Giving back by donating to a charitable cause that you’re passionate about is a perfect way to inject some positivity into your day, and into that of those you’re helping. When we think of helping charity, we usually think of cash donations. With so many great causes out there to get behind, donating to all the charities you care about could become an expensive endeavour. So it’s great that you can still do your bit without having to part with a penny. We look at free ways to donate to charity. In spirit of ‘Random Acts of Kindness’, why not give one of our six ideas a go?
1. Give blood
The majority of us are medically able give blood, though there are some who are not eligible to donate on health grounds. If the sight of blood or needles makes you more than a little squeamish, you may want to give this one a miss. However, if you’re eligible and up for it, this week is as good a time as any to go and donate. Not enough of us do it and over 6,000 donations are needed every day to cover patients’ needs.
Find your local centre here and sign up for a slot. Donating blood typically takes 15 minutes and you also get a nice condolence prize at the end – tea and biscuits!
As, all being well, your appointment should only take around 15 minutes, this is an easy one to do on your lunch break. You can also arrange for the ‘bloodmobile’ to visit your workplace if there are enough of you who want to donate, which makes it even more convenient.
2. Have a charity-shop clear out
Even if you can’t afford to give cash to your chosen charities, you can help them in other ways by donating clothes, toys, unwanted gifts, even furniture, to charity shops. The beauty of charity shops is that they sell directly back to the local community, while also raising money for their cause.
3. Connect with your community
Every day we come into contact with all sorts of people – friends and family, colleagues, neighbours, and even random strangers. It’s often said that everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about, but for some, the TLC they need is a little more obvious. If you have an elderly or unwell neighbour, or know someone who could use a friendly helping hand, why not offer your services?
This could be helping with shopping, doing a bit of gardening for them, or simply taking the time to pop round for a cup of tea and a chat. Sometimes the best way to cheer up someone’s day is to lend an ear and make them smile.
If you can’t offer your money to support a worthy cause, then you may be able to offer something even more valuable – your time. Almost all charities love people to offer a few hours here and there to help out. Go online to find opportunities that work for you, and for causes close to your heart.
Volunteering can be a lot of fun, with options to suit everyone. The RSPCA are often on the lookout for dog walkers, for example, and have advertised for people to help socialise kittens to get them ready for their forever homes. If animals aren’t your thing, the National Trust often needs tour guides at their many sites around the country. How’s that for a unique way to make new friends and learn about your local area?
Just because you can’t stretch to donating money from your own pocket, doesn’t mean you can’t raise cash for charities you’re passionate about in other ways.
All it takes to get started fundraising for your chosen charity is a little imagination. There are loads of great ideas online if you need inspiration, so get searching for one that suits your schedule. A quick, (but not necessarily painless) way to fundraise is to do a charity leg wax. Alternatively, you could do a fitness challenge like running a half marathon.
Some people still prefer to sponsor activities for charity on good old pen and paper forms, but you can also register online through sites like JustGiving, then shout about them at work and on social media to get everyone you know to support you and your chosen cause.
6. Donate for free when shopping online
Give As You Live is a fantastic service that lets you donate to charity while shopping online. It doesn’t cost you a thing (except for what you buy)! Simply sign up online and once you make a purchase, the retailer will make a donation on your behalf to a charity of your choice.
Over 4,000 shops have signed up to this initiative so far. Who knew you could give back, while buying for yourself at the same time?
What’s your favourite way to donate to charity? Let us know in the comments!