Many national organizations such as the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the American Diabetes Association and The United Way inspire people to feel for their causes. Other sources of inspiration include local organizations that provide food for the homeless, homes for rescue animals, money for education and more. People might become passionate or sympathetic toward a cause and want to help, but then become disheartened when they realize they can’t afford to contribute as much as they’d like. They might even feel that they can’t make a difference and so, instead of supporting the cause, they think about it, but don’t act.

However, you don’t have to give a lot money or even a lot of time to make a contribution. Non-profit organizations also appreciate gifts in kind such as donations of materials and time. Volunteers can be even more valuable than monetary donations. Also, there are fun and rewarding ways you can raise and donate money that don’t require a lot of time. So, what can you do?

1. Be a Volunteer:

At most non-profits, there is something for everyone to do. Don’t hesitate to contact your local non-profit and ask them what you can do. Make sure you are upfront about the amount of time you can contribute and the types of projects you enjoy working on. Non-profit employees will have a much easier time making sure you both get the most out of your time and they appreciate when people volunteer specific talents.

2. Host a dinner party:

You provide the food and drinks; guests provide donations. Invite friends, co-workers, church members, and family and charge a certain amount per person. You might even have a themed event, or choose a cause that goes with a certain holiday. Dinner parties especially work well when the money is going to a local cause. Let them know all the proceeds will go toward advancing your non-profits efforts in the community. You’ll all have a great time, and earn the satisfaction of doing something good.

3. Host a Gift Basket Party:

Hosting a gift basket party is the same concept as hosting a dinner party; however, instead of charging a dinner fee have each guest bring several specific items that could go in a gift basket such as canned goods and treats. After dinner and drinks, party goers get to have fun putting creative gift baskets together. You provide the baskets and decorating materials.

4. Donate supplies:

Have a lot of office supplies around the house that you don’t know what to do with? Contact a local charity and find out what types of supplies you can donate.

5. Sponsor a meeting:

Non-profits that exist to serve children and young adults in the community will always appreciate food-sponsored meetings. You could provide pizza, soda, and snacks for the young adults who will truly appreciate your contribution.

6. Help telemarket:

One of the main methods of funding for non-profits is to telemarket. You could donate your time one or two evenings after work to help raise awareness through phone calls.

7. Be an advocate:

Writing politicians to show your support for a cause is a great way to increase awareness.

8. Start a program in your community or church:

Start a chapter of a National Organization, or start your own group to support your cause. It doesn’t have to be really big. Just getting people together who all support a cause is a great start.

9. Make a link to a website:

Put a website link to your non-profits cause on your website, blog or online profile. Creating awareness about a cause is the first step to successful fundraising.

Choose one of these suggestions, or think of ways you can help on your own. The important thing to realize is that it’s not always about the money. You can make a difference.