Doing good on a budget: 6 free ways to give to charity

Doing good on a budget: 6 free ways to give to charity

It's nice to be able to help charities, but it can be difficult if you're strapped for cash. Here's a list of good deeds you can do that won't cost you anything.

Hannah Ward-Glenton

Household money

Hannah Ward-Glenton
Updated on 21 October 2019

We are often asked to reach into our pockets for charitable causes, which can be tough if you aren't in the financial position to be able to do so.

But it's not only our money that can be put to good use.

Here are six ways that you can help a good cause without having to spend any extra cash.

While this guide looks at free charitable options, we also have a guide to making sure charities benefit when you do spend money.

Give blood

There is always a shortage of blood: according to NHS Blood and Transplant, nearly 400 new donors are needed every day to maintain supply.

Donating your blood is a great way to help people who are in need and it only takes a quick online registration to sign up. 

People with the blood type O negative and male donors (who generally have fewer antibodies against red and white blood cells) are particularly sought after at the moment, with recent figures showing that women made up two-thirds of the new donors in 2018.

Man donating to charity (Image: Shutterstock)

Donate your time

They say that time is money, and donating a couple of hours a week to a good cause can make a big difference.

Charity shops are always looking for additional staff, as are local soup kitchens and foodbanks.

Helping out in your community can even be as easy as starting a conversation.

This is currently being encouraged by the 'Donate Your Words' campaign by Age UK in a battle against loneliness.

Donate your skills

Charities need talented people to help with all aspects of their organisation.

Whether you’re an experienced photographer, writer, or know a thing or two about web design, setting some time aside to use your expertise for good will be greatly appreciated.

If you have a particular charity in mind, look for a 'Get Involved' section on their website, or contact the organisation directly expressing your interest in giving them a hand.

Give something up

Asking friends and family to sponsor you to give something up for charity is a good way to raise some much-needed cash.

You could stop drinking alcohol for Macmillan Cancer Support's Go Sober for October campaign, or give up shaving for Movember to raise awareness for men's health.

Over £2 million has already been raised by people participating in Go Sober for October this year, whilst last year's Movember campaign raised over £10 million.

Man with facial hair (Image: Shutterstock)

Give it some thought

Quiz games such as Freerice make a donation based on how many questions you answer correctly.

For each right answer, a donation is made to the World Food Programme, and each donation is the equivalent of 10 grains of rice.

Freerice allows you to fundraise for free whilst training your brain and in the 10 years since its launch, users have raised over 200 billion grains of rice for families in need across the world.

Give up your search engine

Eco search engine Ecosia (Image: Shutterstock)

Surfing the internet using a different browser is a simple way to raise money for a cause that you’d like to support.

Ecosia, for example, is a Google Chrome extension that plants trees based on how often you use it, and it takes approximately 45 searches to raise the money to plant one tree.

The number of people using Ecosia is rapidly increasing, and the site was able to invest around £500,000 on tree-planting projects in June 2019 alone.

Goodsearch works in a similar way, but you can choose a specific charity to support with the revenue made from the adverts.

After you have made an account, you are able to see how much money your individual searches have raised. 

If you would like to make a financial contribution to a charity, make sure you read our tips on using gift aid and avoiding fees to make your donation go as far as possible.


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