7 ways to donate without money

rainbow party banner

Looking for a way to change the world, but a little short on cash? Even a small donation counts, but there are lots of creative ways to support your favorite cause without spending a dime, or to make a small donation go farther. What’s more, people tend to donate about $15 more to a “grassroots” fundraiser than to an event or campaign hosted by an organization. Here are some ideas:

  1. Microphone – Share heartwarming stories, impressive outcomes, and requests for resources with your social media networks. Your tweet is going to generate way more clicks than their Constant Contact newsletter.
  2. Coffee Day – For one day, challenge friends and coworkers to skip their daily trip to the coffee shop and donate that $3-5 to your cause.
  3. Goods & Services – Bakers, knitters, personal organizers, and gardeners are among the talented folks who can offer their professional services as prizes for a silent auction or raffle hosted by a charity.
  4. Happy Birthday – Invite friends and family to donate to your favorite charity in lieu of gifts on your special day. Also a nice idea for baby showers, weddings, and holidays.
  5. Challenges – If you can give $25, challenge 10 friends to match it. Boom! You just turned your $25 donation into $250 that the organization probably wouldn’t have gotten without you.
  6. Stunts – If you’re a little crazy, you can improve on the challenge theory by putting your dignity on the line. Common stunts include shaving or dying hair, growing or removing facial hair, getting tattoos (Carolyn’s mom did this to raise money for MBHP), and, of course, physical challenges like marathon running. 😉
  7. House Parties – Whether your friends go for pizza and beer or wine and cheese, hosting a get-together is a great way to build interest in your cause. Rather than charging a “suggested donation,” you’ll raise more if you ask people to hold off on donating until they arrive. Then, have a brief presentation from someone connected to the organization, and make your ask!

If you would like to throw a house party to benefit the Boston Marathon Team, Jesse & I would be glad to speak to your friends about how MBHP helps people to access and preserve housing in the Boston area. Let us know about your grassroots fundraising ideas in the comments.


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