Improving the lives of the less fortunate should be a goal that everyone aspires to. But when time is short and funds are low, what can you do to lift others up without overwhelming yourself? Believe it or not, there’s a long list of easy-to-do ideas that can help you rack up much-needed organizational and supply funds for your favorite charities without making big financial mistakes. When the call for aid sounds, try answering with one of these simple solutions.
Raid Your Own Closet
From direct donations to a community clothes closet to local consignment stores to online clothes-selling sites, the pants, tops, and dresses you no longer wear could be a potential goldmine for a needy charity. To ensure the smoothest experience and the most money, make sure any clothes due to be donated or sold are washed well, don’t have any strong or unpleasant odors, and aren’t broken (articles with missing buttons, zippers and so on aren’t likely to be accepted).
For services like mail-in envelopes for online clothes sites, make sure you’re sending in a decent amount of clothing to get the best return on your work. Some people designate one or two days every year to gather up and send in their unwanted duds.
Not sure how to separate must-haves from the must-go pieces? On January 1st or any other day of the year, turn all of your closet’s hanger hooks the “wrong” way, with the hooked end facing you. As you wear and wash each item, hang it back up the “right” way. That way, you can look in your closet the following year and know that all the “wrong” hangers hold clothes that just don’t spark interest anymore.
Sell Other Items for Charity
With the rise of easy apps like the Facebook Marketplace Community, it only takes a few minutes and a cellphone with a camera to sell just about anything for cash. From leftover bags of mulch to an unused bicycle, with a little effort, anything can become a new source of income for your favorite cause.
Gather up several items at once and list them at the same time to increase your chances of one buyer snapping up multiple items, allowing you to make money with ease. Use clear photo shots (exhale just before hitting the shutter button to reduce blurriness) against a white background whenever possible.
If you prefer to use a more well-known platform for a large charity, the eBay Giving Works platform allows you to designate a percentage or whole of your item’s sale price to a registered charity of your choice. If you don’t have anything to sell personally, consider patronizing the charity directly by buying tickets to their events, bidding on silent auction items they may be selling, or purchasing necessary household items through a percentage-donation platform like Amazon Smiles.
Do a Shopping Assessment
Many companies have started noticing that people vote more with their dollars than ever before. Large chains like Target have started partnering with local charities and schools to donate a portion of sales proceeds in a given period of time. Even warehouse stores like Sam’s Club have followed suit, allowing customers to buy the items they need while supporting the charities they believe in.
If you’d like to put your money where your heart is, ask your cause if they’re partnered with any local businesses or store chains. If the answer is no, suggest a few popular businesses that offer this service and cater to fellow charity-lovers; not only will you be supporting them with your own purchases, you might just be helping them add up a windfall!
Use Apps to Search
Certain apps also allow you to connect your shopping loyalty cards to charitable causes, monetize your internet searches for spare donations, and so much more. If you’re going to spend money anyway, why not make sure that every dollar does some much-needed good?
If you’ve done volunteering and still wish you could do more, these ideas are a great way to make a huge difference. The financial needs of a charity are significant and varied, and chipping in with efforts like these can help take the pressure off of their bills.