04/25/2011 05:20 pm ET Updated Jun 25, 2011

Making A Difference: The World of Giving

Many of us wonder daily what we can possibly do to help nonprofit organizations especially in this depressed economy and if one's charitable budget is limited. In this depressed economic environment some of us are struggling to find ways to continue helping our favorite charitable organization.

Here are five recommendations and tips on easy ways to Make A Difference:

  • The first recommendation is to add a tagline to all your outgoing email messages. Assuming you are not prohibited from doing this by your employer or that you have a personal email address, you can add information about your favorite charity in the signature block. This could include facts about the organization, its mission, history and goals, stories about people who have benefited from being associated with the nonprofit as well as the date and location of the annual gala, walk-a-thon, etc. Think of how many emails you send each day. What an incredibly easy way to make a difference!
  • The second tip is to consider purchasing an extra book of stamps the next time you go to the post office. Buy one for your usage and give the "extra" one to your favorite charitable organization!
  • A third way to assist is when you are shopping. Many stores offer a "buy one, get one free" incentive to its shoppers. If you are able to do so, give the "free" one to your favorite nonprofit organization. Items such as coffee, creamer, sugar, paper towels, toilet paper, Kleenex, garbage bags, etc. are always needed and appreciated!
  • A fourth recommendation is specifically targeted to business owners. The next time your staff orders a box of paper, order a second one and have it sent to your favorite charity. Nonprofit organizations always need paper for the printers and copier!
  • Finally, commit to talking to one person each week about the charity that means the most to you. Tell them what the organization does to affect change and how you became involved. Story telling is an easy way to make a difference!

Bonus Tip: And last, if you are receiving a tax refund this year from the government, consider donating part or all of it to your favorite charity. My mom always said, "You can't spend what you don't have" and tax refunds can be seen as money you don't currently other words, it is "found" money!

So now you know how to help your favorite charity even in tough economic times. These are six easy and relatively painless ways to be involved in the philanthropic world even when your charitable budget has been battered!

Remember, by doing any of the recommendations in this blog, you will definitely be M.A.D. (Making A Difference)! Are you M.A.D. today?