Cheap, easy ways to give back
It's that time of year when doing good is en vogue. Salvation Army bell-ringers greet shoppers. Volunteers line up to serve food to the less fortunate. And local fire stations make calls for donations.
While it seems as if corporations make the biggest donations, it's everyday Americans who keep charities afloat. Last year, charitable giving totaled $335.17 billion, with $267.7 billion of that coming from individuals, according to the Giving USA Foundation.
Despite growth in charitable contributions, however, overall giving is not yet surpassing the pre-recession peak of 2007, when total giving approached $350 billion. However, a strong stock market has resulted in most of the increases in donations coming from individuals over the past four years. Giving USA says it believes charitable donations may reach 2007 levels in 2015.
You don't have to possess the wealth of Bill Gates to make a difference; every little bit helps when it comes to charitable donations.
Here are some quick ways to give back on a budget.