When you need to save every penny, or don’t have any spare income, how can you still give to Charity without donating money? Here's 10 ways you can!
We all know that Charities need money and people are happy to support them. Some people like to give regularly and many charities like donators to sign up for regular monthly payments. What if you hit hard times though and need to stop these payments or you don’t have the spare money to donate regularly. Well, there is no need to feel guilty. There are still lots of ways that you can give to charity without donating money. I have compiled a list of 10 ways to give to charity without donating money:
1. Donate Your Unwanted Goods
This is one of the most popular ways of donating to charity. If you are decluttering, most Charities are grateful for your donations. In the past, I have given clothes that the boys have grown out of, toys that are no longer played with, books we have read, DVDs we no longer watch.
Oxfam even have schemes where YOU can earn as you donate!
a) If you sign up to ‘Tag your Bag’ you can earn Nectar points whenever your items are sold.
b) Earn a £5 Marks and Spencer’s Voucher with each donation of clothing that contains an M&S labelled item.
2. Recycle Your Unwanted Tech
Many charities are also happy to receive any unwanted technology like mobile phones, ipods and tablets. Oxfam have a great option where you can ‘sell’ your phone via Fonebank and then choose to donate 25%, 50%, 75% or 100% of the profit to Oxfam. This way, you can receive some cash too.
3. Volunteer Your Time
If you have some spare time, why not ‘donate’ it to charity? You will find opportunities both in the UK and abroad. A quick search online and I found an opening for a volunteer kitchen helper in a beachfront jungle in Costa Rica – how cool does that sound? Or, how about volunteering to help the Sloth research and release programme (also in Costa Rica) -how cute are those baby sloths?
For opportunities closer to home, the gov.uk website recommends Do-It . Here you will find opportunities such as a ‘Tree Planter’, volunteer receptionist and more.
You could also choose to volunteer in your local charity shop or help out at your local food bank. See the link to The Trussell Trust (Number 4 below) for details.
4. Donate Goods to Food Banks
The Trussell Trust runs a network of over 400 food banks in the UK and one of the easiest ways to ‘give’ is to donate food. You can donate directly to your local food bank or via the collection point in your local supermarket.
They welcome donations of food and non-food items, like toiletries too. I have listed below the most common items they require but it is advisable to check with your local food bank.
|Food Items||Cereal, Soup, Pasta, Rice, Pasta Sauce, Beans, Tinned meat, Tinned vegetables, Tea/coffee, Tinned fruit, Biscuits|
|Non-Food Items||Toiletries (deodorant, toilet paper, shower gel, shaving gel, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, tooth paste, hand wipes), Household Items (laundry liquid detergent, laundry powder, washing up liquid), Feminine products (sanitary towels and tampons), Baby supplies (nappies, baby wipes and baby food)|
5. Donate Left-Over Paint
How many times have you finished a decorating project to find you have some paint left over? We also like to keep some for touching up, but rather than keep a whole tin we decant some into a sealable jar. The remaining paint ends up being thrown away. Even our local Council Tip won’t take left over paint these days and we have to dispose of it in our normal refuse. This just doesn’t seem right though.
Fortunately there is an alternative. You can now donate your left over paint to Community Repaint. They will distribute the donated paint to community projects like murals, community gardens, upcycling furniture to raise funds for charities etc.
The only downside to this is the availability of the scheme. The website has a handy postcode checker so you can see where you nearest collection point is located. Unfortunately for us, our nearest one is 39 miles away. They do have a handy letter template for you to send to your local council to lobby for a scheme in your area though. They also offer full support to anyone wanting to set up scheme themselves. Full details are available on the website.
6. Donate Stamps
I remember collecting the stamps from mail we received when I was younger. The school I attended used to have a collection point and would then send them off to charity. These days I can imagine there are not as many stamps being used as people email or text instead and companies use franking machines.
However, if you do receive any mail with stamps on, the RNIB are happy to receive both UK and Overseas stamps. Just collect them up, sort them into UK and Overseas and pop them in the post to the address on this page.
7. Donate Your Hair
If you have long hair and are going for a restyle, you can donate your hair to charity. Little Princesses Trust make real hair wigs for children and despite the name they do provide wigs for girls AND BOYS. There are a few rules when it comes to what they can accept and the details are all listed here. However, it is as easy as cutting off your hair and popping it in an envelope.
They have had some celebrities donate hair to them too. Last year it was Harry Styles.
8. Use Your Hobby to Help
There are lots of different charities that accept items that have been handmade and this article, from Saga Magazine , has a wealth of information. There are charities that want knitted chicks, mice, tulips, dolls, blankets, pigeons, donkeys and BREASTS. Yes, you read that right. This organisation supplies knitted model breasts to hospitals and community midwives to help them demonstrate how to express milk. They even supply the pattern which you can find here .
If knitting is not your thing but you are good at sewing, then the Dress A Girl Around the World programme is for you. They provide patterns, advice and even ‘How To’ videos to help you make dresses for girls around the world. There is also a UK Ambassador to contact if you require further information. The donated dresses are often the first time these girls have ever owned a dress.
9. Donate Your Car, Motorbike or Trailer
Using schemes like Give a Car or Charity Car you can donate your old vehicles and donate the proceeds to charity. Your car will be collected and then either recycled for scrap or sold at auction. The proceeds, minus any fees, are then donated to your chosen charity. You can choose from a wide range of charities to make your donation to.
10. Donate Your Pet
No, not literally! Although you can help a charity by taking along your dog or cat. Pets as Therapy is a brilliant charity which arranges for you to make visits, with your pets, to residential homes, hospices, special needs and mainstream schools. There is no minimum or maximum time commitment but your pet, obviously, needs to be friendly and happy to be petted by strangers of all ages. There is a small annual subscription payable which goes towards the volunteers’ liability insurance.
Remember, you can also help Charities further, if you are a UK Taxpayer, by signing up to Gift Aid. This will earn the charity up to 25% more on any of your unwanted items that they can sell.
As you can see, there are a multitude of ways you can help charities without donating cash at all. Do you already do any of these? I would love to hear about your experiences.
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