Feb 13 2012

4 ways to donate without spending money

No matter your financial situation, there are always ways we can give more to those in need.

Maybe giving money to your church or charity is a regular item in your budget. Or maybe your money is tight and there isn’t much left to donate.

Here are some ideas for donating to others without spending money. You’re all able to do the first item, and many are able to do the second.

1. Donate by clicking your mouse

These sites work by generating advertisements when you click. You view the ad, the site gets a small bit of advertising revenue and the ad money goes to the charity. Pick a few of your favorite causes and bookmark them and visit daily.

  • Rice [01]FreeRice.com lets you take a one-question quiz. For every answer you get correct, they’ll donate 10 grains of rice to the UN World Food Programme. How many grains of rice can you have donated for just a minute of your time? You can choose various subjects, including foreign language (I’m brushing up on my Spanish); mathematics, geography, chemistry, anatomy. Create an account to keep track of your long-term impact.
  • The Hunger Site — click once daily to donate 1.1 cups of food. Partner sites along the top also allow you to click to donate for breast cancer, animal shelters, veterans, the rain forest, autism research, children’s health, and literacy.
  • Care2 — Click daily to support various causes including breast cancer research, hunger, and children in need. You can create an account to log your clicks over time.
  • Click To Give — more clicking for various causes

Blood Donation

2. Donate blood

If you’re an eligible blood donor, you can give whole blood every 56 days. Or, you can opt to donate platelets and give more frequently. Last week I gave platelets and over the weekend, my husband gave whole blood. It’s a way to literally save someone’s life. Search for a blood drive near you via the American Red Cross, or find a blood bank. I went to the Indiana Blood Center. I enjoyed the quiet time with my Kindle and of course the free juice and cookies afterward :).

3. Donate your baby’s cord blood

Cord blood is collected immediately after your baby is born. You can elect to delay this collection until after your umbilical cord stops pulsating, and if your donation isn’t enough for a transplant to a patient, they can still use it for research. Cord blood donations can help people with leukemia, lymphoma and other illnesses.

4. Donate hair for Locks of Love

Have 10 inches or more of hair that you’re planning on cutting sometime soon? Donate it! I did this as a teenager. You do have to pay for postage, so this isn’t entirely free but it’s close. Some salons will give you a free or discounted haircut for donating but you’ll need to call around.

What else can you add?

Photos: Rojina; Loopcd

Famine no more



12 Responses to “4 ways to donate without spending money”

  1. Great ideas!
    Michelle´s last post ..Spending, Life, Income and Food Updates… 2/13/2012

  2. The way I do it: Pay attention to sales and coupons and “buy” items that are free after coupons and then donate them. I especially do this with pet foods since I don’t have pet. I take them to the Humane Society.
    Jessica, The Debt Princess´s last post ..What NOT to Do: Live Above Your Means

  3. You can also donate your time! Volunteering at a charitable organization like a food bank or fundraiser is a great way to help the cause without giving cash.

    Giving away things you don’t need anymore, like outgrown children’s coats and clothing, toys, or your own gently used clothing items, is a great way to clear clutter and help people in need. I prefer to give away items like that instead of selling them at resale shops in most cases, because I don’t think the resale shops give a fair price. I’d rather help someone in need than let a resale shop profit from ripping me off. Pfft.

    I was also going to suggest Jessica’s idea. Even if you don’t make special purchases, if you’ve overdone your stockpile and you have too much saved up, you can donate extra food to a food bank. As for toiletries, women’s shelters, senior centers, and homeless shelters can always use unopened items like soap, shampoo, toilet paper, over-the-counter medicines, and other drugstore items.

    Toiletry items can also be donated to the Red Cross to help families affected by natural disasters. After hurricanes and tornadoes, they’re always looking for drugstore items to help those in need of basic things.
    Karen´s last post ..Saying goodbye to our awesome gas rewards program *sniff*

  4. Donating your time is a big one too. There are always organizations that need volunteer workers.
    Jennifer´s last post ..Money Monday – Financial Freedom With An Emergency Fund

  5. Hauling people to church and to appointments (on your way to do errands or go to church yourself) is another way to donate. Using any talent you have with organizations – artistic (for senior centers, schools that have no art or music programs anymore; free or really cheap music lessons, playing an instrument in church or in nursing homes — all are ways that don’t take money but take more — yourself your time and the gifts God has given you to use.

  6. Excellent blog, by the way!!

  7. Interesting, I didn’t know about the options for quizzes, etc that led to food being donated. Pretty cool!

    The other way, as I see was mentioned above in a comment, is donating time. It’s valuable to us, but actually spending time helping a cause can often make a difference.
    Squirrelers´s last post ..Perception is Reality: Credit Scores and The Workplace

  8. My old boss’s husband John Breen created free rice! Volunteering and donating unwanted items are such a huge help and FREE! I am unable to donate blood, but I’ve volunteered to help sign people up and pass out snacks. It doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment to make a huge difference!

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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