Giving is an unalienable part of our human nature. That’s because giving selflessly or without the thought of getting anything in return brings us immense joy, as modern psychology amply proves.
Most of us would love to donate to causes that serve underprivileged sections of the society or welfare activities that would benefit anything from animals to the environment.
Unfortunately, lower income and shoestring budget can cause us to falter with charity. And even if you’re wealthy enough, it’s not money that you donate that would make a significant difference to any person or further any noble cause.
Therefore, I’m writing this article specifically to highlight how to donate to charity without spending extra money. Regardless whether or not you can afford to donate money, I’m confident you would find this article useful.
12 Amazing Ways to Donate without Spending
Not all charities in America or elsewhere require money to fund their activities. This is the first principle to remember before we donate to charity. At the same time, it’s also true that none of the resources we have or wish to offer come at a cost.
1. Donate Your Coins
I’ve been writing about this often. That Americans throw away more than $62 million worth coins and loose change every year, according to a report by cleaning company, Coventa.
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Now that’s quite a whopping amount. People throw away coins because they don’t wish to be saddled with those small metal discs that occupy space in a wallet or purse.
If you’re among those countless Americans that toss coins in trashcans, parking lots and other places, do something else instead. Collect these coins in a jar or bag and hand them over to a charity of your choice. They can deposit such coins at a bank and use the money for helping the underprivileged.
2. Donate Your Car
Often, selling a used car doesn’t fetch much money. And if the car requires some repairs before you can sell it, the price you’ll get wouldn’t even justify the expense and efforts. Therefore, the best thing is donate your car to a worthy charity.
They overhaul the vehicle and sell it at very low price to families, single moms and other needy persons that can’t afford to buy one from a used car dealer. Some charities also repair it and give away free to deserving poor families or use it to ferry invalid people.
3. Donate Your Clothes & Footwear
Most of us have clothes and footwear that we seldom use. While they occupy space in our closet, it’s also a hassle to maintain such garments, shoes and other stuff. Instead, simply donate them to a charity.
Some charities such as Salvation Army operate thrift shops across USA where they sell donated clothes, footwear and other stuff. Proceeds from their sale goes to support charitable organizations. Often, clothes and footwear that you donate is given away to homeless and needy people in America or even sent to charities in foreign countries.
4. Donate Loyalty Points
Once upon a time, I would never bother to open email with statements of loyalty points I’d earned by spending on debit cards, credit cards and frequent flyer programs as well as some stores. Consequently, these points would go unused and expire after a few months.
That was until a coworker pointed out that I could donate these loyalty points to charities. There’re lots of loyalty programs that actually allow you to donate points to specific charities.
And it helps these charities to buy stuff they require for their activities or redeem them for cash from the loyalty program operator.
5. Donate Surplus Food
Take a complete inventory of foodstuff lying unused in your kitchen. I mean, things that you bought because of special offers or found tempting but couldn’t use for any reason.
And if you’re not likely to use such foodstuff, donate them to a nearby charity that feed the hungry. You might also find foodbanks in your area that would willingly accept such charity donations.
It’s also possible to donate food products that’re nearing expiry. However, as a rule, never remove labels from these foodstuff and don’t give away open packages.
Refer: 20 ways to get free food
6. Donate Used Appliances
A lesson I’ve learned the hard way: it’s much easier to donate used appliances instead of selling them to get some money. If you’ve ever sold used appliances, surely you’ll know the hassles it involves. These includes advertising what you’re selling, allowing people to inspect the goods and bargaining.
All this consumes precious time and effort which would otherwise prove useful for some gainful purpose. Charities often find good use for used appliances. They use them on their premises or repair and sell them to raise funds for their activities. Donating used appliances indeed saves a lot of hassles.
7. Donate Unwanted Gifts
Often, we’ve little or no use for gifts we get from relatives and friends. That’s not because our relatives and friends are thoughtless or deliberately give something we don’t require.
While their thoughts behind such gifts are indeed appreciable, we don’t need some of these gifts because we seldom use such stuff or have something that we’re already using and don’t wish to replace.
Should you have such generous relatives and friends that’ve showered you with unwanted stuff as gifts, there’s one way to honor their feelings. Donate these gifts to charities. Some organizations use these items while others sell or auction them to raise funds.
8. Donate Your Time
Time, they say is priceless and hence, the most valuable as well as irreplaceable resource for us humans. And your time is one of the most precious charity donations you could ever offer to a charity that serves a worthy cause. There’re several ways to donate your time.
Simplest among these is by volunteering for a charity for activities such as fundraising or helping the community they serve. Other is by providing your time and skills to charities that’re engaged in specific projects. For example, an engineer can help charities build shelters while a plumber can install its plumbing systems.
Volunteering is without pay of course. However, as volunteer, you can slice off a few Dollars from your annual tax bills on expenses you incur such as commuting and some cases, any material you donate.
9. Donate Free Shopping Coupons
Some of these paid survey websites also allow you to choose a charity for donating your points or gift vouchers and other bonuses. Or you can redeem your earnings for shopping coupons and donate them directly to a charity of your choice.
These shopping coupons are from some of the topmost online stores of America including Amazon, Walmart and Target among others. Therefore, any charity would find them useful.
10. Shop at Select Stores
By shopping online or offline at select stores, you can donate money to charity directly. The world’s single largest online store, Amazon, has a program known as Amazon Smiles. When you register free for Amazon Smiles, a part of profits and cashbacks or other incentives go towards a charity.
You can select the charity from the list on Amazon Smiles. Target, Walmart, Hallmark also have corporate charity programs that allows buyers to donate. You can also support organizations such as UNICEF and World Wildlife Fund by buying their merchandise such as greeting cards and collectibles.
11. Donate Unwanted Furniture
Unwanted furniture is common to most households across the world. It could be wooden, metal or plastic furniture. And it could be intact or even broken or beyond repairs. Regardless, a charity will definitely put such unwanted furniture to good use.
They’ll utilize the intact ones or do slight repairs for use on their premises. And what’s beyond repairs can always be sold as scrap to raise some money. Enquire with nearby charities if they’ll accept your unwanted furniture.
12. Raise Funds on Facebook
One of the best and fastest ways to donate more money to charities without spending is by launching a fundraiser on Facebook. In fact, you might also have seen or contributed money towards a charity for a fundraiser campaign launched by a Facebook friend or contact.
There’re countless charities around the world that solicit funds through Facebook posts. You could select one of these. Or, select a charity or cause of your choice for your fundraiser.
People conduct fundraisers on Facebook to celebrate their birthdays or special occasions or merely because they wish to do something for the lesser privileged members of the society.
Other Ways to Donate without Spending
Then there’re a few more ways to donate to charity without spending much. One of these is giving away part of the money you get as Income Tax refund.
Other is by organizing a small fundraising event in your locality. There’s no shortage of innovative and creative ideas to donate to charity without burning a hole in your purse or wallet or pockets.
You could use any of these 12 ways to donate money to charity or cause. While most people donate during festive seasons, these 12 ways are useful round the year. You needn’t wait for any festival or special occasion to make a donation.
Also, the above 12 ways to donate clearly prove that you don’t really require surplus cash or incur extra expenses to support a noble and worthy cause of your choice.
All that’s necessary is the inclination and initiative to go that extra mile to make life a bit easier for people we often don’t know. And the pleasure we get by charity donations isn’t comparable with anything else.