How You (and Your Wealth) Can Make a Difference

Investing and Retirement Planning

In 2018 (the most recent year government statistics were reported), 77.4 million Americans volunteered their time to nonprofit organizations.Disclosure 1 That same year, we gave over $430 billion to charitable causes.Disclosure 2

We are, by and large, an incredibly generous nation. But being generous with your time, talents, and wealth is about much more than reaping tax benefits or garnering public praise. It’s about stepping up to make a positive impact on the lives of others. Giving and volunteering can be an emotionally healthy and rewarding outlet; so how can you become more engaged? It's easy to get started.

1. List one cause or nonprofit organization that’s important to you

Have you personally been impacted by a specific cause? Do you feel strongly about improving the lives of others who are part of a certain group? If nothing else, think of one thing you’re truly passionate about—maybe a campaign that battles a particular illness or fights hunger—and there’s most likely an organization out there dedicated to that need.

2. Identify three things they need to be more successful

Nonprofits are always in need of support—and this doesn't necessarily mean money. Maybe they need volunteers, donated supplies, or simply greater community outreach to help them spread awareness. Talk to someone at the organization and jot down their specific needs.

3. Determine one way you can give your time and talent

Take a look at the three things your cause needs. Which area do you most identify with? What about your unique talents or expertise would most benefit the organization? You might have great organizational skills, or have free time to pitch in preparing meals during the weekends. Whatever contribution you feel most confident about, put it into action.

4. Identify one way you can financially support the cause

You don't have to be fabulously wealthy to be philanthropic. The best approach is to have a plan in place, such as putting an allotted amount from upcoming paychecks into a separate account. You could even open a donor advised fund dedicated to supporting all the causes and opportunities that come up throughout the year. Keep your donations small, if need be. The satisfaction of helping out will still feel the same. Many times organizations gain more benefit by smaller, routine donations such as a monthly gift, rather than larger annual or one-time donations.

Looking for ways to make a more profound charitable impact?

Contact a Truist Wealth Advisor.