There are some charities that claim they need volunteers every bit as much as they need money to make their efforts successful. So if you don't have much money, give the gift of your time and care by volunteering. (By the way, if you, as a volunteer, have out-of-pocket expenses, including transportation costs, these may be tax-deductible.)
The UPS Foundation published a national survey on volunteerism in 1998. The major finding of the survey was that volunteers are more likely to donate time when they believe that their time will be used effectively. Around 40 percent of the people who responded to the survey said they had stopped volunteering because the charity with which they worked made poor use of their time. Nonprofits say they have made progress in recruiting and managing volunteers but still consider it one of the most significant challenges they face.
You don't have to find an organized charity in order to do something important. You can buy a pizza and take it to a family whose parents are out of work. Or donate a book to your local library, take your newspapers to the recycling bin or read to an elderly friend who lives alone. After all, they say that charity (or philanthropy) begins at home.
For more information on philanthropy and related topics, check out the links on the next page.