There are a lot of people in need around the world. You probably hear about this all the time from the news, and you may be wondering what you can do to help. Perhaps it has crossed your mind to start giving to charities in the hope of helping somehow. 

Charitable organizations are always in need of support and funding. No matter who you are, you would be doing a great service by giving. And it is feasible for anyone to do, even if you are a college student or a devout Muslim who uses Muslim Pro for your daily prayers.

If you’ve been thinking about setting aside part of your budget to give to charity, here are some tips that might help.

Reevaluate your priorities

Giving to charity is a long-term commitment, so you have to rationalize this for yourself before making any moves. It’s not just a one-time donation but a financial decision that will come at the cost of other regular expenses. You will have to go through your normal spending habits and reevaluate which of these really matter and which you can forego. 

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In the beginning, you do not immediately have to cross out any of your current expenses yet. You just have to list them down and think more carefully about how you would justify each expense and why it is set to a certain amount. It’s a good start to order them by the cost and then to separate essential and necessities from personal purchases.

Start budgeting your income

Coming in with a more critical mind is the perfect way to start budgeting your expenses moving forward. Usually, this depends on when you get your income, but most people budget either weekly or monthly. This is an important step before deciding on what you will give to charity because this determines if you can realistically afford to do so.

It’s worth noting that this should not become an excuse to forego budgeting for charity if you find that all of your funds are accounted for. Instead, it is an opportunity to make adjustments to your spending so that you can allocate a portion of your money. At this point, you can recognize some of the daily life changes that may be necessary to make giving financially viable.

For example, you may want to spend less on clothes, or you could save energy to reduce your electric bills. You could also cut down on meals by opting for seasonal produce, or if you order often, you could try cooking meals to last the week instead. It’s never a bad idea to practice prudence no matter what the reason.

Set aside a percentage

While setting your budget for the month, you will probably wonder how much is a good amount to give to charity. For some, this might raise personal doubts about whether or not the amount that you can give is even enough to make a difference, but this thought process can be demotivating. A much better way to view it is to allocate a percentage of your finances for charity, so you can better appreciate its value relative to how much you actually make.

This really isn’t a novel idea especially if you are religious. A good example is the principle of Zakah for Muslims who are called to donate 2.5% of their wealth. Being devout in your daily prayers with the help of the Muslim Pro app is just one way to express your faith, so it’s important to make giving to charity a habit as well.

Apart from the religious aspect, giving based on percentage is also practical overall since it allows you to give relative to your current circumstances. If you happen to make more or less this month compared to your last salary, you can adjust your donation amount so that it reflects your present situation. 

Choose where to donate

At first, this can seem very daunting when there are thousands of charities with a plethora of advocacies to choose from. You might initially decide based on what you think seems most urgent, but you may be overwhelmed by what various sectors need. You cannot help all of that with your donations alone, but that should not stop you from giving.

Instead, discern what advocacies you feel for more personally. Perhaps you feel strongly about the environment and sustainability, or you wish to support scholarships and educational development. Wherever you give does not diminish the impact that you are making through your generosity.

The feeling after giving to charity the first time is wonderful and fulfilling. It’s like you’re doing your part to make the world a better place. However, the understated part of this is doing so on a regular basis. As mentioned earlier, budgeting for charity is a commitment, and it takes real passion and discipline to set aside for it every time.

There may come times that you truly cannot afford to give to charity, and these moments cannot be helped. If that is the case, another way to give is through action and service. You may find that most charities could also use the extra hands. Serving these sectors, advocacies, and organizations can do just as much good for the community as the money that you donate.