How much money did you donate to charity recently? If you are between the ages of 25-35 and you said, “Zero,” you’re not alone. Younger people are less likely to give unless they know exactly where that money is going.
People in that same age demographic said they more often give, via text, in small amounts like $10 to the Red Cross for tsunami relief in Japan or a local earthquake. They feel uncomfortable writing a check without any further information from the organization about where the money will go.
Many young people are wary of organizations asking for money because there are so many frauds out there trying to scam people. Younger people don’t usually give money over the phone, as they feel scammers use that lure often. You can’t see the person on the other end, so there is a high likelihood they are not who they say they are. Plus, we have all been warned not to give out credit card information over the phone.
What about the rest of the people? Why are they scaling back? Well, many people say they will donate once they are well enough off. The big question is when will that be? Will it be once your student loan is paid off? Your car or your house? Will it be when you have saved enough to put your kids through college?
You see the problem. There may never be a “good time” to donate money. Some people at a church asked why they need to tithe 10 percent of their monthly pay to the church as opposed to writing one check at the end of the year. The pastor replied, “Because you won’t.”
It’s too easy to write off giving because it’s not a good time. If your house has burned down, then yes, that’s a good time. But really…start small.
Many studies have shown that having money isn’t what makes you happy. Surprisingly, having more money than other people we know actually does bring some satisfaction. Even billionaires want to be richer than other billionaires.
However, there is tremendous satisfaction in helping those less fortunate. Donate your time at a soup kitchen or a women’s shelter. Text the Red Cross some money for disaster relief. Donate old clothes to the needy (only if they are still in good shape.) Write a check to an organization you believe in, but feel free to ask exactly how the money will be spent. They should be able to explain it to you in detail.
Many forms of charity cost you nothing. Mentor a student or become a Big Brother or Big Sister of America. Anything you do comes back to you in spades.