Individual Philanthropy: 3 Easy Ways to Start Giving Back

on January 12, 2021

Looking for more ways to do good and give back?

Small stack of one dollar bills

Give it Back Now, Ya’ll

Did you know that 84% of Millennials give to charities, which is more than any other generational group?

The world of giving and philanthropy has changed dramatically in recent years. With the ease of digital donating along with the expectation of transparency brought by the proliferation of the internet, nonprofits are in a position that pretty much requires them to disclose more and more details surrounding their work and where donors’ dollars are being directed. Donors want to know: How is my donation directly affecting the cause or community?

So how do you figure out the best way to use your hard-earned dollars for good?

1% for the Planet

One way to be sure your donation dollars are going to well-vetted groups and causes is to become a1% for the Planet member. They launched an individual giving program, connecting members to awesome nonprofits like Oceanic Global and Plastic Pollution Coalition for smart, environmentally-focused giving. (Psst… Open Water is a member).

Giving Back Through Everyday Purchases

Another interesting approach comes from online shopping mainstay Amazon in the form of Amazon Smile. While we’re all (hopefully) aiming to support local businesses when we can, most of us still buy stuff on Amazon from time to time, right? So why not give a little too? Amazon Smile is easy to join and connects directly to your Amazon account. While logged in, 0.5% of your eligible purchase total is automatically donated to a charity of your choice. Available charities help causes from education to sustainability to animal rights and health services, so you’re bound to find a cause that resonates with you. Non-profits have received a cumulative $183 million through this program. Prettttaayy, pretty good.

Impact Investing

Lastly, if you’d like to better the world and your finances (and are able to play the long game), impact investing could be the path to take. As the corporate world becomes more and more conscious of social responsibility, various investing options have emerged to fill this gap. Rather than being donation-based, these avenues focus on connecting individuals with cause-minded businesses and ventures for impact investing: helping you find companies addressing the planet’s most urgent problems. Some examples include Green Century Fund, which specialize in sustainability, or the SRI (Socially Responsible Investing) Portfolio at Betterment, which empowers you to invest without compromising your morals. These options let you support businesses who are supporting issues that are important to you...and potentially get paid back for your support down the road.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and do some good!

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