If you’re like me, then you probably think about ways to volunteer and help out your community a decent amount. However, not everyone wants to give money and cash directly for various reasons. I know for me it’s because I know that a charity that we used to donate to has recently announced that their local chapter President makes $1 million per year. I don’t even want to think about what the national President of the organization makes!

Also, I like to think of other ways to help my community and others because I don’t have endless money to give, but I do know that I have time and possibly some useful skills that can be used. Giving my time, money and donating items is pretty important to me. I do know that not everyone has the perfect and sometimes people are down on their luck. And that’s why charities are needed! Along with people who donate are needed as well.

Below are some possible other ways to help your favorite charities and your community:

1. Giving your time

This is the number one thing that we are working on. My sister recently signed up for Big Brother Big Sister and she loves it. Her little sister really appreciates her and my sister visits her at school during the girl’s lunch time often. Big Brother Big Sister is something that I definitely want to get into.

Another organization that I want to be involved with is a local animal shelter. I do believe that animals need to be treated more fairly and I know that there are so many volunteer positions that are open at animal shelters everywhere! Fundraising, walking the dogs, fostering (even though my city does not allow for fostering of animals), rescue, operations, administration and everything else.

Also, other possibilities include: volunteering at a food kitchen, managing fundraisers, collecting food and clothing items, building homes, answering phones and doing administrative tasks at the organization and so on. The list is really endless. Giving your time and donating your skills is almost more important to me, because money can’t buy everything.

2. Donate your stuff

If you don’t have much time, and not a whole ton of money, always donate! I’m sure there are many things in your house that you can donate. Try spending one of your days decluttering your closets and your whole house to see what you have.

There are many things that you can donate. Extra tools, clothing items (especially jackets and coats when it’s cold outside!), furniture, household items, books, and everything else. If it’s in good or useable condition, then definitely do not just throw it away, find someone who can get good use out of it!

3. Donate smart

If you do donate your money, make sure that your money is actually be used on the charity. I have heard so many horror stories where only 1% of funds collected go towards the actual charity. The rest goes towards salaries and administration, which I think is entirely stupid!

You should do your research on the organization. I’m sure there are articles and possibly scam reports on many organizations which are proven to use funds wrongly. Just search, and also call them and ask how much is actually used to help the charity.

How do you help your favorite charities?

Also, how much of your time or income do you give?



Michelle Schroeder is the founder of Making Sense of Cents and Diversified Finances, a personal finance and lifestyle blog about budgeting, traveling, life, and student loans. Read further on her story and life.