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12 ways to gear up for Giving Tuesday and donate to charity

12 NO COST Ways to Gear Up for Giving Tuesday

There are many ways that you can gear up for #GivingTuesday without donating money or buying anything. It can be hard to pledge funds when you are trying to pay bills or save up to buy your kids presents for the holidays.

Fortunately, there are many other rewarding ways to give to others that won’t break the bank! Giving to others can also benefit YOU by motivating you to clean your house, learn a new skill, or teach your kids a valuable lesson. Here are 12 NO COST ways to gear up for Giving Tuesday.

1) Donate Surveys 

Take short surveys from the comfort of your own home to donate to charity. You can join SurveyMonkey, choose a supported charity, and answer some short surveys. Once the survey is completed, SurveyMonkey donates $0.50 to the charity. Seems like a small amount, but it accumulates over time.

In SurveyMonkey, choose a supported charity from over 60 options and answer some short surveys. Once the survey is completed, SurveyMonkey donates $0.50 to the charity. Seems like a small amount, but it accumulates over time.

Take surveys and contribute to charity with SurveyMonkey Contribute**ADDED BONUS: They also offer contests and sweepstakes too such as a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card.

As of November 2017, SurveyMonkey raised over $643,000 towards my chosen charity, American Red Cross.

2) Donate Clutter

As they say, one person’s trash is another person’s treasures! This is my personal favorite way to donate because it is a good excuse to clean out and declutter. Look for those glasses on the top shelf that nobody drinks from. What about that cake plate that you’re saving for that special occasion that never makes its way out of the closet?

Not only does cleaning out your house and donating raise money for a non-profit, but it also allows someone else to buy it to enjoy!

Goodwill Industries International is a nationwide organization that sells your stuff. You can also shop at their retail stores. Proceeds help people train for jobs and gain employment. You can also receive a receipt for tax deductions.

Everyone’s favorite girl, Oprah, also has a good list of where you can donate almost anything!

3) Donate Clothes

Cleaning out your closet is another great way to gear up for Giving Tuesday. There is a great rule of thumb that if you haven’t worn it in one year, it is time to ditch it! If you need some motivation to get started, The Spruce has a great guide on how to tackle this project!

The Simple Dwellers also has some great tips on how to minimize your wardrobe and maintain it. Weed out what you don’t wear and give it to someone who can appreciate it!

**ADDED BONUS: Having a more orderly closet can also reduce stress and save time when you are getting ready! According to Psychology Today, “clutter is one of the easiest life stressors to fix”!

4) Donate Food 

I bet that if you go through your cabinets, you’ll find a few things that got cast aside as epic shopping fails. I always try to give my kids some variety in after-school snacks, especially healthy variety, but sometimes those all-natural blueberry oat bars don’t go over too well. However, your local food bank or homeless shelter would be more than happy to have them!

Look through your cabinets and pantry for packaged cookies, snack bars, and other dry and canned goods that you don’t think you’ll ever use. You may also have some pet food or treats that your fussy pet did not enjoy that you can drop off at a pet rescue organization. You can also receive a receipt for tax deductions.

5) Donate Shoes

Soles4Souls  is another great donation program! Collect all your old shoes (I rack up quite a bit of sneakers myself), drop them off at a convenient location, and create economic opportunities for others. If you have less than 15 pairs of shoes, Zappos for Good will even ship them for free!

It does not matter whether your shoes are in good condition or not….it doesn’t even matter if you have two matching shoes to donate!  Shoes in good condition will be given to people that need them. Shoes that are not wearable are used for Soles 4 Souls Micro-Enterprise Program to be reconditioned and sold locally or they may be sent to recyclers.

This organization also provides receipts for tax deductions.

6) Donate Time

One local Baltimore organization that is always in need of help is Moveable Feast. They support group volunteering days and can put anyone age 14 and up to work, so it is also a great way to get teen children into the spirit of giving. If you are in another region, you can also search nationally to be matched up to a local non-profit in your area.

