15 Ways to Give... for Free

How You Can Help Without Spending Money

Giving back doesn't have to mean that you take out the checkbook. There are many ways you can help those in need without spending a dime, and you'll feel great for doing so.

You can get as involved as you want with these ideas because they range from spending five minutes at your computer, to forming relationships with people in your community, to everything in between.


Give for Free
© Care2

Care2 is a wonderful free ecard website that has beautiful ecards that can be sent for every holiday and occasion. When you send an ecard through Care2 you'll receive butterfly credits which can then be redeemed to help non-profit organizations provide for those in need.

Gifts that you can give with your credits include providing safe drinking water for children, sending pencils to students in Haiti, planting trees, providing meals for abused animals, and many, many more.

You can also earn butterfly credits by simply visiting Care2 and taking part in their online community in various ways such as taking polls or signing petitions.


Give for Free
© Click to Give

Click to Give is a website that you can visit where you can click on ads and that ad revenue will be donated to charities set up to help abused animals, the poor, child abuse, homelessness, and cancer.

If you sign up for an account through Click to Give, you'll also accumulate additional points that you can use to donate to one of the charities.

is also another website where more specific charities are represented.


Give for Free
© Volunteermatch

VolunteerMatch is a great way that you can find local volunteer opportunities that will only cost you your time.

A quick search in my area and there were over 200 opportunities for me to volunteer in areas like children and youth, community, education and literacy, health and medicine, seniors, and women.

You can also use VolunteerMatch to find volunteer opportunities that are a perfect fit for kids, teens, seniors, and groups.


Give for Free
© Catchafire

If you have professional skills of any type, you can visit Catchafire and find opportunities nationwide where you can offer your skills for free.

Catchafire allows you to filter results by area of expertise, cause, or location, making it easy to find the perfect fit for what you have to offer.


Give for Free
© Goodwill

Every time you donate an item you already have but no longer want to Goodwill, they'll use the profits from that sale to help provide career services to people with disadvantages and disabilities.

Also consider locating local charities near you to see if they could use any of the items you no longer need.


Give for Free
© American Red Cross

Donate blood to your local Red Cross to help boost your community's blood supply and you'll be saving lives.

You can also and possibly be a match to someone who desperately needs a second chance at life.

Help Your Neighbors

Give for Free
Photo: Philip Nealey / Getty Images

Help a neighbor in need by shoveling snow, mowing their lawn, bring over a meal, or simply spending some of your time visiting with them.

You can even help out a neighbor anonymously by leaving groceries on their porch or simply bringing up their paper.

Adopt a Grandparent

Photo: Derek E. Rothchild / Getty Images

Contact your local nursing home and they'll be able to match you with a senior who would love to have you come and visit.

For only a half an hour a week or every other week, you can really brighten up the life of a senior while fulfilling your own.


Give for Free
© Locks of Love

Get a haircut and you can donate your hair to Locks of Love which will then use the hair to make hairpieces for children suffering from long-term medical hair loss.

Many salons will even give you the haircut for free when you're going to donate, just call your local salon to see if they participate.


Give for Free
Photo: Mike Harrington / Getty Images

If you love to garden but always have more than you can eat, here's a great way for you to give.

Ample Harvest will connect you to local food banks that will accept your garden surplus.


Give for Free
© Goodsearch

Every time you use the search engine Goodsearch to complete an online search, they'll donate a penny to a non-profit or school of your choice.

This is such a great way to donate by simply changing a habit of which search engine you use.


Give for Free
© Big Brother Big Sister

Big Brothers Big Sisters will allow you to mentor a child and help them realize that their world is bigger than they think.

There are opportunities in almost every city in the country and this is a great way to help your community.

Clip Those Box Tops

Give for Free
© Box Tops for Education

Clip the box tops you find on your favorite products you buy anyway and send them into your local school.

The school can then trade in their box tops for money they can use to improve the school.


Give for Free
© A Million Thanks

Write a letter to a troop member to thank them for their service and then drop it off at one the A Million Thanks drop off locations.

You can also send a free online card through Shutterfly to thank a troop member.


Give for Free
© World Community Grid

The World Community Grid lets you download a free program that will use your computer's power to help find cures to diseases and other solutions to some of the world's most pressing problems.

Projects in the past have included finding new drugs to treat malaria and how to more efficiently use clean energy.