Tuesday, August 7, 2007

More ways to help charities

In my post about Free and easy ways to help charities, I promised to write about higher impact ways to help charity. . . and that was over a month ago. So without further ado or delay....

Make something

If you have a hobby or a talent that involves making something, then this might be an inexpensive way to help other people. If you like to knit or crochet, make blankets, scarves or hats for a homeless shelter in your area. One organization that you can work with for this is Warming families. If you prefer quilting and sewing, consider making a blanket for an abused or abandoned child through The Linus Project. You could even make some muffins, cookies and cakes and host your own bake sale to fight hunger in America through The Great American Bake Sale.

Think you don't have any talents? You're wrong. Be creative. In one of her books, Natalie Goldberg talks about how she was asked to do something for a charity carnival and did the only thing she knew how to do, write poetry. She hosted a spontaneous writing booth and raised money for the charity that way.

Write a letter or sign a petition

If there is a cause that is important to you, one of the best ways to effect change is to sign a petition or write a letter to your local newspaper or your congressman. There are literally hundreds (maybe thousands) of different petitions available on The Petition Site where all you have to do is click and sign, or you can take it up a notch and add your own petition. You can get even higher impact by writing to your congressmen or the president. You can find contact information for your senators and representatives.

Volunteer

This is definitely an inexpensive way to help charities, but it doesn't necessarily need to be easy. Call or stop by local organizations that deal with issues you consider important and see if they take volunteers. You can volunteer on a regular basis or go in for one afternoon to help sort food or file papers. If you are interested in volunteering but don't know where to start, check out Volunteer Match or Online Volunteering

Give a portion of profits

This sounds like it costs money, but it can actually be a win-win. If you donate a committed amount of money from all your online earnings (from your blogs, for example, or your ebay auctions), it may help you to make more money in the long run because people will bid up your auctions or revisit your site a bit more because they respect what you're doing. This may sound like a rather mercenary way to look at it, but the way I see it, if you're upfront about what you're doing, then you benefit, the charity benefits and your readers or customers feel good about things. Everybody wins.

15 comments:

Eric said...

I think that's an excellent suggestion. My wife and I have been working towards a one day a month volunteer day. We've moved away from donating to organizations that are organization heavy to organizations that are distrib heavy. We hate the idea of a CEO of a nonprofit making several times more than we do. When we donate, we want the cause to benefit.

SavingDiva said...

I think volunteering your time is one of the best ways to help out.

mamuma said...

you can start a charities here in Kenya?

Mathews.

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auto donation said...

Thanks for posting this. This is a must read reminder for everyone that all of us have our own special way of helping.