Donating to charity with no money
Although I want to give back to society, I never have any extra money to donate. What can I do?
Even if you cannot afford to donate money to charities, there are other ways to donate that can make a huge impact.
Some effective methods are donating possessions, time, or securities instead of money.
How can I donate things?
Donating items is one of the lowest-effort ways to donate, yet can have a significant impact.
You can donate used clothes, winter jackets, gloves or shoes so others can use them. You can also donate canned food, furniture, toys, books, and other items.
These items can have significant value to those who cannot afford them and you will feel happy knowing that your possessions are getting a newer home and making someone else happy!
Just make sure to only donate items that are in good condition and can be used by others.
How can I donate my time?
Donating time is one of the most impactful yet often overlooked ways to donate.
Many charities are looking for volunteers to help them with various tasks. You can volunteer at a soup kitchen, animal shelter, library, or another place in your community.
Wherever you choose to volunteer, donating your time can go a long way in helping others and be just as powerful as donating money.
In addition, you will be more hands-on if you donate time and will actually be able to see the real impact of your donation.
How can I donate securities?
By donating highly appreciated long term securities directly to a charity, you can avoid paying capital gains tax and also claim the full donation as a tax deduction if you itemize your deductions.
The charity will get a larger donation than if you sold the securities and then donated the post-tax proceeds. Also the charity won’t have to pay any taxes even if it sells the securities as long as the charity is tax exempt.
You just need to make sure that the charity accepts securities as donation and get the details of their brokerage account. You can then instruct your broker to transfer the securities to the charity.
If you are still deciding on the charity or want to spread your donation over time, you can transfer your securities to a donor-advised fund.
This option lets you make the transfer and get the tax deduction for the current year but stagger the donations over time and to as many charities as you’d like to support without the hassle of individual transactions just by letting the fund know how and when you want to make charitable gifts.
What should I keep in mind when donating to charities?
That’s a great question, Sooper Cooper. Click the video on your screen to learn more.