Every year, it’s estimated that Americans donate over $300 billion to charity organizations, and $15 billion of that is given online. That means now more than ever, technology and charitable donations are coexisting in a way that’s making fundraising more accessible (and fun) than it’s ever been — just ask someone who’s ever raised money through a Kickstarter campaign. But not every donation needs to be based around money.
In fact, some of the best donations for non profit organizations come in the form of canned foods, old clothing and even a few hours of your time. Because of the web, finding ways to connect with organizations that need some assistance is as simple as performing a quick Google search. And once you’ve found something you can participate in, all you have to do is be open and free up a few hours of your schedule. For example…
Find local clothing donations.
What You Can Do: This is one of the simplest ways anyone give back to their community because all it requires is a gigantic black garbage bag and an afternoon. Sort through your closet and your dresser drawers, then load up your old clothes into the bag. Find a local donation bin, deposit your clothes and be on your way.
Who It Benefits: A number of different charity organizations have clothing donation centers, but one of the most important groups it helps is the one comprised of U.S. service veterans, one-third of whom are currently suffering through homelessness.
Volunteer your time.
What You Can Do: Find a soup kitchen. Join a group of local home builders. Look online for opportunities that put your talents to use. There are some databases that list all the available spots doing office work like graphic design, editing and copywriting for local charity groups. Not all donations for non profit organizations need to be done in person, you know.
Who It Benefits: Plenty of nationally known organizations have full-time staffs working on their press and promotions duties, but local fundraisers likely don’t. See if you can create a Twitter page or a Facebook group in your spare time. It just might make the difference.
Start saying yes.
What You Can Do: Looking for the best charities to donate to? How about any charity that asks? Remember that not all donations for non profit organizations need to be in the form of service projects or clothing and goods drop-offs. If you’re ordering a coffee and the clerk asks you to donate $1 for charity, why say no? An extra dollar goes a long way today.
Who It Benefits: Multitudes of different charities often partner up with large stores like Starbucks because they’ll know they’ll get a bigger draw, but don’t forget the power of a mason jar in a small-town diner. Local kids with struggling softball teams need donations, too.
For more information on how to get involved in your community, ask around. There have to be plenty of people who know exactly what you can do to help. Or, of course, you could always look online.