Making regular donations to a worthy cause is high on many people’s list of important goals. Donations benefit the community, but research also shows that people feel happier when they donate. Sometimes it is challenging to find those extra dollars to use for charitable donations. Several strategies are available to make sure donation dollars are found.

Plan for Donations

Once a decision is made to prioritize charitable donations, planning will make saving for charitable donations an attainable goal. Instead of setting a particular dollar amount, determining a percentage of the monthly budget to donate may be more realistic. A percentage figure ensures giving still happens even during the lean months.

Additional planning options include opening a savings account specifically for donations and establishing automated transfers to that account. An automated process takes the monthly decision making out of the picture.

Alternative Ways to Make Donations

Several organizations make charitable contributions when consumers purchase their products. Companies using this method include Warby Parker, Uncommon Good, TOMS Shoes, Chewy, and Gymboree.

Regular exercise is part of many people’s days, and apps, like Charity Miles and WoofTrax Walk for a Dog, make charitable donations for every mile covered. Alternatively, friends and family can sponsor participation in an athletic event.

Several apps help consumers round up purchases and use the extra money for charity. GiveTide and RoundUp are examples of these apps.

Many consumers take extra coins to the supermarket and use Coinstar’s counting machines. Coinstar offers a Coins that Count charity option as one way to use these coins. Trips to the supermarket could also provide another way to support a charity, since extra food or household items can be donated to food banks.

Get the Most for Your Money

Employers want to show social responsibility and support local communities. Several employers match employee donations, and this is an excellent way to double your gift. Individuals can check with their company’s Human Resource Department to see if their employer matches charitable donations.

Budgeting for regular charitable donations is possible. However, sometimes those extra dollars are just not available. When that happens there are alternate ways to support charities including volunteering time, offering expertise, and asking others to give. Any of these methods will continue to support a worthy charity.