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How to Give Back While Making Money

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Doing good isn’t just for those who can afford to write big checks and it doesn’t have to mean adding extra unpaid hours to your already hectic schedule. 

By Jenny Hoff

While giving money and volunteering time to causes are great ways to be a part of your community and help others who are less fortunate, they’re not the only ways you can be a change-maker. Doing good isn’t just for those who can afford to write big checks and it doesn’t have to mean adding extra unpaid hours to your already hectic schedule. There are many people who have found ways to make a change and a profit at the same time. In fact, the extra incentive of income can make your impact bigger and keep you dedicated to the cause in times of financial strain. Here are some ways you can earn money while giving back. 

1. OFFER A SERVICE THE COMMUNITY NEEDS. 

Education and motivation are two things that can help people drastically change their lives and the lives of their families and friends. Rachel Campbell, owner of Fit4Mom Sunset Valley, dreamed of changing the trajectory of what postpartum issues look and feel like for moms through fitness and food coaching, and she wanted to create a space for women to share their honest journeys through motherhood. “Starting a business was a nonnegotiable,” she says. “I was going through a divorce and needed to support my son. To be able to do that while creating an amazing community of moms who support each other makes me feel very fortunate.” If you are passionate about nutrition, mental health or myriad other causes, consider selling coaching services, hosting a conference or creating online programs to reach the people who are looking for the change and support you can offer. 

2. CREATE A PRODUCT WITH A MESSAGE. 

When Shannon Wolfson decided to leave the anchor desk at KXAN-TV to spend more time with her husband, she knew her next career move would have to align with her belief in spreading more kindness in the world. With that mission in mind, she created Olive & Auger, a clothing and accessories business. Every Olive & Auger product is stamped with Wolfson’s message to be a good human. “It was born out of my feeling helpless to stop the meanness in our society today, the divisive nature of things,” she says. “Starting a business that puts a little good into the world and being able to control my time is really a dream come true.” Whether you care about animal rights, literacy or any cause you feel needs more attention, you can find ways to spread your message with products  people will love. 

3. SOLVE A PROBLEM. 

There are countless stories of people who invented things to help populations that weren’t being served, like the mom in Michigan who couldn’t find a coat for her daughter in a wheelchair, so she created one. Now other families with the same need have a great coat option. It  doesn’t have to be complicated to be impactful. There may be a problem you can solve too. 

4. GET PAID TO SPEAK OR WRITE ABOUT THE CAUSE. 

Companies often have budgets allotted for speakers to inspire and educate their organizations. Create an outline of topics you can talk about that need more attention and reach out to businesses, governmental institutions and other organizations to offer your services. If you’re more of a writer, create a pitch for magazines or websites to write about a topic you care about. Publications and websites are always looking for new content, and you just may have an angle that could benefit them, you and the people you want to help. 

Don’t make a lack of money or time a reason to not rally for a cause you care about. There are hundreds of ways you can help change your community—and change your life. 


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