Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ways To Help


A new study reports that 7 in 10 Americans say they will cut back on charitable donations this holiday season. 


The good news is that there are ways to give without getting hit directly in the wallet.


First, shop small and shop local. Studies show that every dollar you spend with local merchants gives back exponentially to your community.


If you're shopping online, use GoodShop.com, a site that funnels a percentage of every purchase you make back to your favorite charity. The site also donates about a penny to your designated charity every time you do an Internet search. GoodDining.com, an affiliated program, does the same for your restaurant purchases.


Both American Express and CitiCard allow you to donate unused reward points to a charity of your choice.


If you work for a large corporation, they may have a Volunteer Time Matching program that donates funds to match the volunteer hours you put in at your local food bank or community charitable organization. I volunteer at Foothill Unity Center every year, setting up several of their big events, and I wish I had a way to get matching funds for them.


Collect old cell phones and other electronics and donate them to a group such as Gazelle.com. You can use such a donation to raise money for a community group or have cash generated from your donation go directly to a charity you designate.


For even more good ideas, check out this slide show from Bankrate.com.

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