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Low on Funds? Here are Other Ways to Give to Charity

by Ashley Eneriz
December 19, 2016 | Money

This article appeared originally on Next Avenue.

When it comes to donating to charity, sometimes our budgets don’t allow us to be as generous as we we’d like. But you don't always need to open your wallet to help others. Here are four ways to give back that don’t involve writing a check or making a credit card donation. As a bonus, you might even declutter your home and earn a tax-write off.

Donate your clothes to job seekers

charity

Have a few suits or pieces of professional wear hanging in your closet that you’re tired of wearing? Donate them to charity so someone looking for a job can wear them and make a great impression.

Dress for Success accepts professional-wear donations to help women thrive in their professional and personal lives. To date, this group has assisted over 925,000 women in 21 countries. Check the Dress for Success website to find a local affiliate for your donation.

A similar charity, Career Gear, is a New York-based nonprofit that provides interview clothing and job counseling. While Career Gear has a few locations around the U.S., it also accepts mail-in donations of men’s professional wear.

Donate your miles

Many nonprofits, including the American Red Cross, use donated airline miles for nationwide and international disaster relief and aid in impoverished places. Check your airline’s miles’ account to learn how to donate your miles. One note: Donating miles isn’t tax-deductible.

Donate a cell phone to a soldier

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Instead of letting your old, working cellphone go unused, you can donate it to Cell Phones For Soldiers, a national nonprofit that provides cost-free communication services to active-duty military members and veterans. Since 2004, the organization has provided more than 220 million minutes of free talk time to military members and recycled more than 11.7 million phones.

Cell Phones For Soldiers also accepts donations of smart tablets. You can mail your gadgets or drop them off at one of the group’s assigned locations.

Donate proceeds from stuff you sell on eBay

It’s possible to sell practically anything on eBay—including clothes, toys and books—and then donate a portion of the proceeds to a charity of your choice. Not only will this help you clean out your closets, eBay will keep track of your donations for tax purposes and give 100 percent of your donation to your chosen charity.

You assign how much of your sale you want donated; for instance, you can choose to donate 25 percent of the sale and keep the remaining 75 percent. Note that eBay, PayPal and shipping fees may apply, but eBay waives a portion of the fees based on the percentage you donate.

Donate a photo of yourself (or anything)

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Yes, really. The Donate a Photo app by Johnson & Johnson allows you to turn photos you've taken into $1 donations to philanthropic organizations, just by uploading them. Pick an organization you care about, take a photo or choose one that's already on your phone, and follow the instructions to upload it using the app. It's really that easy. According to the app's website, 1.8 million photos have been uploaded to the app. That means $1.8 million dollars to charities, just by sharing a photo you'd probably share anyway.

Ashley Eneriz
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