There’s more than one way to make a difference to the world around you
With the current cost of living crisis, individuals and non-profit organisations need financial support more than ever. But not everyone is part of a team that regularly raises money for charity, or has a lot of time to give. Luckily, there is a range of simple, actionable ways to contribute to people in need – and you don’t have to feel stress, or break the bank, to do so.
Sell some of your belongings for charity
Donating to your local high street charity shop is a great way to accumulate profits for a good cause. But many people don’t realise you can actually do this, and set your own prices, without leaving home.
Online resale platforms like eBay and Vinted allow charity listings, or the ability to donate a proportional account balance to worthy causes. With Vinted, the charity is chosen by the platform, but personalised options on eBay allow sellers to select a charity from their extensive list.
If you’re still aiming to make extra cash, you can donate a certain percentage of your sale, instead of the full amount. This is one way to donate within your means, while equally reaping some benefits.
Purchase ‘invisible’ menu items
Backed by well-known chefs and restaurant chains, Hospitality Action’s ‘invisible chips’ campaign offers patrons the chance to purchase ‘invisible’ menu items. At £3, almost equivalent to a barista coffee, proceeds from ‘invisible chips’ support workers in the hospitality sector facing physical, mental, and financial issues. This serves as an alternative to adding a donation at the end of a bill, allowing patrons to give more consciously.
Chains including BrewDog, Gaucho, Hawksmoor, Rosa’s Thai Cafe, The Coaching Inn Group, Catering Services International, and Hilton Hotels have joined the movement. And some outlets have their own approach – coffee brand Grind sells ‘invisible toast’!
Frequent flyer miles
Some people struggle to redistribute their airline frequent flyer points before expiry, when work and family commitments prevent them from travelling. Luckily, you can make a difference with accumulated points. British Airways, Air France, and Virgin Atlantic, among others, allow you to donate an allocation of miles to worthy causes. Independent organisations such as Miles4Migrants also accept frequent flyer points as currency to support refugees.
If you’re travelling locally or renting accommodation, Airbnb hosts can optionally donate profits to charity. For the adventurous, they also offer social impact experiences in your home city or around the world. This perk allows you to participate in unique experiences, with the non-profit host benefiting financially. Charitable experiences in London include walking tours and kayaking in local canals.
Food bank donations
Food bank donations are a widely known method of offering support. Rather than donating directly, supermarkets across the UK alleviate the challenging distribution process on your behalf. Many Tesco, Co-Op, Asda, Waitrose, and Sainsbury’s branches provide drop-off points, making it simple for consumers to donate items while completing their weekly shop. Similarly, certain Boots Pharmacy branches host hygiene banks, compiling donations of new beauty and toiletry essentials.
Redistribution not only applies to food though. Zara, Uniqlo, and H&M stores collect clothing donations for redistribution or recycling, with Zara even offering home collections. For larger items, charities including The British Heart Foundation, Sue Ryder, or The Salvation Army offer furniture collections. This makes it extremely simple to declutter and donate without leaving home. Next time you clean out a cupboard, consider the many ways this can help others.
Certain browser extensions, or internet plug-ins, can accumulate charitable donations by performing simple activities, at no cost to you! Tabs for Good does this by displaying small advertisements on your browser tabs, and donating 50% of the advertising revenue. Easyfundraising allows you to shop online with more than 7,000 brands that donate charitable commissions at no cost to users. Brands included are everything from supermarkets to travel booking services, and tech giants. Give as You Live is another alternative that offers a similar commission model.
We can feel overwhelmed by huge numbers, fundraising goals, or organisational difficulties. These factors can deter us from giving what we can. But always remember that every small donation makes a difference for people across the UK and globally. Hopefully, these methods outlined will support you in making your next thoughtful contribution.