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For people who want to make a difference in the world but aren’t quite sure how to start, making a financial donation to a worthy organization seems like the way to go. After all, if you don’t have the resources or knowledge to take on complex issues like world hunger or childhood diseases, writing a check to someone who has more of an idea of what they’re doing seems like the right call. However, while financial contributions by generous men and women are incredibly helpful to charitable organizations, there are other ways you can support your favorite causes that don’t require you to reach for your wallet. Take a look at the ways to donate more than money to the philanthropic organizations that you care about!


You may not have the knowledge or the funds to solve all of the world’s problems, but you probably have some extra time that you can spend volunteering with a worthy philanthropic organization. Investigate the opportunities near you, whether with a local group or a nearby chapter of a national organization. You can generally find a volunteer position that meets your needs in terms of scheduling, the nature of the work, and so on.


Food banks around the country are always looking to grow their pantries to help people in need, and they look for volunteers to bring in items from fresh fruit to canned goods; some food banks even accept donations of toiletries and other hygiene products that they can then distribute to the less fortunate. Get in touch with your local food bank to find out what their need are, then visit the supermarket or your own pantry to see what you can donate!

Used Items

Community centers, animal shelters, transitional housing centers, and many other organizations depend on donations of gently used items–games, toys, blankets, clothes, and more–in order to serve people in need. Many groups will also hold “drives” for specific items at certain times of the year: For example, a church might sponsor a toy drive at Christmas or a book drive near the time that school starts. If you have any lightly used items in your home, there’s probably a group in your area that would be happy to take it from you and give it to someone in need.

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