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9 Powerful Ways to Give to Charity Without Breaking the Bank

Updated: Mar. 29, 2023

Especially during what's considered the happiest time of the year, the importance of helping those in need becomes even more apparent. If you want to know just how much your money, your action, or your subscription can change the lives of those struggling with illnesses, finances, and more, here's the lowdown on nine charities worth donating to.

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Buy a gift for as little as $20 and help children around the globe

Have someone on your holiday list who’s difficult to shop for because they always say they have everything they need? Instead of a tangible gift you can wrap, you can gear your holiday shopping to help children in more than 190 countries around the world, via UNICEF’s Inspired Gifts program. With options as little as $20, all the way up to thousands of dollars, you can provide deworming tablets, an HIV test kit, backpack basics, therapeutic milk, mosquito nets, and more.

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Spend a quarter and help mothers and children around the world

Are you great at taking your vitamins, yet hope to enrich more than your own body and want to foster health globally? You can help end malnutrition by donating to Vitamin Angels. At the core of their mission is providing life-saving vitamins to more than 52 million mothers and children under age five who live in impoverished regions of the world. In addition to donating on their website, make sure to look out for the opportunity to donate at their corporate partners, including The Vitamin Shoppe, Walgreens, Sprouts, and more. As little as 25 cents actually funds the recommended dose of vitamins per child for a full year, including purchases, warehousing, and shipping. Here’s how to know which vitamins your body is begging for.

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Donate $100 to feed a family in need for a week

The goal of Heavenly Harvest is to end world hunger by filling the bellies and the hearts of families and children who are struggling to make ends meet in America. Depending on how much your budget allows, $19 will provide two meals per day for seven days, while $100 can feed a family for an entire week. They also make it easy to donate via their website or by texting Text-To-Give to 917-993-5577. Curious where your money goes? The organization as partnered with Feed the Children in an effort to create meal packets that make delivery less expensive and seamless. Proceeds from these holiday gifts go towards a good cause. 

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Donate your holiday to your favorite charity—or charities.

Can’t decide what passion project pulls at your heart strings the most? No worries, with DailyKARMA, you don’t have to. The next time the holiday season rolls around or you make another lap around the sun, consider turning the tables on traditional gift giving and setting up a fundraiser instead. Here, you select the causes that mean the most to you and then donate directly, without ever leaving their site. You can make this a one-time occurrence, or a monthly or annual goal, depending on how much of an impact you want to have.

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Shop on Amazon for cats and dogs in need

The Best Friends Animal Society is on a mission to drastically reduce the amount of animals that are killed in shelters across the country, aiming to go from 17 million per year to about two million by year 2020. In addition to donating money on their site, you can also browse through their Amazon Wish List the next time you’re restocking on household essentials. Here, local branches from Georgia to California list the specific needs they have—from leashes and food to pet beds and more—giving you a personalized approach to helping pups and kitties stateside. And hey, if you want to go the route of a cash donation, when you give $25 or more, you’ll receive six bimonthly issues of Best Friends magazine. This is how much it costs to own a dog.

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Use your credit card points to donate to charities

As much as you care about various causes, the extra effort it takes to find a charity, pull out your credit card, and click the “donate” button can feel like yet another to-do list item. That’s why Dosh might be the best solution for you, if you want to help in a more mindless way. Consider the cash back and points you earn from your various credit cards. Instead of using that toward plane or concert tickets, you can use it to donate to any accredited 501c3 organization in America, after signing up only once. Talk about easy-peasy.

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Donate used magazines to help improve literacy

If your magazine subscriptions are piling up, consider donating your gently used or new editions to Magazine Literacy. This organization donates them to teachers in low-income schools, where reading varied material can improve a child’s ability to read, taking aim at the end of the cycle of poverty. After all, words are powerful.

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Donate $100 and pay for fourth months of tuition

The WomenOne Organization believes that quality education is essential for helping girls and women facing extreme poverty, cultural barriers, and sexist ideologies. In short, their mission statement says it all: ‘Educate a girl. Change the world.” Considering that 62 million girls will never have the opportunities and skills they direly need to raise healthy children, the work of WomenOne is just beginning across the globe. No matter what budget you have, your hard-earned money can be stretched far and wide, with $1 feeding a girl for a day, $30 buying a school uniform, $100 paying for four months of tuition for one girl, and $250 providing school supplies for one girl for a year. Another charity, She’s the First, has a similar goal to cure gender inequality through education, helping them to become the first to graduate from high school in their families. Instead of giving a one-time donation, you can subscribe to give $35 a month, which pays for basic tuition for a girl in one of their 11 lower-income countries. When you make this payment, you’ll receive quarterly updates, including letters twice a year, so you can follow along with her progress and see how it’s changing her life.

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Donate $100 and help pay for a breast cancer survivor’s prescriptions

The Alliance in Reconstruction (AiRS) Foundation is dedicated to providing breast reconstruction post-mastectomy to women who cannot afford the procedure. As an expensive surgery, it’s estimated that 70 percent of women aren’t briefed on their options after their treatment, or can’t come up with the high price tag to reconstruct their breasts. Considering this step is both a mental and physical part of healing, it’s essential for confidence after a difficult, life-altering ordeal. Whatever your budget, your donation goes directly to women in need. When you give $25, you’re paying for a specialized surgical garment for one patient, while $100 provides the co-pay for one patient’s prescriptions and $500 covers the deductible for one surgery for one patient, or pays for areola tattoos. Find out the truth about common breast cancer myths.