“It’s only for the rich.”

car donationThis is the most common misconception about philanthropy. The truth is that being a philanthropist doesn’t require you to be part of a particular social class. You don’t have to join the ranks of Oprah, Warren Buffet, and Bill Gates before you respond to the needs of those less fortunate than you.

Just remember the rule, “A little help can go a long way.” Given that you are short of resources, you need to stop being idealistic for a while and think small—find a way or two that will help make your community a better place to live in.

Here are some ideas:

Support Social Entrepreneurs

If you cannot dedicate time to take part in different charity events, be a philanthropist while shopping. You may choose to buy from establishments that support a cause. Typically, these businesses are mom-and-pop style stores whose owners take the initiative to give back to the community.

Hold a Garage Sale or Join Auction Organizers

If you have some time over the weekend, why not hold a garage sale? You may also choose to join auction organizers. Donate the money you earn from these endeavors to a chosen family or organization.

Give Away Your Old Items

Get in touch with your local charities if you want to donate your old clothes, books, furniture, or appliances. If you have an old car sitting in the garage and you are willing to let it go, Cars for MADD says you can donate it to a charity that needs additional vehicles.


Your time is still the most invaluable form of donation. If you really don’t have the money, join feeding and educational programs. Be part of the organizing committee or lend whatever you have that may help the charity.

Being a philanthropist doesn’t always require you to shell out a big amount of money. Just think outside of the box. And always remember that it’s the thought that counts.