Sometimes the word ‘charity’ comes with a stigma; in order to give to charity, you need to have money to give. This can put people off. Constantly being asked to donate money that you don’t have can get annoying but, more than that, it can make you feel as though you are unable to help out charity because you don’t have the funds to.
After reading this, I hope that you’ll realize that this is untrue. Whilst monetary contributions underpin the work of charities and are highly, highly important, the word ‘donation’ means more than offering money.
10 Ways to Donate to Charity For Free!
1) Volunteer your time
Charities ALWAYS need volunteers and there are so many opportunities out there for you to get involved in worthwhile causes and give something back to the community or others around the world. There are many different ways of volunteering your time. You could head down to Portswood and volunteer a few hours in one of the charity shops. They are always so grateful for all help they receive!
2) Raise awareness
Awareness is what gets charities and issues out into the sphere of public knowledge. Without awareness for certain causes, there would be a great lack in monetary donations. I’m sure that many of you have participated in public awareness campaigns such as the IceBucketChallenge for ALS or the NoMakeUpSelfies for Breast Cancer Research, but have you tried sharing important articles with your friends about miscarriages of justice or serious health crises? Anything that motivates others to donate or take action, is a step in the right direction!
3) Get sponsored
Where does your passion lie? In sport? Adventure? Turn your talents into a medium to raise money for charity. Take part in a sponsored run, cycle, swim, skydive or something completely different.
4) Order a second course
Nowadays, it is fairly common for restaurants to offer a percentage of their profit to charity when certain food items from their menu are ordered. Unfortunately, it is often only a very small percentage but, no matter the amount, when it comes to charity, every little helps!
5) Donate your clothes
Need I say more? Have a clear out. Send all your unwanted clothes, books, games and DVDs to charity shops. With your donations, charity shops are able to maintain the level of support that they provide to a community.
6) Give blood
Blood banks are constantly appealing for people to donate blood and thankfully, Southampton has many ways to facilitate eager blood donors. As well as blood donation drives around the city, the University also holds drives with the NHS which are conveniently located on campus. Find out more, here!
7) ‘Make, Bake, Create!’
Making things that you can sell is a great idea for fairs and fundraising stalls. In most cases, it can cost little or nothing to make a batch of cakes or fashion some Christmas decorations. Give it a try, sell your creations and get donating!
8) Eat smart
Eating smart is about ‘putting your money where your mouth is’. This one isn’t, technically free, but it shouldn’t cost you anything extra. On your weekly shop, how about taking the time to select products from companies that directly benefit those who harvest and produce the food. Try buying Divine Chocolate and Fairtrade bananas, coffee and tea.
9) Get signing
Petitions are a great way of making your stand in the world and influencing key politicians, authorities and other publicly influential figures. Amnesty International often uses petitions as ways of supporting specific issues around the world. There are many more charities and organisations that do this as well! Find something that you’re passionate about and you can make a real difference.
10) Get to the festivals
(Maybe an idea for next summer) Fancy heading to a festival for free in exchange for a few hours work at the venue? Certain charities look for volunteers, around festival season, to be litter pickers (among other roles) at events like Glastonbury. The money that would have been the rate of pay is then donated, by the charity, to their cause.
… And, there’s one more …
Supporting others is a great way of showing support for charities. Support your friends at their sponsored events by cheering them on or handing out water. Help friends out when they’re struggling to reach fundraising goals – you could offer them advice or lend a few hours of your time to help them. Supporting someone with something that is important to them is a gift in itself!