The acts of philanthropy that make the news aren’t small acts of kindness. They’re the ones that include five or six-figure sums of money donated in a lump sum to a charity, usually by someone in the limelight. Acts such as donating cases upon cases of water and money to Flint, Michigan during its water crisis or giving 100,000 chickens to various areas around the world that thrive on livestock are the ones that reach the press and capture headlines.
What Difference Would it Make?
These charitable deeds wind up helping thousands upon thousands of people around the world who need it the most. But they also set the bar high for the average man or woman who may not have the money to cut a five, four, or even three-figure check to a charity of their choice. They may then conclude the smaller donations won’t really make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things.
This fallacy could prevent people from donating at all, thinking that when compared to a larger sum of money, their $20 or $50 donation would make no difference. The sentiment of “what difference would it really make” is often seen come around during the political season, when some refuse to vote because of the idea that one vote won’t matter.
Quite a Difference
In the above example of casting a vote, people often fail to recognize that getting out to vote is what drives a democracy–it’s everyone’s combined vote that lets us choose our next president. The same goes for charitable donations! Even small donations–anything from the minimum that a charity will accept (often put in place due to associated surcharges and fees) to whatever you can afford can add up over time. Whether you give a recurring donation, even just 10 dollars out of your paycheck each week, or a one time, 50 dollar gift, these can go a much longer way than you anticipate.
Before you hesitate to take five or ten dollars out of your paycheck, or deduct 50 dollars from your bank account for the sake of a charity, think about this: what if everyone at your company did that? If you work somewhere that has even 100 employees, a $10 per week donation turns into $1,000 given every week! Over the course of a year, you and your coworkers will have donated $52,000 to people in need.
Small Donations, Big Impact
The No Kid Hungry campaign, a nonprofit that helps to provide meals for hungry children in America, can provide 10 meals for every dollar they receive. Books for Africa turns a $1 donation into two textbooks shipped to school-aged children in Africa. Doctors Without Borders can give 15 children the incredibly important measles vaccine for just $6.
These numbers may seem low, but they’re much more common than you may think. They are, however, perfect illustrations of how small donations can make a big, big difference in the lives of those who need it.