How to Make a Real Difference Through Charity

In the modern age, it’s easy to feel like giving to charity simply isn’t enough. More of us want to make an impact, but how can you be sure your contribution actually really does make a difference?

This type of question, and others, are examples of why people may be more cautious about contributing to charitable organisations. If you feel that way, you should know there are many other ways to make a difference too. There are also independent charity researchers, such as Charity Navigator, which assess and rate charities.

Making a difference isn’t always about sending a monthly deposit. Here, we’re going to share with you some ways you can personally get involved with charity, to help play a vital role in our society.

Figure out what cause you’re passionate about

Not everyone cares equally about the same causes, and that’s okay – it doesn’t necessarily mean some causes are worthier than others, just that people care about different things. So figure out what you care about. Is it the homeless, malnourished children, animal cruelty, food waste, the environment, cultural awareness? There’s causes for everyone. If you’re passionate about helping native American Indians, you may choose to support a Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Consider local contribution

After you’ve decided what’s important to you, see if any local organisations exist in your area. Believe it or not, the best place to start making a difference could even be in your own backyard.

Does your community have a problem with homelessness? Volunteer at a soup kitchen, help with distributing donated goods and clothing.

Volunteering personally can give you a tangible feeling of making a difference. It’s easy to donate – but nothing beats actually being involved in making a difference, with your own hands.

Sponsor a child

Sponsoring a child is another great way to truly reach out a helping hand. Organisations like Compassion UK do excellent work in countries such as Burkina Faso, Bolivia and Haiti. The benefit here is that you’re put in touch with the child you sponsor, and communicate with them via letters. This gives you a first-hand perspective on how your money is being put to use to improve the life of an individual child living in difficult circumstances.

Talk to your local volunteer centre

If you don’t know where or how to start, talk to your local volunteer centre. They will be able to assist you with a list of local organisations in your area that need volunteers. There might be some fantastic local youth programmes you’ve never heard of before. A volunteer bureau will be able to help you explore all of the options available.

Get creative, do something daring

If you have an artistic talent, put it to use. If you’re an art student or involved in the local art scene, organise a benefit fundraiser and gallery display. If you’re a musician, play in pubs and tell the crowd you’re putting donations towards a charity.

If you’re an online freelancer, consider travelling abroad and do some volunteering in another country. I’ve known people who started their own charity in other countries, using social media to raise funds. For example, I know someone who moved to Southeast Asia, with nothing but a laptop and a backpack, and started a local charity for children. Dare to dream big, and anything is possible!

Claire Ward

Claire is a freelance writer and journalist who covers food, tech and car news. In her spare time she love to unwind with a good book and spend time listening to the rain from her comfy bed.