5 Ways To Be Charitable Without Spending Money
There are many people who would like to donate money to charity, but just aren’t in the position to do so. That is more than understandable — and the emphasis on financial responsibility is commendable. But you don’t have to feel like a miserly curmudgeon (or just plain down about your finances) when you ignore fundraising solicitations. If you use the things you can give freely to be charitable, you’ll keep both your heart and your wallet full.
1. Learn to Knit
If you can knit or sew, there are a number of charities that can use your homemade items. These include Leggings for Life, The Snuggles Project, Afghans for Afghans, and Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation.1 While some of these charities give to animals and some give to humans, they all give to good causes!
2. Volunteer Your Time
People who are free to give their time can contact their local children’s hospital, hospice, homeless shelter, senior center, animal shelter or any other group that’s directly involved in charity work (as opposed to just fundraising). All of these groups have various needs that volunteers can fill. If you’d like to find volunteering opportunities that match your interests, search for them online. A website like Volunteer Match can help! 2
3. Give Things You Don’t Need
Whether it’s clothing, household items, or even your own hair, there are many charities that can put unused and unwanted donations to use. Or, if you’re so inclined, you can regularly donate blood or plasma. Plasma donations can be made more frequently than blood donations, and donors with type O blood are prime candidates for donation since their blood is universally compatible with all blood types.2
4. Use a Charity Credit Card
Using a credit card to pay for things you already buy can earn rewards that go directly to a charity of your choice. As with anything involving credit cards, you should closely review the rates and terms involved to make sure it is worthwhile. You can also just use cash back rewards cards and donate the cash back. Sometimes the amount of money you receive back will exceed the amount a charity credit card will donate for you.3
5. Utilize Online Tools
There are a variety of online opportunities for you to be charitable. You can search the web using the search engine SearchKindly — which will then donate on your behalf to create libraries for under-served schools. You can play educational games on Free Rice, which donates ten grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Programme for each question you answer correctly. You can shop with Good Shop which will give a percentage of your sale to a charity of your choosing. And you can read public domain books out loud while recording your voice for LibriVox, which will make your recording available to the public as a free audio book.2
1Harness, J. (2011, December 21) 12 ways you can support charities without donating money. Retrieved June 8, 2015 from http://mentalfloss.com/article/29549/12-ways-you-can-support-charities-without-donating-money
2 Ravenscraft, E. (2013, October 22). How can I contribute to charities without donating money?. Retrieved June 8, 2015 from http://www.lifehacker.com/how-can-i-contribute-to-charities-without-donating-mone-1450001098
3 Saxon, H. (2015 March). 60 seconds on charity credit cards. Retrieved June 8, 2015 from http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/credit-cards/charity-cards