This post first appeared on Refinery29

How To Fit Giving Into Your Budget — No Matter How Much Money You Make

Feeling like a financially-responsible adult — one who has their debt handled, who knows how to responsibly wield a credit card, and who saves money (and leverages interest) every month — sometimes sounds more like fiction than an attainable reality. This is especially true for those living in an expensive city and struggling to find their professional footing. And, amid all of these opposing financial forces, it’s no surprise that charitable giving easily falls between the cracks.
Giving and participating in philanthropy is often regarded as an activity reserved for the wealthy. “This is a conventional narrative, but it’s not the whole story,” says Andrea Pactor, interim director at the Women’s Philanthropy Institute. “The reality is that people donate their time, talent, treasure, and testimony in many ways, every day, in all communities across income, race, gender, sexual preference,” Pactor says. “And sometimes people don’t recognize that what they’re doing really is what we call voluntary action for the public good.”
Millennials face a myriad of economic challenges and as a result they don’t give all that much money to charity, but at the same time they are transforming the way society understands philanthropy. By and large, millennials prefer to donate clothes, food, goods, and their time instead of cash. When they do donate funds, phenomena like online giving — made easy through platforms like Facebook’s charitable giving tool or Amazon Smile — have played a huge role. Today, millennials account for 33% of donors on crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe or YouCaring.

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