How to support a charity

By Pippa Thompson

Research has found that giving time or money to charity is actually good for you. Whether you’re cash-rich and time-poor, or vice versa, there are a multitude of ways in which you can support charities to achieve amazing things.

If you don’t have much time, but have a bit of cash to spare…

As well as charities offering multiple ways to donate by phone, online, text or post, there are increasingly more unusual routes to give. Did you know you can scrap your car, or recycle your unwanted mobile phone for charity? Or sell some unwanted clothes, furniture or toys on eBay and choose to donate a percentage of the money you make to charity. If you’re buying rather than selling on eBay, you can make a small add on donation when you check out.

If you like online shopping, other websites such as Give as You Live or easyfundraising make a donation to your chosen charity every time you make a purchase.

Many employers offer a scheme that enables you to donate to charity straight from your salary. Payroll Giving donations are deducted before tax so each £1 you give will only cost you 80p, or 60p if you’re a higher rate tax payer.

If you make a regular or one off donation to charity and are a UK tax payer, making sure you opt in to Gift Aid means the charity will receive an extra 25p from the government for every pound you give, so your donation can go even further.

If you don’t have much cash, but have a bit of time…

Why not take on a challenge in return for sponsorship? Ask your friends, family, colleagues, social media networks, neighbours, even the guy who serves you coffee, to sponsor you and watch the money build up. We’ve all heard of fun runs, but think outside the box and try a danceathon, a yo-yo challenge, a 12-hour trampoline bounce… or a combination of them all!

Are you more of a social butterfly? Holding a cinema or ‘Dinner for Good’ night in your home, means you can raise lots of cash just by hanging out with your friends. Could you sell a service for a day, such as tea making, leg waxing, or bag-packing at a local supermarket?

It’s always worth asking if your employer or a local company would be willing to match the funds you raise, doubling the impact you make.

Do you have a mane of flowing locks? Give them the chop for charity. You can even give your hair to be made into a wig. Double win!

Sightsavers has some truly inspirational supporters who have undertaken incredible feats to raise funds for the charity’s work. Samantha Cumming is taking on 10 sporting challenges this year (rounded off with a talent show), all in aid of Sightsavers and two other charities.

Volunteering can also be a fun way to help a charity without parting with any cash. You can commit as much or as little time as you like. Whether it’s helping at a cat shelter, a youth centre, or giving a talk about your favourite charity, volunteers add millions of pounds of value to charities each year.

Short on time AND money? Don’t worry; you can still help campaign for change…

Helping charities doesn’t always mean raising or giving money. Many organisations campaign for changes to the law, helping them take vital steps to achieving their goals. Campaign actions can be as simple as clicking ‘like’, ‘share’ or ‘retweet’. It might not seem like much, but if that one click leads to some of your friends telling their friends, who tell their friends, who tell their friends… you can see how pretty soon your small action can have a huge impact.

Why not have a look at your favourite charity’s website and find out how you can help?

Sightsavers works in some of the world’s poorest countries protecting and restoring sight, as well as supporting people with irreversible blindness to live more independently. To find out how you can get involved with this life-changing work visit their website here.

A Million Miracles, Sightsavers, Malawi

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