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How to Give Back When You Don't Have Much*

*comparatively speaking, of course!

Kahina Giving Beauty—with Katharine L’Heureux at the helm—gives back in a big way to the Berber women of Morocco who produce our oil. Kahina Giving Beauty also partners with other programs when special opportunities or needs present themselves- East Side Girls Club, International Rescue Committee, Breakthrough… the list goes on.

Working for a company with a philanthropic mission is rewarding in and of itself, but it’s also a reminder for me to give back in my own personal way. A little about me: I’m in my 20s, live in a borough that is not Manhattan, with a roommate, on a modest budget. I’m not hurting, just saying it’s tempting to feel like you don’t have money to spare ITE, but um, if you can buy the occasional Ladurée macaron, I assure you, you do.

BUT HOW?!, you may ask. Here’s my strategy to giving back, on a budget.

  1. Think about some causes that fire you up or otherwise move you.
  2. Do some research on organizations that (a) address those causes (b) give as much as possible back to the actual cause (i.e. low administration costs), and ideally (c) are tax deductible. Or just get stopped on the street by canvassers. That works too. Just kidding. That’s not entirely recommended unless you are already familiar with the work they do.
  3. PICK TWO** of them.
  4. GIVE! ***

** I picked two last year and I plan to pick two different ones this year. This way, I get to give back to all sorts of causes that matter to me, just not all at the same time. I don’t count giving back to my alma mater for whatever reason.

*** This is the exciting part because organizations now offer the possibility of a monthly contribution. Yes, please! Money is automatically deducted every month, and by the end of the year you’ve given a substantial amount without noticing a huge difference in your bank account… because it’s so gradual, you see?

Oh hey, and guess what, come tax season (aka NOW) you can give yourself a pat on the back and a deduction based on your contributions.

That was so easy and rewarding, wasn’t it?

Where will YOU give?

p.s. for anyone who cares, I gave to the Human Rights Campaign and Planned Parenthood last year. This year I’m looking into NYC homeless shelters, literacy programs, and (heeding Jimmy Wales’ appeal) Wikipedia.

p.p.s. OF COURSE TIME- AKA VOLUNTEERING- COUNTS! Giving back can be free! And arguably much more rewarding.

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