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Donating Money: What You Need to Know

Donating to charity is important—for others and yourself.

The holiday season is about more than getting gifts. It’s also a time for giving. Donating your hard-earned money can be a hard choice, but there are benefits for you. From helping to spread happiness to learning to manage your money, donating to charity can teach you a lot. Keep reading to learn more.

What is charity? It’s helping others by using your time or money. It’s helping someone with the resources you have. We’re talking specifically about donating money today, but charity can take on a wide range of resources that you have.Donate jar

It makes you happier. There’s a lot of research that says people who support charities are happier. Why? The easiest explanation is that helping others simply makes us happy. We feel better about ourselves knowing that we did something good.

It’s needed. A lot of places survive on donations. You might not see it, but in your community, people are working every day to serve others and they depend on donations. Your local library can buy more books from your favorite author because of donations. Your local zoo can rescue and care for more animals because people donate.

Helping people in need is done in large part by people donating money and time. Soup kitchens and shelters run almost entirely off donations from people like you. This holiday season has been rough on a lot of people. Even if you can only spare a dollar or two, the organizations in your town know how to make the best use of that money and put it where it’s needed.

Better budgeting. When you decide to start donating, make that first thing in your budget. If you want to donate regularly, planning ahead can really help you reach your goals. If you can only spare 50 cents or a dollar here and there, put it in a jar and donate any time it reaches a certain amount.

Where to donate? A lot of organizations rely on donations to run—everything from a food pantry passing out meals to animal rescues. Finding the right place for you to donate can be a challenge. Tons of worthy causes could use help. If you love animals, look for a rescue in your area that might need help. If you love reading, you can donate books and money to programs that help kids who don’t have a lot of books. If you don’t have anywhere specific, your local food pantry is a great choice. They get overwhelmed during the holidays in a normal year; this year is going to be harder on them.

Another option, and this works great if you’re collecting spare change, are the Salvation Army red buckets with the person ringing the bell next to them. They’re outside a lot of grocery stores. Drop a few coins in throughout the season.

Like anything, if you can’t afford to give, take care of yourself and your family first. But if you can, remember there is a lot of good that can come from it. You learn to budget better, you most likely will be happier, and other people get out of a tight spot.

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