Charities need your time, money and goods to ensure they survive Covid 19 and can continue to provide essential services for people when they need it. If you are one of the lucky people who have built up Covid savings, then consider donating some of those to charity. Or perhaps you find you have more time on your hands because working from home has cut out the daily commute. Could you use some of this time to volunteer for a local charity or community group? Here are some easy ways to give more to charities during this period.
Volunteering is shown to boost your own mental health and sense of wellbeing as well as supporting your community to thrive. There are loads of organisations in your community looking for volunteers from befrienders to charity shop staff to hospital drop off drivers or food delivery people. If you have management skills or are looking to develop some, then many organisations will be interested in you volunteering as a trustee on their management board.
Charities definitely still need volunteers, especially now many furloughed staff have returned to work, but the process of managing volunteers can be time consuming and challenging for small groups. If you approach an organisation and don’t get a response, don’t lose heart. Remember that the people running it may be volunteers themselves and very busy. The pandemic has been logistically challenging for all organisations, and volunteering has been scaled back in many instances to protect volunteers, staff and service users.
Think about the kinds of things you are interested in doing and contact your local Volunteer Centre for active vacancies in your area – it will have an updated list of groups looking for volunteers during the pandemic. Visit Volunteer Scotland to find out more.
Charity shops really want your good-quality used goods from clothes to furniture, so if you’ve got some spare time, why not clear out all those unwanted items you’ve been planning to take to a charity shop for ages. Be thoughtful about what you are donating – is it something that in a different situation you might buy?
Its also important to bear in mind that there are bottlenecks and some shops are getting a little overwhelmed just now. To avoid a wasted journey, call the shop up in advance to check when they are accepting donations and what they are accepting.
Charities need you to give money more than ever before to make up for the loss in income from major fundraising events and income from activities like charity shops. Think about the kinds of ways you gave to charity without really noticing it before – sponsoring a friend to run a marathon or attending a pub quiz fundraiser. Can afford to give that money in a different way now?
Or you could purchase a Christmas gift that supports a charity or social enterprise – check out TFN’s Good Gift List 2020 for inspiration.
Charities thrive on regular giving income because its predictable and they can spend it on what matters most. If you want to ensure a charity survives to support people beyond Covid, a great way to do it is to set up a Direct Debit. Many charities offer the opportunity to set up regular giving on their websites.
Coronavirus has led to a rise in people writing wills or updating their wills. Legacy giving generates £3bn for charities every year and around 17% of people include a donation to charity in their will. Visit Remember A Charity to find out more.
This is a national scheme that enables you to give through your salary before tax. That means every pound you give will only cost you 80p, or 60p if you are a higher rate tax payer. If you’re company doesn’t currently support Payroll Giving, it can do so through a registered charitable Payroll Giving Agency – just Google to find one local to you. Find out more
If you are a UK tax payer, don’t forget to tick the Gift Aid box when you donate money or goods to charity. This can increase your donation by 25%.
Christmas is coming but Amazon doesn’t have to be the answer. The Charity Retail Association’s Good Cause Santa Claus campaign urges people to buy gifts from charity shops. Or you could look up your local Social Enterprise network organisation to find not-for-profit businesses that may be selling gifts. Keep an eye out for TFN’s Good Giving List 2020.
Shout about it!
Whatever you do for a charity, don’t be shy about telling everyone – you are helping to raise awareness of the cause and why it’s #NeverMoreNeeded.
Here are some suggested social media posts:
- “I’ve just donated to [Insert charity name] because its work to support [insert charity beneficiaries] is #NeverMoreNeeded”
- “I volunteer with [Insert charity name] because helping people struggling with [insert condition] is #NeverMoreNeeded”
- “I just dropped off a bag of good as new baby clothes at [Insert charity shop] because its work helping [insert charity beneficiaries] is #NeverMoreNeeded.”
- “I just bought Gran’s Christmas present from [Insert social enterprise] because it’s got great gifts and its work is #NeverMoreNeeded”