How Giving Your Time Can Sometimes Be More Impactful Than Your Money

We’ve all heard the saying “money talks,” and with the power to influence people, strengthen businesses in a community, and create lasting social change, that saying still holds.

But money isn’t the rarest resource we have or the asset often referred to as “more precious than gold.” 

The rarest resource we have and share is time.  

The unexpected truth is sometimes the impact of your time can be more transformative for a community than donating your dollars. 

Here are a few reasons why giving your time is a way to generate social impact.

We all have a limited amount of hours in a day.

How often have you heard the phrase, “I’d love to, but I just don’t have the time”? 

With work, household chores, familial obligations, and other time-guzzling responsibilities, our days are filled with important tasks and gatherings. 

By volunteering, you’re expressing that you believe what you’re doing is important enough to spend your limited currency of time. 

Imagine volunteering like a pop song. At first, it’s just another way to pass the time, humming along to the catchy tune. But then, a certain lyric or stanza strikes a chord in your heart, resonating deeply with a personal experience or feeling. Ultimately, the words become special, creating a profound connection in your memory forever. 

The same sentiment applies to the nonprofits or events you volunteer for as well. The time we spend outside our daily commitment shows what we value and appreciate. People notice where and how you spend your time and can be inspired to give their time generously as well. 

This benevolent snowball effect can lead to incredible social good in our community. 

Just look at the ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot – for over 33 years, Austinites have participated in this run and have raised nearly $5 million to end homelessness in Austin. This is only possible because of the 400+ volunteers who show up early on Thanksgiving day. 

Time is a resource accessible to all of us.

Financial limitations are real, and you may not be able to afford to donate money to the charity of your choice. 

Time, on the other hand, is a currency we all have, and it’s just as impactful for the organizations you share it with as giving your dollars. 

Hana Garner, Caritas of Austin’s Volunteer Coordinator, says volunteers are indispensable to nonprofits.

“Volunteers are vital to our mission of ending homelessness,” Garner said. “Without volunteers, our resources and time are finite, but by engaging the community to help, we can achieve our goals and more.” 

For instance, at Caritas of Austin, our volunteers have spent 14,850 hours with our organization this year. They prepare and serve meals in our Community Kitchen, provide administrative support to our programs, or work directly with clients. Throughout 2023, their service hours add up to an astounding economic impact of $260,138. 

Your time matters, and wherever you spend it can create a metamorphic change in your community. With your support, we can make our city stronger and more vibrant for all!

If you’re looking for ways to make a difference in your community by sharing your time, check out these volunteer opportunities: