With Red Nose Day on the horizon and dire state of the world in general, many of us are looking to support charities who can provide help. But where is the best place to start? Deciding who to donate to or offer support to can be overwhelming, but initiatives like Comic Relief can offer focus and reassurance that your donations will go to one of many specially selected charities and organisations. However, if you want to go further here are a few pointers on how to make a small part of the world that little bit better…
Support a Local Charity
When looking for charities to give money too, it’s not unusual to feel slightly helpless in the face of all those worthy causes, because there’s no way in the world you can support every charity you would like to (unless you have a bottomless bank account). However, a good starting point is to start local – do some research to see if there are any locally-based organisations working in fields you have a particular interest in and what community initiatives they carry out.
Look for Voluntary Work
Following on from donating to a local charity, you might also want to see if they have any volunteering opportunities available, or if not, then take a look at your local council website to see if they have information on local voluntary organisations.
Organise Your Direct Debits
This is now one of the most common ways people donate to charities and many of us sign up to help a number of different causes. Some of this is done by direct debit, but many organisations now let us contribute a small monthly amount via text message, giving you the option to opt out and opt in depending on your finances. If you want to support a charity this way but aren’t sure where to start, go with causes you’re interested in and passionate about and weigh up the pros and cons of supporting larger charities versus smaller organisations. Make sure you keep track of how much money is coming out of your account and when, and it’s always a good idea to stay informed about the charity’s latest initiatives and projects so you know where your money is going and if they need any extra help.
Red Nose Day provides the perfect opportunity to organise your own fundraising activity, but this doesn’t have to be limited to every year or two. You can get sponsored for many different personal challenges, so if you want to set yourself a goal, think about who else could benefit from it too.
Shop with Ethical Companies
The world is complicated place and many people now find one of the most effective ways of helping good causes is keeping an eye on where they are spending their money. Many companies now like to keep us informed of their ethical credentials (for example, if they sell Fairtrade products, have a sustainability policy or support a specific charity), so it’s well worth doing a small amount of research before buying that next gift or signing up for a service or subscription. Here at My Favourite Voucher Codes we donate 20% of our profits to a different charity every month, with the recipients voted by site users in our charity poll, so although you’re not making a direct donation, your regular online shopping activities can help make a small difference.
In an age of increasing awareness about global, social and environmental issues, it’s good to know there are many different ways we can help. So try not to get too overwhelmed by the state of the world in general (difficult, we know), pick your causes and perhaps even take your support further by offering help in other ways.
By Anna Scott, 6th March 2017