5 ways to be charitable when you don’t have the money

Given the uncertainty that many of us face in this time of economic struggle, it can sometimes be hard to justify giving money to charity when you really don’t have it to give. But there are plenty of ways to help others without handing over cash…

1: Donate unwanted items

We all have those jeans that will “fit one day”, that jumper that you’ve always hated but can never seem to throw away; many of us have wardrobes that are bursting at the seams, so get brutal and have a serious clear-out. There are also now specialist stores for furniture so if you’re upgrading, think about donating your well-loved pieces. Popping down to your local charity shop and dropping off any unwanted items can make a big difference, both to the charity and the shopper! 

Donating items like stuffed animals and toys to hospitals and hospices can put a smile on the face of children who need a few home comforts in an unfamiliar place and wonderful charities like Suited for Success take donated suits and smart workwear to help unemployed people get ready for interviews. Simply donating items can change people’s lives and you won’t need to spend a penny!

 2: Volunteer your time

Time is the greatest commodity we all possess and merely volunteering an hour or two of it can alleviate costs for a charity or give someone in need a helping hand. Amazing organisations such as Together Co use befriending and social prescribing to make sure no one is lonely or socially isolated – as they say, ‘social connections are key to our wellbeing’.

Without having to spend any money you really can create a meaningful connection that can change someone’s life – and your own.

 3: Volunteer your know-how

Are you a graphic designer or an artist? Why not find a local non-profit organisation and help design a logo to build their brand? Or are you a content specialist who could help boost a charity’s profile by helping them create a social media presence.? Maybe you’re an accountant who can help with bookkeeping?

Whatever your know-how, we guarantee that a non-profit somewhere could benefit greatly from your knowledge and advice.

4: Random Acts of Kindness

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve almost certain will have heard of the ‘random acts of kindness’ movement, through which people have shared their wonderful stories of the little things they have done (or received!) that make the community a better place.

There are numerous opportunities every day to lend a helping hand: Carrying an elderly person’s shopping for them, taking a homeless person for breakfast, telling a stranger how much you love their outfit, telling your overworked, under appreciated boss just how great they are…it’s the small things that make a big difference.

Check out www.randomactsofkindness.org – to find out more about how the organisation helps schools to make kindness a part of everyone’s lives and inspire their students to carry this mantel into the future.

5: Take part in a charity event

Most charities now take part in at least one mass participation event (MPE) of some sort; runs, walks, bike rides, swims – the list is endless! For those who are sweating just thinking about a physical challenge, there are also a number of fantastic abstinence-based events that’ll challenge you to give up one of your vices (come on, we know you’ve got one). Take British Heart Foundation’s Dechox – where participants try their best to avoid chocolate for the month of March & have raised millions doing so since the event launched in 2015.

By signing up & fundraising for a charity event, you won’t just be taking part in an exciting challenge that will make you feel great, you’ll be able to raise some serious cash through getting sponsorships. What’s not to like?! Visit www.charitychoice.co.uk where you can search for all MPEs in the UK and find one that fits you.

So go on – get out there and volunteer your time, your unwanted items, your kindness and help in any way you can, because making a difference is something we can all do without having to break the bank!