7 Easy Ways You Can Be A Philanthropist

Today was World Kindness Day, so I thought it was a good day for this post. Hopefully you had much kindness shown to you today. Also, I just learned that February 10 -16, 2014 is Random Acts of Kindness Week. Something to look forward to!

A few days ago I read an article, 14 Random Acts of Kindness to Brighten Your Monday. Well, it's not Monday, but it's still very inspiring. Also, I just had a random act of kindness happen to me!

Someone found a flash drive of mine with a decent amount of information on it and returned it to me with a nice note. I am so grateful! The news is filled with so much about people doing wrong, but I am totally convinced that most people are good and do the right thing when it comes down to it.

There are many different definitions for a philanthropist, but I like this one. Someone who makes charitable donations intended to increase human well-being. This post was inspired by reading a status update on someone's Facebook page. They were saying that they wanted to have more money so that they can be a philanthropist.

Certainly having a lot of money lets you make larger gifts for more people and causes, but I think that it's the intent and emotion behind the giving that makes someone a philanthropist. Not the amount of money. So regardless of your budget, if it's your intent to make donations to help your fellow humans, then you are a philanthropist.

One of the things that I do on this blog is fundraise for All Aboard The Arc! With the help of many people, I was able to raise a little over $500.00 this past spring. Also, when I have advertising or sponsored posts on this blog, I give a portion of that money to an organization that I believe in. While the amounts are small, I give what I can on a regular basis.

If you're looking to be a philanthropist on a budget, then here are 7 easy ways.
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1. Support Your Local Library ~ Most libraries have a "Friends of the library" group that you can join for a small amount of money each year. It helps the library put on different community programs and buy books, magazines, and other things that they need. I'm a Friend of the Thomas Crane Public Library in Quincy. I take out so many books and DVDs, that it is a big savings compared to renting or buying.

2. Join A Museum ~ Most museums offer annual memberships. If you are a member, usually you will get a discount on special exhibits and the museum gift shop if they have one. I used to be a member of the Museum of Fine Arts when I had more income and when the amount required was lower. It was well worth it, but us philanthropists on a budget can't do everything. I would like to be a member again when I can afford it.

3. Become A Monthly Sustainer ~ For a small amount each month, you can give a set amount to certain organizations. It makes it easier for them, because they don't have to keep asking you for money. It's easier for you to give, because the money is automatically deducted every month.The amount that I give is very small, but each month I give to WGBH, WBUR, and Community Servings. It makes me feel happy that I can do something to help them each month.

4. Become A Kiva Lender ~ I became a Kiva lender back in 2008. One of the cool things about joining Kiva is that your one donation can keep giving over and over again. You choose a person or group that you'd like to lend to. It's paid back over time, then you can lend it again to a new person. It's microfinancing, so for as little as $25.00, you can make a real difference in helping several small businesses over years. Many of the people helped are in other countries, but now you can even help small businesses in the United States.

5. Crowdfunding ~ You can help anyone who is trying to put together a business and raising money online. Most people know about crowdfunding through Kickstarter, but there are other organizations too. Most recently I helped fund the Taharka Brother's ice cream truck.

6. Save Your Money ~ If you save your money over a long period of time, like a year, you could give a larger donation than what you might normally be able to afford. As an incentive for each time that I exercise, I give myself a $2.00 tip and save it in a workout tip jar. After I do 100 workouts, I will have saved $200.00. I started last February and I'm still not there yet. *sigh* But I'm getting close and lost 10 pounds! If you do this, you could use it to attend a special benefit dinner or gala that you can normally never afford or give the money to your alumni association, another charity, etc.

7. Give To A Blog Fundraiser ~ This is totally self-serving. Many of your favorite bloggers raise money for causes that are important to them, including me. I've participated in bake sales to help raise money. There was the Bake Sale For Japan and the Bake Sale For Haiti.

Now, there is a Bake Sale For The Philippines. I haven't decided what I will bake yet. I will be baking either gingerbread or scones. These sweets will be auctioned off to the highest bidder and they will have their choice between the two. The online auction is next Thursday, November 21st. Bakers are still needed to donate baked goods and we will be looking for people to buy them as well.

The auction will run for 24 hours. All money raised from the bake sale will be donated to the American Red Cross Typhoon Appeal Fund or the World Food Programme (choice of auction winner where to donate).

I'm asking for your help. It's for a great cause and you could get a sweet treat in the mail. Whether you decide to support this cause or not, there are many worthy organizations ready to receive your philanthropy. Happy giving!

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