Although many of us aspire to be more charitable, insane schedules and a general lack of financial resources often serve as hindrances to this goal. While it may seem as if time and money are things that one must have in abundance in order to make charitable contributions, this is actually far from the case. There are many ways for people who are strapped for time and/or excess income to help the less fortunate and do right by their respective communities.

Put Special Talents to Good Use 

If you have any special talents that could be used to the advantage of local charities or causes, why not put them to practical use? For example, if you’re artistically-inclined, consider creating posters and assorted signage for local orgs. Additionally, if you’re proficient at web design, you could offer to optimize your favorite org’s website or create a site for them if they’re currently without one. People who are gifted conversationalists or have the power of persuasion can help out by making calls and sending texts on behalf of various orgs. This can prove particularly helpful to a fundraiser. No matter what your special talent is, there’s a good chance local orgs have a use for it.

Volunteer at Animal Shelters 

Animal lovers looking for a worthy cause should think about donating some of their time to non-profit shelters. In this role, you’ll be tasked with feeding animals, exercising them, cleaning up and helping evaluate new arrivals for adoption. Since this is a volunteer role, most shelters won’t require you to maintain regular shifts – which can be a boon to anyone with inconsistent work hours and/or a hectic homelife.

Before committing to volunteer, just remember that there’s a lot more to this role than playing with cute animals. While working at an animal shelter certainly has a number of enjoyable elements, you’ll also be expected to stay on your feet and do jobs that require a fair amount of elbow grease.

Donate Credit Card Reward Points to Charity 

If you generally have no use for your credit card reward points – or you simply feel like doing some good – consider donating them to charity. The exact mechanics of this process vary from card to card, but it typically entails going to the section of your account where you’re able to view and redeem points and selecting the number of points you wish to donate, as well as a charity to donate them to. This is a fast and effective way to donate to worthy causes that requires very little effort on your part. So, if your reward points often go unused, you have nothing to lose by giving them to charity.

Volunteer at Senior Communities 

Many senior communities are always accepting eager volunteers, so if you’re looking to brighten the day of any special seniors, you should find no shortage of opportunities. In addition to sitting and conversing with residents, you may also be called upon to read to them or lead group activities. Furthermore, depending on your availability, you may also be presented with the opportunity to help organize offsite outings.

Even if there are no senior communities that are accepting volunteers in your area, you can still provide assistance to any seniors in your life who are in need of it. For example, if you have parents, grandparents or elderly acquaintances who require help with everyday tasks or are simply to be kept company, take care to offer your services as needed. Taking just a little bit of time out of your day to assist seniors in need can make a tremendous difference in their lives and pave the way for lasting personal fulfillment.

Wanting to do good in your community and abroad is highly admirable. So, if you have the desire to actively improve the lives of others, you shouldn’t allow a lack of financial resources or free time to stand in the way. There are a number of convenient options for charity-minded individuals who are strapped for both time and cash. An ambitious spirit and a genuine passion for positive change can go a long way, regardless of how much leisure time or disposable income one has to spare.

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