Giving Means More than Money

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If you’re thinking about giving now to a cause you care about, you’re not alone. The average person makes 24% of her annual donations between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, according to research from the Center on Philanthropy.

But between regular expenses and crazy holiday costs, what if you can’t spare much? Thanks to the power of the Internet, there are two ways you can add oomph to every buck:

  • Go viral. Promote your cause on Facebook and Twitter, and include a link to the organization’s donation form. “You’d be amazed at how many of your friends will click through and give,” says Alice Hendricks, founder of nonprofit consulting firm Jackson River.
  • Go auto. Many charities now let you set up regular contributions that are automatically charged to a card. The monthly gifts are typically just $5–$15, but over the year they add up to more than the average one-time donation, says Ben Smith, director of online fundraising and promotion for nonprofit public television stations in New York, including Thirteen. (Bonus: this paperless method is eco-friendly.)

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