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6 tips for charitable giving on the cheap

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Shopping is loaded with opportunities for charitable giving.

Avid online shoppers can turn a portion of their purchases into cash donations. Ebates.com members can donate the cash-back rebates they've accumulated by shopping online to a nonprofit. Shop through the GiveSmart program at iGiveSmart.com, and the site's retail partners give a percentage of the purchase amount directly to the charity you choose.

You can often use your retail rewards and discount cards to funnel a little bit of cheddar to your favorite charities as well. Grocery retailers such as Meijer and Kroger have community rewards programs. Customers link their store card to a favorite charity, which receives a small donation every time they shop.

Credit card rewards can be donated, too. Many rewards credit cards give users the option to donate some or all of their points to a nonprofit. American Express, Discover, Visa and MasterCard all allow cardholders to use points and rebates to make charitable donations.

"It's easy to think these kinds of modest contributions won't make a dent, but no amount is too small," Boles says. "They're anything but small to those who need our help."


 

 

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