The shops are packed with diet products and gyms are awash with people. It can only mean one thing: the start of the new year. January’s typically the time when we rethink our lifestyle choices and try to alleviate some of the guilt built up during all that festive feasting. But if you want to look beyond yourself and do something truly worthwhile for others in 2017 and beyond, you might have charity on your mind instead. The start of a new year is the perfect time to up your game when it comes to helping out good causes. To get you started, here’s your essential guide to charitable giving.
Understand the different types of financial donations
One of the easiest and most effective ways to contribute to charity is to give money. Bear in mind that donations can be made in many different ways. For example, if you have room for it in your budget, you might want to set up monthly donations to a cause of your choosing. Alternatively, if you don’t want the pressure of making regular payments, you could provide a one-off sum. For example, you could give a set amount to a specific appeal. Charities often ask for donations by mobile phone for particular appeals, so keep an eye out for these opportunities to give money. It’s also possible to provide religious donations. For example, if you’re a Muslim, you might want to give Zakat.
Think outside the moneybox
Of course, there are things you can give aside from money to help a good cause. For example, if you have possessions that you no longer use, rather than simply throwing them away or leaving them in your home to gather dust, why not take them to a local charity shop? This can be a great way to give anything from old clothes to furniture and electronics a new lease of life, and the money generated from the sales will go towards a good cause.
You may also find you can give some of your free time to charity. Whether you organise or help to run fundraising events, volunteer to assist with charity marketing campaigns or work in a charity shop, you can rest assured you’re going the extra mile to help those less fortunate than yourself. As an added bonus, you might get to meet some great people and you’ll have the chance to expand your skills.
Get others involved
You could also spread the word about the causes you care about. From speaking to family and friends in person to posting messages on social media, there are a number of ways that you can reach out and encourage others to give their time or money to charity.
Whether you can afford to give a little or a lot of your time and money, doing your bit for charity will provide you with the satisfaction that comes from knowing you’re helping people in their time of need.
- This is a collaborative post.