Crowdfunding is a great and easy way to give back to someone in need. Launching a fundraiser for a neighbor who needs a little extra help or donating to support a loved one with their medical expenses can really make an impact. However, if you’re looking to go the extra mile, you can utilize different ways to give back beyond crowdfunding. No matter how much time you have to spare, here are some ideas to get you started.
If You Have a Little Time to Give Back
1. Donate Clothing or Food
Chances are, you have items that have been hanging in your closet for years and cans lingering in the back of your pantry. Donate those old clothes and perishables to your local homeless shelter and canned food drives. Organizations like Purple Heart will even come collect your clothing donation right from your front porch!
If you have trouble parting with old but sentimental clothing, consider sending your old t-shirts to be recycled into something more meaningful. Full Circle Quilts is an organization that makes quilts for a loved one in need from shirts you and your group provide. They can then be signed with your words of encouragement and love to help that loved one through their hardship.
2. Shop At Local Businesses
While you’re already out shopping for your family, consider supporting your local stores by giving them your business. Buy local as often as possible and promote supporting local businesses to your family and friends to spread the word.
3. Set Up a Collection Jar
Choose a local or national charity close to your heart and set up a collection jar at your place of work. Encourage your colleagues and clients to spare their extra change and give to a better cause.
4. Random Acts of Kindness
Performing a random act of kindness is something you can do everyday! It can be as simple as complimenting someone to make their day or paying for the person’s order behind you in the coffee line. Stay on track by making this easy, Kindness Calendar!
5. Earn Money For Charity While Exercising
Raising money for charity is as easy as downloading an app and exercising! Charity Miles lets you choose from over 30 charities to support while walking or running. According to their website, $1.7 million has been raised by fitness lovers like yourself.
If You Have A Little More Time
1. Donate Blood and Plasma
According to the American Red Cross, someone in the United States is in need of blood every two seconds. Donating blood or plasma is a great way to give back multiple times throughout the year. Whether you’re giving a pint of blood every few months or donating plasma every few weeks, remember that your contribution is helping save lives.
Whether you pick to lend your time to serving meals at a homeless shelter or volunteering at your local nursing home, volunteering is a fulfilling way to make a difference in your community. Choose the right volunteer opportunity for you and grab your friends and family to get involved with you to really make an impact.
3. Clean Up Your Local Park
Organizing a park clean-up effort with your family and friends is a rewarding way to make a difference in your neighborhood. Collect trash bags, gloves, refreshments for volunteers, and more to organize a successful clean-up.
4. Donate Your Hair
Locks of Love, Wigs for Kids, and Pantene Beautiful Lengths are all organizations that collect hair to donate to children and adults who lost their hair from Alopecia, Chemotherapy, and Radiation. If your hair does not meet the donation requirements, try donating funds or sponsoring a wig instead.
5. Organize a Yard Sale For Charity
If you own clothing or other household items that aren’t being worn or used any longer, consider organizing a yard sale where the proceeds are given to a charity of your choice. Get your community or neighborhood involved and advertise around town and in the newspaper to find volunteers and eager buyers.
If You Have a Lot of Time
1. Host a Contest
If you’re looking to put your creative skills to the test, try hosting a contest to raise funds for a charity. Whether it’s a social media contest or penny wars, bringing your community together for a fun contest is a sure way to meet your fundraising goal.
2. Adopt or Foster a Pet
Grow your family by giving a pet a second chance! After deciding which type of pet would be the best fit, find your local animal shelter and visit with some animals. Whether you decide to foster or adopt, remember that you are making a positive impact on your pet!
3. Become a Mentor
Giving back to a child or teen or your neighborhood is a great way to give back to your community. Organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of America help to match you with a child in need of a positive mentor. From there, you can decide together with your ‘little’ how you will spend your time and create a lifelong bond.
4. Coach a Youth Sports Team
Reminiscing on your athletic days? Consider coaching a youth sports team in your local area! Coaching a team will not only help you stay in shape and involved in your community, you also have the opportunity to make a huge impact on the athletes and are in a position to impact their futures.
No matter how much time you allocate to your efforts, remember that you are making a huge impact on your community by utilizing any of these ways to give back. To pair your volunteer efforts with a free online fundraiser to help raise extra funds, launch a YouCaring campaign today.