5 ways to budget for regular charity donations

Stories | December 17, 2020

2020 has impacted everyone in various different ways, from the bushfire crisis here in Australia, to the Black Lives Matter movement across the globe, all against the backdrop of a public health crisis and devastating economic recession. What has emerged from these multiple crises, however, is a sense of generosity. More people than ever are looking for new ways to give more to causes they care about. Today we’re sharing five handy ways to budget for regular charity donations, from our resident finance blogger, Emma.

Unfortunately, all of the disasters that 2020 has brought have disproportionately affected those living with disabilities, and even more so those living in poverty. At CBM Australia, it’s our mission to improve the lives of these most impacted individuals.

If you have the capacity to donate money, it’s actually one of the most powerful ways you can make a difference. One-off donations are great, and regular donations are even better. When a charity knows they’ve got a certain amount of people on a regular donation cycle, we can forecast better and make bolder moves because of the recurring income.

If you’ve been wanting to support CBM Australia by donating, here are five ways to make regular charity donations a part of your regular budget.

1. Donate a percentage of your salary

Donating a percentage of your annual salary is one of the easiest ways to ensure your financial growth continues to proportionately benefit the causes that matter most to you. When you donate a percentage, the amount you donate goes up when you earn more – so everybody wins.

Even one per cent will make a huge difference. If you earn $50,000 and you donated one per cent, that’s $500 a year that goes towards making a difference. Then, if you get promoted and earn $60,000, and then one day $80,000, your chosen charity(s) benefit from your increased wage, as that one per cent becomes $600, and then $800.

How you physically make that donation is up to you. Whether you save it up each month or donate one per cent of each paycheck in real time, find what works for you. You’ll notice that you very quickly become accustomed to living without that one per cent.

2. Sweep unused income each month

An alternative strategy if you don’t want to commit to a certain percentage is to sweep any unused spending money each month as a donation to CBM.

If you budget $200 for spending and the day before payday you’ve got $13.20 left, jump online and make a donation. Knowing payday is coming provides a nice element of positive reinforcement for your generosity, too.

3. Make spending swaps

If your income is a little more unpredictable, a fun way to get connected to your donations is to reconfigure your spending and make swaps. Let’s say you’re on your way to work and you think of grabbing a coffee. You could decide to skip that coffee and pay it forward instead, by moving that $5 into an account earmarked for your donations.

Read our other favourite spending swaps to help you donate

4. Match your spending

Another fun way to donate to charity if you’ve got a bit more flexibility in your income is to choose something you spend on, and commit to matching it with a donation every time you buy it.

For example, if you choose pizza, every time you order your favourite pizza, you donate the same amount in dollar value to CBM.

5. Include donations when giving gifts

Lots of us budget for birthday presents or holiday gifts each year, and an easy way to factor charity donations into this habit is to donate a percentage of your gift budget. You’ll be paying it forward for your gift recipient, and building regular giving into something you’re already used to spending on.

You can also choose from our range of meaningful gifts. These give context to where your money is going, and allow you to share a special moment with your gift recipient knowing that you’re both working together to help those in need. Gifts start at as little as $5, which can buy a replacement intraocular eye lens for someone with cataracts.

If regular charity donations aren’t achievable for you at the moment, keep an eye out for special donation days that you can support to make a difference. At CBM Australia, we fundraise for Miracles Day in August, and Giving Tuesday in December.

Charity donation tax deductions

Donations of over $2 to CBM Australia are tax deductible, meaning every time you donate to our programs, you can reduce your tax bill and support our communities of people living in poverty with disabilities at the same time.

CBM is a Christian international development organisation devoted to supporting people with disabilities living in the most disadvantaged areas of the world. Our focus is on ending poverty, advocating for more inclusive government policies, preventing avoidable blindness, and breaking the link between disability and poverty. Currently 80% of people with a disability longer live in poverty, and we say that’s simply not okay.

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