Four Easy Ways to Do Good by Giving Back

Published on February 24th, 2014 | by

hand branchesFor many of us, it’s not enough to just have a good life or a good business these days, as there are plenty of other people on this shared planet that don’t have even the basics that we take for granted, including clean drinking water, or enough food to eat, or even an education (which could make the difference between just surviving and thriving).

But thanks to the power of the internet, it’s easier than ever before to help even the odds a bit for those less fortunate than us, whether its through charitable giving or volunteering or funding microloans.

Here are some easy ways to make the world a bit of a better place by giving back:

Microfinance: By loaning small amounts of money to aspiring entrepreneurs in the developing world, you can help individuals by not just giving them aid, but instead by offering them the capital they need in order to build a business of their own, which could have a big impact. Kiva is one well-known organization that makes it simple and easy to get started in microfinance, but there are other microfinance platforms to explore as well.

Charitable giving: Nonprofits and NGOs are able to do much of the ‘boots on the ground’ work through the generous donations of their supporters, which can be given as a one-time donation or as a monthly subscription service. The advantage of donating to a nonprofit, such as Unicef Australia, is that those donations can be used as a tax benefit, and that the money given by individuals can be pooled with that of others to have a bigger impact.

Volunteering: For those who have more time than money to give, volunteering with a local service organization or nonprofit can be a way to get a firsthand look at what it takes in order to make a difference in people’s lives, and to make a personal connection with not only the recipients of the services, but with other like-minded volunteers. By making company policies that support volunteering, businesses can encourage their employees to give back, even if they don’t have the extra cash to donate to a worthwhile initiative.

Support social entrepreneurship: By choosing to buy goods or services from a social entrepreneur or B Corporation instead of those driven only by the  ‘business as usual’ profit model, you can make a difference with the money you’re already spending, by supporting those businesses that aim to do good in the world with every transaction.

[This post is supported by Unicef Australia. Image]


About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!