VolunteerMatch will match you to virtual or in-person opportunities nationwide. You can filter by cause, location, and volunteer age from kids to seniors. You can also narrow your search to accommodate groups.

Habitat for Humanity is another rewarding way to volunteer your time to help provide housing to those in need. You can learn new skills, make new friends, and bring younger ones to help out as well.

You can see how far your donated time can go. Just ONE HOUR of donated time equates to $20 or more of value!

7) Donate Services

Another fabulous way to gear up for Giving Tuesday is to donate your skills to a charity in need! As a wellness expert, I have volunteered to give nutrition seminars for the American Heart Association. It is a very rewarding experience!

The beauty of this idea is that you don’t even have to go anywhere in person. There are many remote-based opportunities you can do from your own home from helping out with financials to designing a website or marketing strategy. Taproot+ is a great source for finding the best match for you!

Giving Tuesday: Volunteer your best friend as a therapy pet to cheer people up!8) Donate Your Pet

Well, really, this should say lend your pet. Organizations such as Pets on Wheels are always looking for animals that can serve as therapy pets to cheer up a senior center or kids in a hospital. Animal Assisted Intervention International has a directory of some other organizations or you can search for ‘therapy pets’ with your city name to try to find a match.

**ADDED BONUS: Your furry (or even scaly) friend will love the special attention they get from volunteering too!

Giving Tuesday: Donate steps with UNICEF Kid Power App

9) Donate Steps

Download the UNICEF Kid Power App and get moving! Accept fun challenges and unlock lifesaving food packets that are donated to kids in need. If you are an iPhone user, you can connect your UNICEF Kid Power App to your Health app.

If you want to have your kids get involved, you can order power bands from the UNICEF website and pair them to your smartphone.The bands come in cool colors and also tell time.

Moment Mom provides a great overview of how the UNICEF Kid Power Band has motivated her family to be more healthy. Visit her blog for more ideas on how to help others.

10) Donate Thoughts

While Veterans Day has passed, you can honor military veterans and active service members all year long! You can do something as simple as sending a letter to let someone know you care and appreciate their service.

If you don’t know a veteran personally, it is no problem! There are plenty of vets deployed that would love a letter from someone who care about their well-being. There are organizations that can help you out with where to send a letter. A Million Thanksand Operation Gratitude are just a few.

Visit Nisi Wanders blog for some more ways to thank a vet.

11) Donate Artwork

Not sure what to do with all that great art your children create? Send it in to be turned into cards for non-profit organizations! I Love my Kids’ Art creates and sells note cards from donated drawings and paintings. 100% of the profits are donated to recognized cancer foundations.

12) Donate Blood

There is a constant need to keep our blood banks full. You can choose from many locations from your local hospital to blood banks and bloodmobiles. You can donate blood, platelets, or plasma.

The entire process usually takes about an hour, so you can easily schedule an appointment online and drop in during your lunch break or another convenient time. Plus, you get free cookies and apple juice after you donate!

American Red Cross: “The need is constant. The gratification is instant.”

Hopefully, you’re now ready to gear up for Giving Tuesday, but we know it is a busy time! If you cannot tackle a donation by Giving Tuesday on November 28th, there is plenty of reason to share the love and give all year long! Happy Giving!


We are a travel and adventure obsessed family of four. We love to experience everything from local festivals and events in our ever-growing suburb of Columbia, Maryland in Howard County and neighboring cities of Baltimore, Annapolis, and D.C. to international extravaganzas, Caribbean guest fitness instructor vacations, ocean voyages, dream grants, city visits, and offbeat destinations.

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12 NO COST Ways to Gear Up for Giving Tuesday Comments

  1. Love this post! Such great ideas that anyone can implement to help give back. I’m definitely going to share with my kids in anticipation of #GivingTuesday and use some of your suggestions. Big thanks for the shoutout for my UNICEF kids power band post as well!

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