited supply, or that there will never be enough, it’s hard for us to use it.
In the case of our money, a scarcity mindset causes us to cling to it because we fear there will never be enough.
A scarcity mindset makes it difficult to give money away.
I would argue that a scarcity mindset isn’t always a bad thing, though, because it does helps us to be more intentional with our limited resources. But when a scarcity mindset prevents us from rational thinking, it’s time to acknowledge it and think about what goals it’s preventing us from accomplishing.
A scarcity mindset may be the reason you find it hard to give away your money.
Donating Is Not Inherent In Personal Finance
When I started this blog, my goal was to help others with balancing living their lives now with saving for the future. I still believe in that aspect of personal finance. But what I’ve come to realize lately is that this view of personal finance may be a little too focused on the individual.
It doesn’t take into account the world that we are a part of.
A lot of personal finance is about setting our personal goals and working towards them. It’s about figuring out what is important to us and using our money intentionally on those things.
But what is not often talked about is balancing our needs and wants with the needs and wants of the world outside of ourselves.
If we solely focus on meeting our own individual goals without vision towards the world around us, we may find it hard to incorporate donating into our financial plans.
Ways To Create Space In Your Finances For Donating
For those of us who aren’t natural givers for one reason or another but want to give more, there are ways we can work through it. We can start by setting up systems to make it easier to give financially as well as tackling our inner money beliefs as a whole.
Set Aside Money Specifically For Donating
Intentionally setting aside money for donating can make it easier to let go of your money.
This is because when you specifically assign your money for making donations, you mentally able to let go of it right then and there. When an opportunity to give back to a cause that resonates with you presents itself, you can easily dip into your donation fund without much thought about how it will affect your other financial goals.
You can set aside money for donating in several different ways, including:
- Creating a “donations” category in your budget
- Opening a savings account to be used just for donations
- Using an envelope and add cash to it
Make Donating Automatic
One of the strategies we use in personal finance to save more money is to make savings transactions automatic.
When we make things automatic, we only have to make the decision once. And once that initial decision is made, we don’t have to think about it every time we want to save. This helps us avoid decision fatigue and we can more easily meet our savings goals.
So why not apply this concept to saving for donations?
If we want to give more, let’s make it automatic. Set up recurring donations to organizations you want to support.
Not only does it make it easier for you to continue to give regularly, but it also helps organizations receive a steady stream of money to help them plan better.
It’s a win-win.
Slowly Increase Your Donations Over Time
This is another strategy taken from the “save more money playbook”.
When you find yourself in a position where you want to give more, start by slowly increasing your donating.
By slowly increasing the amount of money you give back, you will allow yourself the time to adjust to having less money to allocate to other areas of your budget.
We use this strategy all the time in the personal finance space to help us save more money.
So why not use this same tactic to start donating more, if that is the next financial goal you want to work towards.
Plan For Donating In Your Long-term Financial Plans
In personal finance, we often talk about the expenses we expect to have in retirement and how we need to plan them.
If you want to continue to give when you are retired, incorporate donations into your plans, especially if you want to give more in retirement than you do now. This can be a definite possibility, since you may have a lot less living expenses in retirement.
Being intentional with your future donation plans will help you give back at a level you want and are able to.
Find Organizations You Are Truly Excited About
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of organizations and individuals asking for your money. To narrow things down a bit, and make it easier for you to give, find a few you are truly excited about. This excitement will fuel your willingness to give.
Spend time researching organizations, volunteer with them, follow them on social media, or sign up for their email list to get a better idea of what the organization is all about.
By taking the time to truly get to know an organization and what they stand for, you will feel more at ease with how your money may be used by the organization, and will ultimately be able to donate your money more freely.
Reflect On the World Around You
Sometimes it takes more than a strategy to shift the way you think about and use your money. Sometimes you just need to look inside and create your own motivation to help let go of your money.
Often in personal finance, we are focused on individual goals. We are focused on what our money can do for us.
But what if we changed that up a bit and also started thinking about what our money can do to help create a world we want to be a part of?
It’s easy to forget that we are part of a larger world outside of ourselves. By making a point to reflect on the world outside of ourselves and the role we (and our money) can play in that world, we may find our willingness to let go of our money increase.
You Got This
There comes a time as we work to improve our personal finances where we want donating to be more a part of it.
But after years and years of busting our butts to get our finances in order to make our current and future lives brighter, it can be hard to suddenly flip the switch and start giving our money away.
Think about using the strategies above and doing a little soul searching to help create space in your finances for donating.