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Six Ways to Donate to Charity

Everyone wants to be able to give back to charity, whether it’s a global charity or a local community one. One of the main reasons you may not donate is because you feel you don’t have the money to spare. Fortunately, there are many ways to give to a charity that don’t include direct monetary donations. Whether you include a charity on your will or raise money whilst you shop online, here just a few ways you could give back to a charity.

Choosing who to donate to

You may have a charity in mind for a variety of reasons, such as a personal attachment to their cause or their work. However, it can be difficult to know where your money is going and how to choose where to give it to. Websites like Charity Navigator are used to inform donors as to where their money is going. Charities and non-profit organizations like the center on military and political power feature on this website. On each organization’s page, there is plenty of information about what they aim to do and how they use your donations, as well as the ability to request impact information. There is information about their work, accountability and transparency metrics, income statements, and other information to help you understand where your money may be going. 

Regular Donations

Setting up regular donations is a great way to continually donate to a charity. You could choose to donate each month or several times a year. Many different charities will have different options to choose from so that you can choose an amount and a schedule that works for you. Consider swapping one of your daily coffees, and save up that money instead. By the end of a month or a week, see how much you have saved. This can be a great way to donate a small amount regularly. Just making small lifestyle changes can help save you money, and this money can be put to great use by donating it to a charity. Often, donations are set up so that they come straight out of your account, so you don’t have to remember to donate each month. This makes it easy to donate, but also allows you to have control over your money and donations. 

Wills

Writing a charity into your well is called a legacy or bequest. This is a brilliant way to make sure you keep on giving even after you have passed and ensures that you know where your money is going to end up. Often, when people do not make wills, they have no control over who inherits their money or property. It is very important to make a will, and leaving a legacy is a great addition to make. If you have been donating to a charity throughout your life, or know of one that is close to your heart, including them in your will is incredibly beneficial. Not only can it help to make planning your will easier for you, but some studies have shown that the amount bequeathed to a charity can equal over three times as much as you may have donated in your lifetime. 

Non-monetary donations

You may have plenty of belongings that you wish to get rid of, or no longer have a use for. This can include many things, from clothing to excess food. Donating these items to charity has many benefits. Not only does it free up your space and allow someone else to use these items, but it is also great for the planet. The amount of waste we produce is staggering, and by ‘closing the loop’ and giving items a second life, you are reducing your impact on the planet by not throwing something away that could be used by another. Thrift stores are a great example of this; as you donate your unwanted items, someone else buys them and gets use out of them, and the charity receives money from the purchase. 

Food banks are also a good place to donate unwanted or excess food items. Every year in the US, around 80 billion lbs. of food is thrown away. This is a huge amount of wastage. Donating your excess food items to local food banks is a great way to help those in need, as well as the planet. It is important to check where your local food bank is, as many have specific items that they require or do not need any more donations of. Some foodbanks also prefer to receive monetary donations instead of food, as the work they can do with the money is more flexible than food items, and this can usually be checked on their websites. 

Online

Did you know you can donate to charity whilst you shop online? There are many sites that you can buy through that will donate to charity at no extra cost to you, each time you make a purchase. If you regularly shop online, this can be a great way to donate a little each time. Furthermore, many online stores offer the option to donate to a certain charity before you checkout, so it is worth rounding up your total and donating just a little extra before you press purchase. Furthermore, your favorite online stores may collaborate with charities on certain items, which means that when you purchase them, you are donating to the charity too. Your local thrift store may also have an online store, where you can purchase items without having to leave your house!

Other ways of raising money and donating online include birthday or event fundraisers, where instead of asking for gifts from your online friends, you can ask them to donate to a charity of your choosing. You can also raise money through online events such as live streams, auctions, and monetizing content such as YouTube videos. Another popular way to raise funds is through the use of crowdfunding websites. These are widely used to promote causes and raise money for a huge range of causes and charities. 

Gifts

Consider donating to charity on behalf of someone, for example, for a birthday or Christmas gift. If you know they have a particular charity that is close to their heart, you can donate on their behalf as a gift. There are many ways you can do this. Sponsoring an animal is just one of the options, as this means your loved one can get regular updates on the animal that you have sponsored on their behalf. If your friend or loved one has set up a charity fundraiser online for their birthday, donating to this is a great way to honor their wishes, help charity and make their birthday special. 

Volunteering

As well as donating your money or physical items, you can also donate your time. Many charities rely on volunteers to keep running and providing services. Volunteering is an incredibly valuable way to spend your time, as well as helping you gain experience in certain jobs or fields. Not only does it allow you to give back to your local community and help people, but it can also provide you with many skills that are great in the workplace. Volunteering can help you meet new people, get involved in your community and is a great way to spend your free time. There is also often the chance to progress within the charity, as many hire from their pool of volunteers. If your local charity needs volunteers, there are usually many different ways you can get involved, from working in stores or warehouses to online administrative work.



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