It has been a tough year for charities. Many of us do not have extra money and are uncertain what the future holds. Therefore, monetary donations to charities have been down this year.
There are ways that you can be charitable without giving money. If you are addicted to CVS like myself, you probably have ten tubes of toothpaste, seven packs of razors and eight bottles of hair products on hand! I actually stopped getting some of the free after extra care buck items due to my ever growing stockpile. Donating household products is one way to help those in need.
However, think outside the box a bit. Many organizations hold fundraisers throughout the year. Some hold silent auctions and raffles. Think about donating a gift basket full of items for an organization to raffle. Madame Deals has done this several times this summer and it is always a hit. Look for baskets at Goodwill, yard sales, off season clearance and the dollar store. Last year I stocked up on wicker baskets after Halloween for less than a dollar each. The Halloween basket liners came out easily!
There are so many different themes you could do: a baby care basket, spa package, snack attack, pet goodies, school supplies (we did this one in August when all of the school supplies were free), holiday themed, etc.
If you have a business, donating items for a raffle or auction are a great way to receive advertising for free. Make a gift basket full of goodies you have received for next to nothing. The charity wins by being able to raffle the basket and you win since they will credit the donor.
I usually place the basket in a large cellophane bag and tie it with a big bow. This finishing touch really makes the basket look professional. The baskets can be large or small. We have done some that have over $50 of items in them and some smaller baskets like the one above.
What are your ideas on giving to charities without spending money? We would love to hear from you!
This article originally apeared on Inexpensively.