05 Aug Is It Better To Donate Money Or Time When Supporting An Organization?
Getting involved with an organization whose values align with your own is a great way to get out and help your community thrive. However, it can be hard getting started, as there are so many great opportunities and organizations that could use help spreading their message and carrying out their mission.
There are many ways to get involved when it comes to supporting a cause that you believe in. Whether it’s lifting up platforms with a mission that strikes a chord with your values through social media or raising awareness through other means, there is no shortage of ways to support an organization.
Perhaps the two most common methods for supporting organizations are donating time or money. Both monetary and time donations are extremely valuable to nonprofit, mission-oriented organizations.
But which is better? Or is there even a better option? Let’s discuss which of these two donation strategies is more helpful—or if they both are equally beneficial in their own ways.
The Case For Donating Money
Nonprofits thrive on donations, as it is their primary funding source and allows them to carry out their mission. Even the smallest amount is meaningful to organizations that need donations to survive. Donating money is also an excellent way for people to contribute to a cause if they are not physically able to volunteer, or can’t find the time during their busy schedule to help out.
There are many different ways you can donate, as well. For example, if you want to send a larger amount of money at once, that is perfectly fine. Or, if you want to set up a monthly pledge where you donate a smaller amount every 4 weeks, many organizations also allow for that.
Repeat donations are significant for nonprofits because they allow the organization because it acts as a fixed income. This will enable them to budget properly because they know roughly how much they’ll get in donations each month.
How Donating Money Benefits You, the Giver
The end goal of donating is not to benefit yourself, but to help out those in need. However, giving money to a good cause can benefit the giver in more than a few ways.
First, giving to charity makes you feel good. A study once found that of 700 donors, 42% agreed the enjoyment they receive from giving is a key influence. Other studies have found that there is a link between giving to charity and increased activity in the area of the brain that registers pleasure.
Giving money to charity also helps you easily and efficiently strengthen your personal values. If you have the means of donating money, that is a privilege, and it’s important to use that privilege to act on your beliefs. According to a Charities Aid Foundation study, 96% of donors surveyed said they felt they had a moral duty to use what they had to help others.
Giving money also encourages family and friends to do the same. Many donation platforms or organizations have a “share” feature, which allows you to post the link to donate on social media sites. By promoting the organization that you believe in, you can help bring more awareness to their cause and bring even more people forward to donate.
How You Can Donate Even When Money is Tight
It’s not always possible to donate money. While some months you may have some extra cash lying around to give back with, other months, money can be a little tighter. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t give back with money. Instead of asking for gifts or cash for your birthday or Christmas, consider asking family and friends to donate to a charity of your choice instead. This is a fantastic way to still give back even when you don’t have the funds to do so yourself.
Now, let’s talk about donating time and how that can be very beneficial for organizations.
The Case For Donating Time
Like how some folks may find it difficult to donate money, some people also have hectic schedules, making it hard to give back through volunteering. However, for those that can give time, it can be an extremely rewarding experience. Also, volunteering can be just as impactful for the organization as donating money.
Oftentimes, nonprofits are short-staffed and rely on volunteers to come in and lend a helping hand. Many organizations also set up their processes to rely on volunteers, such as Feed My Starving Children. Donating money is great because it allows organizations to continue to carry out their work as they can better account for overhead costs. But physically volunteering your time allows you to directly contribute to the core function of the nonprofit and help them accomplish their goals. It’s important to mention that both are extremely important, and there isn’t necessarily a right option for how you choose to donate.
How Donating Time Helps You, The Volunteer
Just like how donating money can be beneficial for both you and the organization, so can volunteering. Volunteering allows you to meet new people, make new friends, and spend time with people who have similar values as you. In addition, it can help you strengthen existing relationships.
Volunteering can also help you build self-confidence and self-esteem. For those who haven’t volunteered a lot or at all, it can be a pretty daunting task at first, and it may require you to step outside of your comfort zone. This will help expand your horizons and open you up to new experiences. A National Youth Agency report found that people aged 11-25 “repeatedly stressed that volunteering had increased their self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-belief.”
Volunteering can also be beneficial for adults. A Carnegie Mellon University study from 2013 found that adults over 50 who volunteered regularly were less likely to develop high blood pressure (hypertension) compared to non-volunteers. Hypertension is an important indicator of health as it contributes to stroke, heart disease, and premature death.
Volunteering can also greatly improve mental health, as well. A study from the London School of Economics looked at the relationship between happiness and volunteering among a group of American adults. They found that the more people volunteered, the happier they were. Compared to people who never volunteered, those who volunteered monthly were 12% more likely to be ‘very happy.’
Why You Can’t Go Wrong With Donating Time or Money
There isn’t a definitive answer when it comes to what’s truly better in terms of giving time or money. One is certainly not better than the other. Each has plenty of benefits for both the organization and the individual that is donating.
A single donation can go a long way, while a few hours of volunteering will also be extremely helpful—whether at a soup kitchen, food bank, or any other nonprofit, mission-based organization. What it really comes down to is what works for you. Different people have different schedules, as well as different budgets and physical capabilities. So, if you want to help out, go with what works best for you. There is no right way to give to charity.
Just make sure that when you decide to donate—whether time or money—that you take the time to thoroughly research the organization to ensure that their values align with your own. Being charitable is all about finding an outlet for you to stand up for your values. It should be enjoyable, and it should allow you to interact with new people, as well as grow current friendships. Because, after all, alone we can do little, but together we can do much, much more.
If you’re unsure where to get started, head on over to Great Nonprofits, which allows you to search for local nonprofits and charities near your location. You can read reviews, learn more about the charity, and donate all from the site. Whether it’s animal activism, helping the poor, working with students, or any other issue you’re passionate about, they’ll have the resources you need to get started volunteering or donating.
Being charitable—no matter the form it takes—is a great way to grow your relationship with God, as well as help those who need it most (which is exactly what He wants you to do).