Over the past few years, I’ve committed to my favorite charities and causes by changing my donations from end-of-year or once-in-a-while to an automated recurring monthly contribution. I’ve learned that it’s a really solid, easy way to help organizations and non-profits more meaningfully, without even donating more money.
Unless you want to of course.
Here are a few quick reasons to consider making recurring monthly contributions to your favorite charities:
Related: 10 voting rights organizations making sure our votes count
How Monthly Giving Helps Your Favorite Causes and Charities
Monthly giving provides a reliable income stream.
This helps the organization assess their budgets month-to-month. With more accurate financial projections, they can better plan out their initiatives through the year with less waste. And it really helps them keep the good work going during slower times.
Monthly giving allows organizations to act immediately in case of an urgent event.
With steady donations every month, humanitarian relief organizations like Doctors Without Borders or World Central Kitchen can mobilize as soon as there’s a need. National Women’s Law Center or the NAACP Legal Defense Fund can respond immediately and fight back against unconstitutional policies or voter suppression, right as as it happens. Even your local humane society, your school PTA, and other community organizations can always use that money for unexpected needs.
Monthly giving helps you feel more engaged with the cause.
At a time that so many of us feel so powerless against so many massive challenges, like the attack on Ukraine, giving always helps me feel a little more empowered. Like I’m doing something.
But I’ve realized that when I know I’m a monthly contributor to an organization, I’m more apt to follow and respond to their social media feeds, look up news articles about the work they’re doing, and generally feel more invested in the outcomes. It’s kind of amazing, actually.
You may even get access to special benefits and little thank you gifts — my kids have always loved our annual Nature Conservancy calendar.
You won’t miss the money when a little goes out every month.
As with the savings tip I learned from my dad, “pay yourself first,” when you have a donation amount that you can afford automatically deducted from your bank account or credit card (earn those miles!) each month, you don’t even notice it. It just becomes another expense in your budget and whether it’s $10 or $100 or more, you learn to subtract that from your monthly net.
So while you may not feel that $10/month, it really adds up over the course of the year for the charity you support.
Monthly giving cuts down on further requests for donations.
While this is probably the least of your worries in a crisis, we all get inundated with texts, emails, and snail mail from so many causes — it can cause burnout or resentment and actually make us less likely to give again. (Admit it, haven’t you ever unsubscribed from a good cause because you just couldn’t handle all the follow-up requests?) When you give monthly, you generally get moved to a different list, which not only minimizes the correspondence you get, it actually saves your organization money in not having to keep mailing or calling you through the year.
Of course, giving just once is a great thing too. But hey, if you can do it twelve times…even better.
Top image: Katt Yukawa on Unsplash