Everyone wants to make a difference. However, not everyone has money to donate.  Great news – there are plenty of ways to make a difference – all without ever needing to write a check. Here are some ideas:

Donate Blood

One of the best ways to make a difference is by donating blood. Blood donation can literally save a life. More accurately, one donation can save three lives, according to the Red Cross. There are many organizations available so check online, with hospitals and Red Cross chapters in your community.


Volunteering is ideal for those who have time but not money. When looking for volunteer opportunities, consider your skills and preferences. Opportunities include walking dogs for local shelters, working fundraising events, providing business advice to nonprofits. I recommend contacting the nonprofits you are interested in supporting and explaining your areas of interest or expertise (photography, cooking, web design, social media, etc). Most will gladly brainstorm how you can help their cause.

Donate Items

Have you been meaning to clean out your attic, garage, or basement but haven’t gotten around to it yet? Well, consider it now! Donating gently used items is a great way to give back to the community at little to no cost. Simply go through stuff you’re not making great use of, and donate it to appropriate charities. There are charities in need of items directly. Additionally, several nonprofits run second-hand shops, where they receive the profits. The longer you wait to donate, the more dated and less valuable those items will likely be.

Start a Garden/Donate Extras

Do you have a garden that produces an abundance of food? Or would you be willing to start one? Several programs, including Meals on Wheels, will happily take this excess food.

Help with Deliveries

Offering to help with deliveries is another way to make a massive difference for nonprofits and individuals alike. People often donate their used furniture to charity – without thinking twice about how some people will get it home. If you have a truck or car large enough to move furniture, offer your services, and it will be greatly appreciated.