Short on cash? Charities value your time, too

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It's the season of giving. And while your generosity knows no bounds, your budget does. But there are ways to support your favorite nonprofit without spending a dime.

Volunteer. Your time is worth a lot to organizations. Independent Sector, a coalition of charities, foundations, corporations and individuals, estimated the value of a volunteer hour at $24.69 nationally in 2017. In Washington, the value was $30.46. But for some organizations, that hour is priceless.

“Without volunteers, we just simply couldn't do it,” said Stefanie Bruno, director of development and communications for the Women & Children's Free Restaurant & Community Kitchen in Spokane. There, about 150 people help each week, usually for 3.5 hours each shift.

Share the love. Help your favorite nonprofit by getting the word out. “Advocate for us,” said Cal Coblentz, CEO of Spokane Valley Partners, which works to prevent hunger and poverty.

Like and follow your favorite nonprofits on social media and share their posts. If there's an event, share the details. Peer-to-peer engagement is essential to getting the word out, Coblentz said.

Shop. Make an impact with what you buy. Some stores will link rewards programs with donations. And Amazon will give 0.5 percent of your spending to the nonprofit of your choice if you shop at smile.amazon.com.

Tesh, a Coeur d'Alene organization that provides job training to people with disabilities, takes advantage of programs like that. “It's one of those every-little-bit-helps things,” said Terri Johnson, the nonprofit's vice president.

Learn more about nonfinancial ways to give ? and find more articles and videos about personal finance on STCU's financial education blog.

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