Have a cause or charity that matters to you, but are unsure how you can help? You are not alone.
Despite how it may seem, the little things do count!
Not everyone can donate the funds to build a brand new animal shelter or host a massive fundraising ball. In fact, most of us cannot. But you don’t have to do some grandiose thing to make a difference.
Here are 6 small things you can do to help your favorite charity that will actually make a difference.
Donate $5 – or even less!
We all know that $5 here and $5 there eventually starts to add up. It’s likely one of the first lessons you learned when you opened your own bank account. Donating $5 when you can is a lot more helpful than you may realize.
Don’t believe us? Here are a few examples of what charities can do with just 5 bucks:
- Against Malaria Foundation can buy 2 long-lasting insecticidal nets
- Little Smiles Pennsylvania can provide a new pack of crayons and coloring books to a Pennsylvania child impacted by hospitalization, homelessness, or tragedy.
- The American Heart Association can provide resources for one of 200,000 You’re the Cure volunteers to reach out to lawmakers at the local, state, and federal levels to encourage them to make changes on issues such as state health programs.
- Feed our Future can feed two children for a week.
As you can see, $5 isn’t exactly nothing after all.
Post on Social Media
When you share your favorite cause on social media, it does make a difference, especially if you share that you have donated. Even if you have only given $2, if you post on Facebook saying, “I just donated to Baypath Humane Society!,” that one post can generate an extra $10 if people see it.
Sharing on social media is more than just shouting into the abyss. Anyone who has gone viral will tell you that. But even if only your closest friends and family see your post, it can have an impact. When you share that you have given money to a specific organization, you are essentially vouching that the charity is reputable. When people see that someone they know and trust has given to an organization, they are more likely to trust that it is legitimate.
Every nonprofit and charitable organization can use a set of helping hands. Not sure where to start? Ask yourself what causes matter to you and find an organization associated with that cause. Nearly all charities have a “Volunteer” or “How You Can Help” section on their website.
Remember, volunteering doesn’t always mean showing up in person. The Littlest Blanket donates handmade blankets to Neonatal Intensive Care Units and parents who have experienced a miscarriage, pregnancy loss, or stillbirth. Volunteers are asked to knot or crochet a blanket according to certain guidelines. And if you don’t know how to crochet or knit, they provide links to online lessons and YouTube videos.
This is just one example. There are innumerable ways you can give back by volunteering.
When you shop locally, you keep money in your neighborhood. Most small, local businesses are eager to give back to their community – after all, they live there too!
Small business owners know that their neighbors support their company. Their customers are not just nameless faces in a crowd, they are the people who coach the local intramural sports teams and teach in the schools. As a result, when locally owned business give back, they tend to give back locally.
When You’re Buying, Buy Extra
Many grocery stores have a collection box near the doors for the local food bank. Sometimes giving is a simple as grabbing an extra can of soup while you shop and dropping it in a box on the way to your car.
If you’re buying dog food, why not get an extra bag and drop it off at the local animal shelter on your way home?
Charities need the things you buy on a regular basis. Just pick up a little more than you would normally and give to a cause that needs it.
Choose Brands that Give Back
More and more companies are making charitable giving part of their standard operating procedures.
TOMS is perhaps the most well-known of these companies. With their One for One program, TOMS donates a pair of shoes for every pair they sell. To date, TOMS has given away over 70 million pairs of shoes, one purchase at a time.
Love Your Melon utilisizes a similar one for one strategy and donates 50% of their profits. For every hat purchase, Love Your Melon donates a hat to a child battling cancer in the United States. On top of that, they donate 50% of all profits from product sales to nonprofit partners that work in cancer research and pediatric oncology.
Whatever you’re buying, when you shop from a company that gives back your dollar goes further.
When it comes to charitable giving, a little most certainly goes a long way. Whether you make a small monetary donation, volunteer your time or skiils, or simply buy from companies committed to giving back, there are a myriad of small things you can do to help charities and causes that matter to you. You can make a difference, and you can do it every single day.