Donations can be made of money, goods or your time and expertise.
If you would like to donate some money but have no favourite charity, the Institute is not able to officially recommend one organisation over any other. However, there are a number of databases of charities which will enable you to search by geographic area, field of charitable benefit, etc.
If you are a UK tax-payer, remember to Gift Aid donations if you are entitled to do so, so that charities can add an additional 28p in the pound to your donation, with no extra cost to you.
Goods can generally be donated through charity shops, through collection banks or through door-to-door collections. In addition to helping your favourite cause, goods are recycled which is good for the environment.
You can find your local charity shop by searching the Association of Charity Shops' website.
If you would like to offer your services as a volunteer, contact the charity of your choice, or visit your local volunteer bureau. Many people begin their careers in the not-for-profit sector as volunteers. You can search for your local voluntary service council on the NAVCA website.
Some larger fundraising organisations have volunteer co-ordinators, while others deal with volunteers through their human resources departments. In some organisations, you may need to make direct contact with the departments in which you would like to work to obtain details on volunteering.
If you want to find out more about what being a volunteer is about, or where to start looking for a volunteering position, the web can be helpful in enabling organisations and potential volunteers find each other.
To find volunteering opportunities in your area, you could contact your local voluntary service council or try one of the following organisations:
- Volunteer Development Agency Northern Ireland
- Volunteer Development Scotland
- Volunteering England
- Volunteering Wales
In some cases you may be asked to donate to a 'cause' that is actually a scam.
Each year, many fundraising organisations benefit from Christmas card sales and it can be a great way to support your favourite cause.