How to get the most out of giving: Tips and tricks for making a difference

Giving back is more than just a nice thing to do. It can also be a smart business move. Giving back to your community can benefit you mentally and fiscally, if you do it right.

Supporting a charity can open new doors. If you haven’t been involved with any charities before, it can be difficult to know where to start. There are countless ways to give back, but you’ve got to start somewhere. In this blog post, we’ll list six steps and habits of effective givers and explain how you can adapt them to your own lifestyle.

From making a business connection to making a difference in your local community, these tips will help you get the most out of giving back. 

1) Choose a cause you care about

The first and most crucial step to starting your journey to being charitable is choosing a cause that matters to you. There are millions of people, places, and things around the world that need help in some way, whether that be money, labor, or some other form of service. You need to find a cause that you can truly get behind.

This shouldn’t be a fleeting interest or thought. Do some research. Scope out your options and see what catches your eye. You may stumble across a charity benefiting a rare disease that your mother suffered from, or you may be a lifelong sports fan who would love funding a local soccer team for underprivileged children. The options are endless, so find one that’s true to you.

2) Make a personal connection

Once you connect with your cause, your next mission should be to connect on a deeper level with the people involved in that charity. This is what will make giving back so plentiful. It’s easy to volunteer at the dog shelter for a couple hours, but sitting down and sharing a cup of coffee and a story with the manager will often leave you feeling much more fulfilled.

Break past the concept of doing charity work because you have to. Instead, make it personal. It’s a great way to build unexpected, impactful relationships that will make you feel much more attached to the work you’re doing.

3) Donations are more than money

When you think of donating, you think of mailing a check or typing in your credit card number. This can be extremely helpful for an organization, and you should spend some time researching your charity to see if monetary support is the best thing you can offer.

However, there are countless other ways to donate, depending on the organization that you are supporting. For example, Operation Christmas Child is a Christian organization that provides a box of christmas presents to children all over the world through item donations. A variety of charities do similar organized gift giving.

But you can take it on alone, too. For example, although Hermes is now Evri, they still provide the same quality international shipping that you can easily use to send materials to a pen pal, school, or family in need. Sometimes physical gifts are more satisfying than a bill.

4) Get physical

You can also volunteer your time and use your talents to help others. Volunteering time is one of the most popular forms of giving back.

The hands-on aspect adds an entirely different kind of gratification than donating. It’s a great way to feel like you are making an immediate difference in someone else’s life while also meeting other people who share your passions and interests.

There are many ways to volunteer, from coaching soccer at a local youth organization to helping out at an animal shelter with daily tasks. Volunteering is a great way for everyone to get involved and help make their communities better places for everyone!

5) Build social connections

A part of giving back that is often forgotten is how instrumental it can be in producing professional relationships. There’s a reason you have to include volunteer hours when you apply for higher education! Whether you’re looking for a new job or trying to generate more business leads, service events can be an excellent way to connect with people across the country or around the world.

Social media like LinkedIn and Twitter are great places for you to share your personal story and connect with the others involved with the charity. Along with building your network on these platforms, you also have the opportunity to find people who share your interests, passions, and philanthropic work. You’ll be able to see updates from other organizations that are similar to yours as well as engage in conversations with them.

In addition to finding a built-in support system that will help you succeed personally, these professional connections will help you weave a network of relationships that will be immeasurably beneficial to your career.

6) Stay in touch

with your favorite charity, or two! Get the most out of your experience by staying consistent. Giving back is great no matter what, but if it becomes a habit you will find yourself looking forward to it. If you want to get the most out of your donations, then it’s important to stay in touch with the organization.

If you want your physical service to be truly impactful, go help that family once a week, and see how their lives improve over time. Even if a year has gone by since you last contacted a certain organization, remember that they will be thrilled to hear from you. Or branch off and volunteer for or donate to a new project that the organization just launched.

The more involved you are with an organization, the more likely they will be to invite you back as a donor or volunteer next time around, which will help you construct your overall network and get the most out of your charity experience.

Photo by ray sangga kusuma