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How to Give Back While on a Budget: Four Charitable Giving Tips

The words Give Back hanging on chain

When your finances are tight, it can be hard to fit charitable giving into your budget. However, it’s important to remember that giving back to charity doesn’t always mean donating money. There are plenty of ways to do good and support causes that are near and dear to your heart but don’t involve breaking the bank.

Donate your stuff

Cleaning up your attic, basement, or even the hall closet can yield items that you can donate to someone in need. While gathering things to donate, make sure each item is in good condition. Check clothing for stains and tears, test electronics and appliances to make sure they work properly, and/or make sure you have all the pieces or parts to kids toys and games. If you’re planning to donate items from your pantry, make sure the expiration dates haven’t passed or aren’t immediately upcoming.

When donating items to charity, be sure to get a receipt listing each item. When tax time rolls around, you can request a tax deduction for your charitable donations, but you will need receipts to prove your claim.

Shop at the right places

In the age of corporate social responsibility, many businesses now donate a portion of proceeds to charities. For example, AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to a charitable organization of your choice. Websites like Goodshop have a portal of participating stores, like Nike and Crate & Barrel, and contributes an average of 3 to 4% of your purchase to the charity you choose. Whole Foods gives you the option to donate your five-cent reusable bag credits to a local organization. Do a search or check with the places you shop at regularly to see if they offer any opportunities to donate as part of your purchase.

Donate your time

If you have the time but not the money, consider organizing a drive to gather donations for a non-profit. Food drives can be organized at your work, your child’s school, or various places within in your neighborhood. You can also raise funds for charity through social media, like donating your birthday via Facebook or participating in a sponsored walk. Of course, you can always volunteer a few hours of your time to local organizations as well, whether that’s helping at an event or just cleaning up around the facility.

Put your cash back to good use

Use your rewards debit card and you will receive 1.00% cash back on all purchases.1 Taking the cash back at the end of each month and putting that towards a charity of your choice is a way to capitalize on the benefits at Radius.

1 The Debit Card Rewards Program (Cash Back Rewards) will provide 1.00% cash-back on all Qualified Purchases made by eligible Rewards Checking account holders if the account holder does any of the following; meet the requirements, is grandfathered in, or keeps an average balance of $2,500 or greater within the calendar month in their Rewards Checking Account, or receives total deposits of $2,500 or more in their Rewards Checking account via qualifying Direct Deposit within the month. Qualifying Direct Deposits are Automated Clearing House (ACH) credits, which may include payroll, pension or government payments (such as Social Security) by your employer, or an outside agency. Radius Bank may require documentation to verify that credits are Qualifying Direct Deposits. The value of this reward may constitute taxable income to you. You may be issued an Internal Revenue Service Form 1099 (or other appropriate form) to you that reflects the value of such reward. Please consult your tax adviser, as Radius Bank does not provide tax advice. Qualified Purchases include signature-based purchases made with a Radius Bank Debit Card tied to a Rewards Checking account enrolled in the Debit Card Rewards program. These are “credit” purchases that can be made in stores and online. To make a signature-based purchase, select “credit” rather than debit at point-of-sale kiosks. The “credit” option is most often pre-selected when making purchases online using a debit card. Online subscription payments may not be considered signature-based purchases. The payment transaction type (signature-based or other) is ultimately decided by the merchant and how the transaction is transmitted to Radius Bank at the time of processing. We reserve the right to determine if a transaction was a Qualified Purchase, and to establish additional types of Qualified Purchases that could be made available in a variety of ways. Any goods or services purchased with the Radius Bank Debit Card that are returned or otherwise credited to your Account are not qualified purchases. Unlawful purchases and purchases of currency, cash or cash equivalents (including, without limitation, currency from the U.S. Mint, Travelers Cheques, gift cards, Cryptocurrency, Casino Chips, Peer to Peer Payments, prepaid debit cards, account openings, loan payments, or other cash equivalents) made with your Radius Bank Debit Card are not Qualified Purchases. We may require you to provide documentation to validate that certain purchases are Qualified Purchases. Radius Bank reserves the right to modify or discontinue this program at any time. Your enrolled account must remain open, active, and in good standing to participate in the program, meaning: No NSF (non-sufficient funds) items during the preceding twelve calendar months in your checking account (regardless of the type of checking account). An eFunds check must show no negative history in the preceding twelve months and all monthly servicing fees must have been paid in full for the 12 preceding months. Radius Bank reserves the right to modify the description of “good standing” at any time. If you or the Bank closes your account for any reason before the end of the statement cycle, you will forfeit all rewards accrued through your linked Debit Card during that statement cycle.

About the author

Rebecca Arcand

As the Marketing and Design Specialist at LendingClub, Rebecca makes understanding finances simple for the Millennial generation. Focusing on how to set up different accounts or how to save, Rebecca is an experienced financial mentor giving you advice that will make a difference.