Declutter Your Donations

by Guest

Boomer women are famous for having it all and juggling a lot. With kids in school, work, community, and family commitments, finding the time to support your favorite causes can be a challenge. There’s always a fundraiser or other worthy action that needs your input, but making the time to send in donation forms or organize fundraisers can become a low priority when everything else is clamoring for your attention. Luckily, supporting causes has become a lot easier over the past few years thanks to technology, and major shifts in how corporations view charitable giving. It’s time to declutter your charitable giving by making it more streamlined, efficient, and easier.

Making Donation A No-Brainer

One of the first things you may want to do if you know there are causes you’re going to support year-round is to look into monthly donation plans. Organizations from the ASPCA to local museums have programs where you set up an automatic debit from your bank account or via PayPal. They send you a receipt via email, so there’s no year-end scramble to find forms come tax time. Another great tactic: set aside some budget so you have funds to spend when simple ways to shop for a cause come along. Make it a habit to add on $1 to $5 to your grocery bill whenever there’s a checkout-stand fundraiser – Whole Foods, for instance, offers these opportunities most of the time. They’re small amounts, but they can add up when you make them part of your weekly grocery shopping routine.

Choosing products wisely can help, too. With cause marketing being the order of the day for many companies, it’s easy to switch brands of common products such as cereal or detergent to one that supports your favorite cause. These may be drops in the bucket, but in aggregate, they too add up and with the convenience of shopping for a cause, why not?

Wrap Donation Around Your Daily Activities

Another way to support causes that’s becoming common is adding a cause element to your daily activities. From banking to jogging to painting, whatever you do during your day can become a way to support nonprofits.

If daily running, walks, or biking are part of your fitness routine Boston-based tech startup MamboWalk wants to help you turn those miles into charitable donations. The mobile and web app allows you to log your miles, then get friends to “sponsor” your personal walkathon.

You can also tie saving for retirement with your charitable causes. ablebanking a new online-only savings program, is committed to helping their customers save more and give more to the causes they care about. In addition to having better rates and no fees, ableBanking donates an amount equal to 0.25% of a customer’s deposits, as well as $25 upon sign-up, to the cause of her choice. Your hobbies can also become fundraisers.  If you have an artistic hobby, whether it’s painting or dance, you might want to start a project on Kickstarter, a site that allows the public to fund creative projects, then donate the funds raised to a charity. If crafting is your thing, you can literally declutter while helping others: consider using spare supplies to make items for those in need. Preemie hats are always welcome at hospitals, and nearly every quilt guild has a comfort quilt program for those in need. Not a member? Local yarn or quilt shops often have ways to get involved; larger programs like Warm Up America and Wrapped Up in Sports (full disclosure: I volunteer on the board) aggregate large numbers of donated quilts, hats, and other handmade items.

With support from these kinds of programs, you can easily work raising supporting causes into your daily life with little overhead.

 This post is brought to you by ableBanking. ableBanking is an online-only savings program that gives better rates, no fees – and one more thing: money to give to any charity you choose. For every new customer, ableBanking gives $25 to any 501c3 organization a customer designates, as well as an additional percentage of savings, on each account, every year. The model is simple – instead of spending countless resources on physical branches and advertising, ableBanking is investing their resources into providing its customers with no fee accounts, higher interest rates and money to give to the nonprofit organizations that make our communities better. Find out more at ableBanking.com. Together we are able to make saving better.

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