We all want to do our part in helping others. There are endless charitable organizations that do a lot of good and could do more with increased resources. But when you’re barely scraping by, it’s difficult to justify giving much of your hard-earned money to them. An alternative is donating your time somewhere. However, if you’re struggling financially, a lot of your “free” time is spent working a second job or looking for new employment. Luckily, there are ways to donate money to great causes -without spending a dime of your own. You don’t even need to leave your house.
AmazonSmile, owned by Amazon, donates .5% of the price of eligible items you buy to the charitable organization of your choice. Tens of millions of products are eligible. It costs you absolutely nothing to have them donate for you and Amazon receives no money for doing so. Once you choose who you want to donate to, you simply shop from smile.amazon.com to start reaping small rewards for the charity or nonprofit.
I have my AmazonSmile linked to the nonprofit Books for Kids Foundation, which I used to work for. They promote literacy skills for preschool-aged children, especially those from low-income families. They do this by creating libraries and implementing literacy programs run by skilled educators. My sister’s account donates to her local children’s museum. If neither of those appeals to you, don’t worry. There are over a million organizations you can choose from and you can change your charity whenever you wish. Chances you’ll find one you consider worthy of donating to are high. Just remember to make sure you always shop from amazon.smile.com. If you forget and shop from regular amazon.com, nothing will be donated.
The Hunger Site
In my last article, I told you ways you can earn money by tapping here. Now I’d like to share a way you can donate just by tapping. At The Hunger Site, you simply click to donate to different causes. Currently, they are hunger, breast cancer, animals, veterans, autism, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, literacy, and the rainforest. You click (up to once per day), they donate. That’s it.
Optionally, they’ll donate more if you purchase an item from their site. Considering it takes only a few seconds to donate, and costs you no money, there is no reason not to. Care2 and The Breast Cancer Site have very similar models. On Care2 you can click every day to help save the rainforest, protect big cat habitats, feed a rescued primate, and more. On The Breast Cancer site, you can click each day to help fund mammograms.
Free Rice donates to the World Food Programme to help end hunger. To have them donate for you, all you need to do is play a game. You pick the subject you’re most interested in. There are various choices under the categories of Humanities, Math, Language Learning, Sciences, English, Chemistry, Geography, and Test Preparation. You’re continuously asked multiple choice questions.
For every question you get correct, they donate ten grains of rice to the World Food Programme. Nothing happens if you get it wrong. There is no minimum or maximum amount of questions you can answer. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find this game pretty addicting and end up playing much longer than you meant to. But that just means more rice donated! Who knew that you could do good just by playing games?
Tab for a Cause
Full disclosure: I haven’t tried Tab for a Cause yet because I’ve only recently heard of it. However, from what I’ve read, it looks like a very easy way to start earning money for charities. Basically, every time you open a new tab to a web page, they donate between 0.1 and 0.33 cents to a charity. The money comes from ads on the new tab page.
You pick the category of charity you want to donate to whether it be preserving oceans, feeding children, training entrepreneurs, etc. The experience is gamified with various levels and points as well. You open tabs anyway, so why not do it in a way that causes money to be donated to charities? No wonder USA Today called it, “One of the simplest ways to raise money.”
Charity Miles is a mobile app that helps you donate money while getting some exercise. As somebody who likes working out, but has never experienced a runner’s high, the idea of signing up for a charity marathon does not appeal to me whatsoever. Charity Miles, however, does appeal to me. You can log a variety of movements such as running, walking, dancing, or biking.
Every mile you log earns money for a charity of your choice. You can get sponsored by friends as well. They currently have over 40 charities to choose amongst from Habitat for Humanity, to the Alzheimer’s Association, to the American Diabetes Association, and more. If you’re already an active person, this is a great way to get cash to charities without doing anything more than you already do. If you aren’t an active person, this app just might give you some extra motivation to become one.
Ideally, these websites and apps are used in addition to regular donations of time, money, or items. No matter how badly you have it, there are others who have it worse. But when times are tough and you don’t have time to sign up for a marathon, log a run on Charity Miles. Instead of your normal trivia games, play a few rounds on Free Rice. When you turn to Amazon for Christmas presents, shop through AmazonSmile.
Always be on the lookout for ways to give back because you never know when you’ll need others to give to you. In the end, any donation is better than none. Tiny donations add up, especially if multiplied by millions of people. Make sure to share these with your friends because the more people who contribute the better our world becomes.
Hannah is a freelance writer and author of the book How to be Influential: Easy Actions to Increase Persuasion. A digital nomad, Hannah writes as she travels the world. When not writing, she can be found reading a variety of books, exploring a new city, or having in-depth discussions with friends.