Ten Creative Ways to Support Charities this Month

March 18th, 2009   •   Comments Off on Ten Creative Ways to Support Charities this Month   

With more than 8,000 registered charities in Atlantic Canada, the charitable sector makes up a significant portion of the Atlantic Canadian economy. These organizations deliver vital services in areas of education, health, and social and community service. Many, such as food banks, provide the basic essentials of life. Together, with nonprofits, charities in Atlantic Canada generate $6 billion in revenues and employ 106,000 people – and support more than 1,000,000 volunteer positions.

In tough economic times, finding creative ways to support charities is even more important. In economic downturns, charities often find themselves in the difficult position of facing increased demand for services while dealing with cuts in funding from government, corporate and foundation donors.

As individuals, most of us do not have the financial resources to make those newsworthy million-dollar gifts that transform lives, through the work of charitable organizations. But collectively, we have the power to make a real impact. With a population of more than 2,000,000 (Atlantic Canada), we have the potential to provide the charitable sector with $40,000,000 in essential funds, over the next month, if we each make it a priority to contribute $20 to a charity of our choice.

Here are some creative ways of finding an extra $20 for charity:

  1. Donate the money you would normally spend on take-out coffee for the next month (sorry Tim Horton’s).
  2. Remember when gas was more than $1.40/l? Calculate what you were spending then for one fill-up vs. what you are spending now, and donate the difference.
  3. Are you one of the lucky ones getting a tax-refund? Consider donating a portion of it to charity.
  4. Does your employer match gifts? Let them know you are making a donation.Their support will double your impact.
  5. It’s still a little cool outside for yard sales, but if you’re selling stuff on Kijiji – consider donating a portion of your sales to charity.
  6. Are you able to tele-commute? Ask your employer to support your charitable efforts by encouraging employees to tele-commute for one week or more, and donate the $ saved on gas and transit fees to charity.
  7. If you don’t already have one, consider starting a casual-day at your workplace. Ask participating employees to donate a small amount each week ($1 or $2) to a charity fund – and ask your employer to match it at the end of the month.
  8. Do employees at your workplace participate in a lottery pool? Consider donating the pool funds to charity for one month – that’s one way to guarantee a win!
  9. Ask your kids for ideas – they are far more creative and resourceful than us old folks.
  10. Put a spare change jar on your kitchen counter and ask all family members to deposit their spare change for one month – it adds up quickly! (This is a good idea for the workplace, as well).

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