First off, if you want to know everything there is about doing charity work, the world needs more people like you.
You care about others and want to make a difference in their lives — that’s so needed!
What’s even more beautiful is the many other kind souls who are out there doing the same thing, too. In 2020 both volunteering and charitable giving broke records.
So if you’re interested in doing some good in the world, keep reading to learn more about what charity work actually is, how to get involved, and the different types of charity work available.
The Answers to 6 Key Questions About Charity Work and Donations
#1. What is Charity Work?
In its simplest form, charity work is volunteering your time and resources for the benefit of others. It is a great way to give back to your community and make a positive difference in someone’s life.
Charity can be as simple as donating some clothes to a local homeless shelter, giving your blood, or even applying for a charity credit card.
It’s about making an impact on someone’s life, which includes both big- and small-scale charity work. Beyond traditional avenues of giving back, think about how you can help just one person.
And there are plenty of ways to get involved. Whether you’re looking to help through a large organization or do something small, charity work is always worth your time and can make a big difference.
#2. How to Get Involved in Charity Work?
When it comes to donating to charities, there are a lot of different ways to go about it. More specifically, you can donate your time, money, or goods.
The best option depends on your individual circumstances. And we have some great news — every little bit helps.
The average value of a volunteers’ hour is $28. But charity organizations rely heavily on donations of both money and things.
Ultimately, what matters most is that you find the right opportunity to donate things your charity of choice needs the most. Reach out and directly ask “How can I best help you now?”.
To help you decide, here’s a breakdown of how others help:
- 30% of the adult population donates their time with an average of 3.5 hours per volunteer weekly
- Americans gave a record $471 billion to charities in 2020
- 80% of all donations come from individuals
The most important thing is to simply start taking some action. Take that first micro-step today — reach out to a charity, make a one-time donation, or sign up to volunteer.
#3. What Kind of Charity Work Can I Do?
There are so many ways to get involved in charity work.
Not only does charity work have so many different forms because of many potential ways to use your resources, but it can also go towards good causes within communities near you and/or beyond.
If you’re wondering where to start, and if you’re looking for charity organizations, check out:
- this list of our six favorite charity organizations
- amazing travel volunteering opportunities
- virtual opportunities
- or these 20 websites
What’s most important is to consider your own core values and the causes that you truly believe in. Regardless of the format or location your charity work takes on, it’s hugely critical to make sure the work lights you up inside.
#4. How Do I Decide How Much to Give to a Charity?
Deciding how much you want to donate of your time, money, or things can be tough. And it varies greatly based on your individual circumstances.
But here are some basic guidelines you can follow. Give:
- What you don’t need and won’t miss — we all have things lying around in our home that we don’t actually need. Declutter your home and give them away to people who do (here are 6 decluttering tips if you need help).
- Efficiently — choose charities that make the biggest impacts
- What you can — as we propose in our retirement budgeting article, give away 5% of your income and if you can’t manage that, donate your time
- Together — join forces with others and spread the charitable spirit
#5. How Do I Avoid Charity Scams?
You’ve heard the stories. You may even know someone who has fallen victim to a charity scam. It’s important that you protect yourself and your loved ones from these scams.
First and foremost, do your research. Look up your charity of choice on websites like the Charity Navigator or Charity Watch.
And be cautious with your personal and financial information. At a minimum, keep tabs on your bank account statements after a new donation to see if any suspicious transactions have been made shortly after your contribution.
#6 Are Charitable Donations Tax-Deductible?
Even though tax reduction comes in as one of the last motivators for charity donations, it’s still a valid question.
And yes, in most cases they are.
To claim tax-deductible donations when filing your taxes, you have to itemize them on your tax return by filing Schedule A of IRS Form 1040 or 1040-SR.
You can even deduct expenses related to volunteering your time at a charity. Just remember to donate to a qualifying organization and to document everything, so you have a paper trail to back it up.
It’s Your Chance to Make a Difference
You now have all the information you need to get started with charity work.
It is time for you to put your knowledge into action and make a positive impact on someone else’s life (and it can benefit yours as well).
This is your chance to make a difference in a way that’s meaningful to you.
So, what type of charitable giving or volunteering do you plan to do?
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