- Not sure what to do when a beggar asks you for cash? Keep some McDonald's gift cards on hand. (Any restaurant will do, so long as they aren't too strict on the dress code.) Even if this person trades the card for cash, the other person will take it only if they need the food. Eventually, someone will have a meal from it.
- Buy your magazine subscriptions through a charity. For example, M.D. Anderson's Children's Art Project has a magazine subscription drive where they receive a percentage of the proceeds from a number of popular magazine subscriptions. Money you were going to spend anyway now helps a good cause. You may also get a discount on the subscription.
- Donate your magazines to a hospital. Now you're really stretching that charity dollar.
- Screen your charities. Pick charities with low overhead costs for administration and advertising. Their latest annual report should be available on their website. If it isn't, that's a red flag.
- If you have a flower or vegetable garden, take a little something to your neighbor. The old shut-in is a good candidate; most neighborhoods have at least one. Charity doesn't have to involve cash; it's the kindness that counts.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Getting the most bang for your charity buck
Times being what they are, here are a few tips for stretching our charity dollars. If you have any other tips, please share.