It seems as though every time you turn on the television there is another emotional appeal by another charity asking for your help. Yet when money is tight at home it can be very difficult to justify spending cash on anything other than the essentials you need to keep you and your family afloat. Many charities have found that they have received fewer donations as the economy continues to struggle.
Yet there are ways in which you can help charities without increasing your donations or indeed by spending any money.
First of all, if you are making monthly donations by direct debit, call the charity and ask whether they are claiming Gift Aid for your money. If you are a UK tax payer then the charity can claim back from the government some of the income tax it pays, boosting its income without costing you any extra. Incidentally, your monthly donations might only be small, but the charities can count on that money and use it to work out what sort of projects they can afford in the coming financial year. Any additional donations, for example through collection tins or from sales in their shops, will be on top of the regular donations made, which helps the charities to budget effectively.
Volunteering your time is a great way to help charities if you have some time to spare. You might just have a few hours every now and again, in which case perhaps you could arrange to help out with a charity fundraising event. If you have spare time on a more frequent, regular basis then contact the charity of your choice and ask what volunteering positions they have available. The RSPCA's website has a list of current vacancies that you can browse, focusing on those positions available in your local area.
Charities could not function without the generosity of volunteers who give their time to help to run local branches and help out with fundraising efforts. The RSPCA also needs volunteers to work directly with the animals in its care, so if you are an animal lover then contacting the RSPCA to enroll as a volunteer would be a great way for you to do some work that you will really enjoy.
Another good way to give more money to charity is to use the Give as You Earn scheme. This works by giving money to charity out of your wages before tax is paid. This means that your gross income will be reduced before tax is calculated, saving you the tax which would otherwise have been paid on the amount of your donation.
Finally, don't forget about collecting up your old clothes and shoes, bric-a-brac and toys to donate to your local charity shops. The charity can sell those items on and can also claim Gift Aid on the amount of money raised by each sale. And remember that if you need to buy toys or clothes, have a look in your local charity shop to snag a bargain and raise money for the charity at the same time.