Bunch Charitable Contributions
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Small Ways to Donate That Have the Biggest Impact

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Bunch Charitable Contributions
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Easy Effort, Big Heart

With the new year almost upon us, many people have year-end giving on their minds and earmarked in their bank accounts. You don't have to commit large amounts of money to make an impact. In some cases, it costs nothing to do something charitable. And giving in even a small way can make you feel good and improve your outlook, while potentially widening the network of people in your life and maybe even teaching you new skills. Here are some simple ways you can donate now and year-round.

Looking for even more inspiration? These 24 Ways to Help Others on Giving Tuesday are actually relevant all year.

I'm Not on Social Media
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Share a Social Media Campaign

"This is completely free and requires only a little work," says Jake Lizarraga, from Finance Fox. It may seem like nothing — just the click of a few buttons — but sharing a campaign on social media is a great way to help out. "The more shares a campaign has, the more likely it will be seen and get donations," he says.

Ask Your Credit Card Company
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Make a Donation With Your Rewards

Another really easy way to contribute with just the click of a few buttons is by putting your credit card reward points toward a charity, Lizarraga says. This small gesture on the part of many cardholders can add up quickly.

Related: 16 Tips for Making Tax-Deductible Charitable Donations

Shoppers Search Amazon First
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Designate a Charity on Your Amazon Account

Did you know you can choose a charity to benefit from your Amazon purchases? You don't pay anything extra; you continue to shop as normal, and the charity gets a small percentage of the money you're already spending. As of late last year, according to Amazon, charitable donations had been dispersed to the tune of around $100 million.

Support Businesses That Give Back
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Support Businesses That Give Back

A small but powerful way to make an immediate impact is by supporting businesses and brands that give back. "It may seem small and not seem to wield much impact, but it really adds up when numerous shoppers do the same," says Katie Horgan McConnell, co-founder and vice president of operations with the B Corp-certified shopping rewards program Giving Assistant. "Whether it's local businesses giving a portion to local community efforts or large brands supporting charities and causes all over, the average person can help. An online search can reveal countless brands and businesses that regularly give support from their proceeds. Locally, you can inquire when businesses will be holding fundraising events or if they regularly contribute to a local cause."

Get a Matching Donation
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Get a Matching Donation

Many companies will match donations that their employees make, which is a great way to stretch a little bit into more. "Donate when companies are doing 'matching,'" Lizarraga says. "This way, you don't need to donate the full amount to make an impact."

Donate Time Instead of Money
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Donate Time Instead of Money

If you have limited cash to donate, donating your time is another great way to give back. Think about what matters to you and then see where you can help. If you love animals, volunteer at a local shelter; if you love helping people, volunteer at a local hospital. Such places tend to rely heavily on volunteers.

Become a Board Member
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Become a Board Member

If you'd like to volunteer on a regular basis, consider becoming a board member. "One giving-back option, which most people overlook, is joining a nonprofit board of directors," says David Lewis, founder and CEO of Board Member Connect. "Finding motivated individuals to serve on boards ranks only behind fundraising as most organizations' biggest need." Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to be a high-powered executive or donate hours upon hours of your time to be a board member. "Fresh out of college through retirees and all in between can be utilized by nonprofits," Lewis says. "Generally, board members give two to four hours per month of their time, which is invaluable to organizations."

Offer a Free Service
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Offer a Free Service

If you have expertise or a special skill, offering to teach that skill or help others by using it is a good way to donate. You could tutor kids in reading or math, or offer resume writing assistance to those down on their luck and trying to find work.

Related: 35 Reputable Charities to Help This Holiday Season

Donate Clothes
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Donate Clothes

Already planning to clean out your closet? You might as well donate your gently used clothes to someone who needs them. Dress for Success is one example of an organization that will take your used clothes and give them to women in need who are applying for jobs.

Donate Food
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Donate Food

Feeding someone is still one of the biggest impacts you can make, and there are many people at risk of going hungry. Fortunately, providing food doesn't take much effort on your part. Local shelters, schools, and churches can all help you identify needs and where to donate.

Gather Supplies
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Gather Supplies

While donating food certainly is one of the biggest ways to help, you can also provide other necessities. Socks, winter wear, school supplies, and similar donations will be graciously accepted and represent a small way that you can make a big impact. The nonprofit Invisible People offers a helpful list of the top 10 donations that homeless shelters need.

Donate Blood
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Donate Blood

A single blood donation can save up to three lives, according to the American Red Cross. Donating blood is something you can plan to do on a regular basis. After all, blood doesn't keep forever, and there are always people in need, not just at the holidays or during a crisis. Your local hospital or the Red Cross can help you find a place to donate today.