4 ways to give to charity without breaking the budget

Most everyone would like to give to charities they care about.  A lot of us put it off as something we’ll do when we’re better off, when we’re “rich,” when we have income that we consider disposable.  But there are many ways to give to charity today, even if your net worth isn’t as large as you’d like it to be.

1. Crowdsource
You may already know about Kylie’s goal of raising $5,000 for the Canberra Community Sleep Out next month.  She’s participating in an event to raise money for the homeless.   If a ton of people make even just a $5 donation, those numbers will add up, and the goal can be reached.  When you support others in small denominations whether they’re sleeping out, running a 5k, or whatever the event may be, you allow yourself to support a cause and become a part of a community working towards a larger, common goal.

2. Give Your Time
Many charities are only able to run with the work of unpaid volunteers.  You may not have a ton of money, but if you do have time to give, that commodity can be just as valuable.  Volunteer to feed those less fortunate than you.  Volunteer to walk a puppy at your local shelter.  Volunteer to do whatever kind of work will help the organisation you love, even if that work is not always desirable.  If you have a special talent, you could even contact the organisation and see if you could donate that for free as a substitution for their general volunteer opportunities.

3. Sell Things
This is much akin to #1, but at one school I worked at there was an annual walk for cancer.  Each classroom tried to raise money to support the walk.  The most successful room was one where the teacher encouraged students from all  classrooms to bring in stuffed animals they didn’t want or had outgrown.  She’d then sell them, with all of the money going toward the cancer charity.  She used crowdsourcing, but found an inventive way to incentivise the monetary donations with the stuffed animals, and gave a way for parents and children to declutter their homes for a good cause at the same time.

4. Declutter and Donate
In your area, there may be a homeless shelter, a shelter for victims of domestic violence, or an organisation like the Ronald McDonald house where families of sick children come to stay when their child needs specialised medical attention that can only be obtained far from home.  All of these places need supplies.  If you’re anything like me, your bathroom drawers are full of unused toiletries just waiting to be opened.  Whether they were a well-intentioned gift, or just a tube of mascara that you completely forgot you bought, donating these things will provide the charity with inventory that they otherwise would have had to spend precious funding on.

How do you give?

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