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Six ways to help charity without donating money

Harriet Meyer / 17 May 2017 ( 01 June 2022 )

There are lots of ways to help charities without donating money. Harriet Meyer looks at six things you can do to help a good cause, without having to touch your bank balance.

Charity shop rails
There are lots of worthwhile ways to help a charity without giving money

If you’re keen to help out a good cause, you don’t have to put your hand in your pocket. These days, there are tons of ways to give to charity without tapping your bank balance.

Here is a list to inspire you to help other people in different ways – you just have to be willing:

1. Give blood

Most of us can give blood, as often as every three months for women and four for men. Use the internet to find your local donor centre and sign up for an appointment. The actual process typically takes less than 15 minutes, so can be done in your work break or when you have a spare hour.

It’s even possible to donate platelets if you’re happy to do so, which are much-needed by patients having organ transplants or chemotherapy, and other disorders. However, this takes about an hour-and-a-half and you can donate up to 15 times a year.

2. Make things

While perhaps not technically 'free' as there will be material costs, many charities accept homemade goods such as blankets, sewn toys and other crafty bits. You could donate these items to the charities themselves, or sell them on local selling sites (such as Facebook Marketplace) and donate the money raised.

Get crafty – find out about inspiring knitting and sewing projects for charity

Informative, in-depth and in the know: get the latest news, interviews and reviews with Saga Magazine.

3. Help a neighbour in need

Spotted an elderly neighbour who might be living alone, or in need of help around the house? Simply offering to mow the lawn, or spend time chatting over a cup of tea could make a huge difference to their lives. If they have mobility problems, you can offer to do their shopping or do the gardening. Age UK can help you find isolated, housebound older people through its befriending scheme.

Read our tips for being a good volunteer befriender

4. Take unwanted goods to a charity shop

Plenty of us forget that one of the simplest ways of giving to charity without parting with cash is to donate possessions. So when you do your spring clean, take the goods to your local charity shop. You know you’re earning money for a charity and someone who could use that extra few quid more than you. The items don’t need to be limited to old clothes or books – if you’ve a spare computer lying around this’ll be gladly accepted, as well as furniture that you’d like collected.

Some charity shops have forms for Gift Aid too – fill out a form and the charity can claim an extra 25p on every £1 your donated goods raise. 

21 steps to decluttering your house

5. Volunteer

There are masses of charities in need of your time. You may be able to offer specific skills that you have, such as marketing or IT, giving time to those in need, or working in a charity shop.  A quick search online will show a wide range of options. As a starting point, consider how much time you have to spare, and how you could be most helpful – then, refine your search to charities that may suit.

Five ways to volunteer in retirement

6. Raise awareness

If you can’t afford to give money regularly, perhaps someone else can. If you feel passionately about a particular charity, making people aware is a great way to get more money flowing their way.

This could be done in many ways, from social media to blogging about issues that you want to share. Alternatively, perhaps you might want to take part in a sporting event – or even jump out of a plane! – asking others to sponsor you for your efforts.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.