Someone once said, it’s better to give than to receive. And what better time of year to think about giving back than when we are in the holiday season? I hope that most of you reading this feel a calling in your heart to give back to the community when you can. Especially at this time of year.
The important thing I want to talk about in this post is how to give back even if you don’t have a disposable income!
I’m often talking with clients as we set and work through financial goals, and one of the areas I like to discuss with them is charitable donations. I’m passionate about this, but what often happens is my client will say they have no more dollars left to give to charity.
There are gurus out there who would tell you to spend the money anyway and that karma will send it back to you tenfold. That’s not me.
If your business is structured so that you do have funds left over which you could donate, then please do. But if you’re penny pinching and struggling to even meet your essential needs with money from your business – that’s ok.
I don’t want you pushing yourself into entrepreneurial poverty just to give money to charity – I’ve been there, and it is hard.
But there’s been a theme over the course of my last few blog posts…
Money is NOT your only resource
You have two invaluable resources in life: money and time. I’ve said before that only one of those you can get more of.
Knowing that time is finite has lead me to making a conscious effort to value it, and what I learned in that process is that if you prioritize something, you’re going to get it done.
In May 2020 I had a baby. I had to find the time to nurse and look after my baby, alongside homeschooling my two boys, running a business and digesting all the information I could find on the COVID relief programs.
That period of my life taught me how to value and prioritize my time – something that you can easily do too.
“But I don’t have time to spare!”
Be honest with yourself and think of how you spend your time. Bingeing your favourite Netflix show? That takes hours out of your week. And I’m not saying you should deny yourself this time – we all need pleasures in life right now! But if you were able to prioritize, you could maybe spend a bit less time bingeing.
And then you would have extra time to give back to the community.
If you don’t have money to donate, that’s fine. Try to donate some of your time. I truly believe that time is our most valuable resource.
Keep it local
If you really do only have a short amount of time to offer, look around at charities local to you.
A charity that my family participates in every year is Adopt a Family. We sign up and receive a local family’s wish list of what they need for Christmas. It’s a charity that calls to my heart.
But here’s the thing – it can get expensive. Some years we’ve bought for a family with two children; some years a family with four. We’ve even ‘adopted’ a family where the adults have a wishlist too.
If the funds aren’t available for you to donate money to a charity like this (or any other charity local to you), think about everything happening behind the scenes – people to allocate families, people to collect gifts, people to organize and distribute…
So much work goes into charities and nonprofits, and it is almost all by people who are working for free. All of that work is completed by volunteers who are giving back their precious time.
I’ll give back when…
A lot of us get stuck in thinking I don’t have the money, I can’t give back. We fall into the trap of saying ‘When I make X amount of dollars, I will start giving back… when I hire more staff I will start volunteering…’
This is a slippery slope and we can always find excuses for not doing something – even when we reach that magical dollar amount or number of staff. You always have something to give, regardless of how much you earn or how many hours you work.
Look around locally and see whether you can help with:
- Toy drives
- Food drives
- Adoptive family schemes
- Soup Kitchens
- Meals on Wheels
There are so many organizations that need help this time of year, so I don’t want you to think that just because you can’t give money, you can’t give anything.
You can make an impact without writing a check
It does a huge disservice to charitable organizations to write off giving anything because you can’t give something huge.
Have you ever been grocery shopping and the cashier has asked if you wanted to donate $1? Donate the dollar! That single dollar is not going to derail your financial plans, but if everybody who could donated $1, $2, $5 – what impact would that make?
We tell ourselves that a single dollar won’t make a difference. I want you to reprogram your mindset to realize that yes, your $1 can make a huge difference because there’s strength in numbers.
You have two major resources available – time and money – and giving back even a little of those can make a big impact.
Make Giving Back Matter. It’s not too late to call around locally and see where in the community you can offer your time.
If you’re thinking that you don’t have the power to help, you can barely put presents under your own tree, you’re feeling helpless – let me share a valuable lesson. When you feel helpless, the best way out is to help others.
Everybody has One Hour
I want to challenge you, as you’re reading this, to find one hour this holiday season to do a good deed and give back to the community. If every single person who was able to, gave one hour, or one dollar, we could change humanity.
After all, tis the season. And all of us have the ability to give back and make an impact, even if we originally thought we didn’t.
You can watch my live training on how to give back during the festive season on YouTube, where I go into more detail of truly giving back even when funds are low. You can also download my free Profit Plan tool to help you see where you might have small amounts of disposable income to donate.
But I want your main takeaway from this to be that you have something precious to give back – your heart.