Philanthropy is often associated with only the ultra-rich of society, from value investor Warren Buffett to Bill and Melinda Gates. But one doesn’t have to have a stockpile of cash or a seven-figure net worth to get involved in philanthropy work. Here are four ways to practice small-scale philanthropy for the average Joe and Jane.
Figure Out What You’re Good At
Money isn’t the only philanthropic currency. You can give back to the less fortunate by offering your skills and expertise in a particular field. For instance, if you are good at graphic design or software engineering, you can volunteer to teach young kids and budding professionals on the weekends. Other applicable skills that you can teach include carpentry, sports, baking, and entrepreneurship.
Volunteer at an Animal Shelter
Another good use of your time and energy is volunteering at animal shelters. Each year, roughly 1.5 million animals in rescue shelters and pounds are euthanized, according to the ASPCA. Since these shelters usually operate with low budgets, the staff-to-animal ratio is often imbalanced in the latter’s favor. Volunteer to walk senior dogs outside or clean up rooms in the facility.
Pledge to Donate Regularly
Thanks to social media and membership platforms like Patreon, it’s easy to support causes that are important to you. Most non-profit organizations and rescue groups have a Patreon account that you can send money to, usually just a few dollars a month. You can even set up an automatic payment schedule so that your supported groups get the donation every month without you having to manually input your information and approve the transaction every time.
Host Fundraising Events
Hold a fundraiser at your home or local restaurant. Fundraising events are a great way to amplify the donations you are planning to give to a charity or non-profit. It also brings to light whatever cause you are trying to support. The public attention gained from these events, in the long run, might be a stronger catalyst for positive change than the money itself.
Small-scale philanthropy is a great way to affect change in society. Beyond the generosity and feel-good result of donating your money and time, it’s also a good way to be in the frontlines of innovation and positive change.