Overcoming Obstacles To Giving Back

Although you may tell yourself that you’d like to support worthy causes, it’s easy to get stuck in a cycle of putting up obstacles that prevent you from giving back. Here are four common impediments to donating, as well as how to overcome them.

Feeling Overwhelmed

Sometimes the plight of people in need feels so overwhelming that it’s hard to know where to start. This worry paralyzes many well-intentioned people who don’t think they could ever make a difference, causing them to do nothing at all.

Taking inspiration from others can motivate you to start giving. As a philanthropist, Ralph Thurman has undertaken both small and large nonprofit endeavors, and through his charity The Giving Tree Foundation he demonstrates that giving back locally and globally can have a positive impact. Seeing the tangible results of the work done by people like Thurman may convince you to take the leap and donate.

Feeling Skeptical

With news headlines about fraudulent charities and sketchy operations, you may assume that all causes are suspect and that it’s smarter not to get involved. While some skepticism is natural, failing to do what you can to help worthy causes only hurts those who are truly in need.

Set aside the time to identify charities that you are interested in supporting, and then do research to understand their operations. The federal government offers tips on donating to charities so you can avoid falling prey to a scam, and it also provides recommendations for organizations that evaluate nonprofits.

Feeling Too Busy

Yes, engaging in due diligence takes some work, so if you have a lot on your plate you may not think you have time to donate. However, a bit of initial effort can make it easier to give on an ongoing basis.

If you often feel short on time, look for an organization that offers recurring giving. Many charities provide the option to set up automatic monthly, quarterly, or annual donations that can be charged on a credit card or debited from your bank account. It’s a great option for routine giving that takes no time at all once you register.

Feeling Broke

If you’re genuinely down on your luck and unable to support yourself, it’s reasonable to think you don’t have enough spare money to give to a cause. However, if you’re like most people,  you probably have at least a few dollars to donate to charity and you’re not as broke as you think.

Looking closely at the little expenditures you make each day can help you see where you could cut back in order to have money available for donations. From bringing your lunch to work to skipping tomorrow morning’s latte, there are simple ways to spend less money so you have more to give.

Even good people find reasons that hold them back from giving to charity. If that sounds like you, take a good look at your worries about donating and find ways to overcome those concerns so you are more comfortable with supporting worthwhile causes.