Support charities without spending money

Support charities for free

The number of charities in the world is phenomenal. From food banks to animal charities, mental health to overseas aid, medical research to local communities – the list is endless. Even when you are short of cash, you can still support charity without spending any money – we explain how here.


The obvious option here is volunteering. Instead of financial support, you can offer your time to a charity that you support. This may be on a one-off basis, such as helping to feed the homeless at Christmas or collecting donations at a shopping centre. But it can also be a regular thing – there are many tasks that charities undertake – and your help is needed. Find the websites of the charities you support, and search “volunteer” on their homepage to find out what’s available. You could even gain some valuable new skills and meet some interesting people in the process.

Donate unwanted items

If you have any good quality clothes or other useful items, find out where your local charity shops are and see if they will accept donations. Or if you prefer, sell the items yourself and donate a portion of the proceeds to charity. eBay has an option to do this when you list an item for sale.

Fundraising events

Fundraising events are both great fun and very valuable to charities. Take part in a fundraising event by participating and collecting sponsors, or helping the charity with the admin. Or organise your own event – large or small. This could be anything from hosting a coffee morning (ask others to bring the cake and treats!) It could be a work event or something bigger, such as a personal physical challenge or group sports event.

Use grocery cashback apps to “buy” free items for food banks

Grocery cashback apps will give you a full or partial refund on specific products that are featured in their apps. If you see that a full refund is available on an item but you don’t want it yourself, buy it, claim the money back and give the item to a food bank instead. Tip: double check if you need to scan the barcode on the item to claim a refund in the app before leaving it in the food bank collection area!

Use Amazon Smile

Amazon Smile is a service offered by Amazon where they donate 0.5% of the value of your purchases to a charity of your choice, at no extra cost to you. It may not seem like much, but Amazon Smile has donated over £12 million to date. Set it up on the Amazon website and in their app.

Use Co-Op Membership

If you shop at the Co-Op, their free membership card gives 2% of the value of your purchases to a charity of your choice, at no cost to you.

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