If you are the kind of person who usually has more month left at the end of your money, then you may not have a lot of extra cash to give to your church or favorite cause. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find another way to contribute. In fact, the act of volunteering your time or talents can be far more valuable than writing a check. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t tithe. If you are a Believer, then you should let Scripture be your guide when it comes to tithing. But many people have interests they want to support outside of church, or they want to give beyond the their tithe. Let’s take a moment to look at the Three Pillars of Charitable Giving and how you can use them to help support your favorite cause: Time Believe it or not, the greatest need for some charities isn’t money – it is people. If you don’t have a lot of money but still want to help a good cause, then call your favorite charitable organization and ask if they can use you in a volunteer capacity. Giving up a few hours of prime time TV or skipping your Saturday morning workout might not seem like a big sacrifice to you, but it can be a life saver for an understaffed organization. Volunteer service is one of the greatest gifts you can give to a charity – and it can be a lot of fun! One of my favorite charities to donate time to is Habitat for Humanity , which helps build homes for people who can’t afford them. The good news is you don’t have to be particularly skilled in construction – HFH will pair you with a skilled professional who can help you learn the ropes as you go. Volunteering is also a great way to grow your network and learn valuable skills . Talent Even if you don’t have a lot of time or money, you can still lend your talents on your own terms. How? Many organizations have staff who are good at organizing and planning, but they might not have people who are well versed in technical fields. Think about some talents you have which you may take for granted, then think about how they could help a group in need. You may be able to give up a few hours to help set up an office network, design a newsletter, or perform a variety of small jobs which you can do at your pace instead of committing to a set volunteer schedule. I’ve done this in the past by working on a church website. They gave me a small list of improvements they were looking for and I was able to complete them at my own pace. Donating my talents helped the church save several hundred dollars on tech related expenses. There are many other ways you can donate your skills to a group in need – only your talents and imagination limit the opportunities. Money When all else fails, charities will almost always welcome cold hard cash. Or check. Or plastic. In fact, I’ve never seen a charitable group turn down monetary gifts, even if it isn’t their greatest need. You might find that as your income grows and work and family obligations increase, your time becomes more valuable to you than money. At this point, writing a check becomes the easier way to give to charitable causes. As my family and business take up more of my time, I find myself reaching for the checkbook more frequently than volunteering my time and talents (though I still try to give of my time and talents when I am able). It’s a transition that takes some getting used to, but I know that I am still playing a role in helping the organization continue their mission. And that makes me feel good. Charitable organizations need all three pillars to survive. Churches, charities, non-profits, and volunteer groups cannot survive on money alone. And they can’t survive just with a great group of volunteers or talented people. They need all three to survive and thrive. Supporting a charity isn’t just “something to do when you have more money.” Anyone and everyone can contribute toward charitable groups, regardless of their income level. Have you thought about how you can offer your time and talents? Leave a comment below with your thoughts. This is a guest post from Ryan Guina – a writer and personal finance blogger. You can find him online at Cash Money Life and The Military Wallet where he writes about money, career, small business, and military benefits. Pillars image from Shutterstock Related Articles: Charitable Giving Stats: The U.S. Shines Charitable Contributions and the Tax Benefit Charitable Gifting 101 What are Charitable Gift Annuities and how do they work? This article was written by a Guest Author. If you would like to write a guest post for our personal finance blog , you can find out how here .
The Three Pillars of Charitable Giving