smart spending

6 cheap easy ways to donate to charity

More bang for your buck
More bang for your buck

You know what goes even further than $1? Two dollars. Multiply your donation by seeking out matching donations. Many companies will match their employees' donations dollar-for-dollar or even more, says Miniutti. Typically the only requirement is easy paperwork, so the company can confirm the charity's 501(c)(3) tax status and the employee's donation.

"It's the perfect way to give more by giving less," Miniutti says.

If you're interested in giving overseas, then you'll be happy to know the dollar you can spare will still make a big difference in poorer countries, says Holden Karnofsky, co-executive director at charity research website GiveWell. For example, a nickel is enough to supply a child sick with diarrhea with a lifesaving packet of nutrients, according to the GiveWell website, which has researched and identified the best-performing charities so you don't have to.

Another way to make a contribution go further is to pool money together from a group. Ask family and friends to donate to a charity in lieu of gifts for a birthday, anniversary or holiday, Yunker says. Or, collect $5 from officemates to sponsor a hungry child for a year or buy holiday gifts for a family in need in your own community.

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