16 Ways to Give and a Challenge for You!

by | Jun 3, 2020

No fluff, no story, no long explanations. I have a challenge for you.

Think about ways to give to your favorite charity. I am sure several ideas came to mind. I first came up with six simple and obvious ideas. Then I started thinking about what’s unexpected. And then I started doing the math on how to do more. Let’s not stop here. What did I miss?

My First Obvious Six

  1. Make your normal size donation now – don’t wait till end of the year.
  2. Make a larger than average donation – target a specific project or program of the organization.
  3. Make a special donation now to help the organization deal with unexpected issues related to COVID-19.
  4. Give to general operations.
  5. Give to their greatest need – trust them to know where it can best be used.
  6. Check to see if your company will match your gift.

Five Unexpected Ways to Make a Difference

  1. Sponsor someone receiving specific services from the nonprofit organization.
  2. Sponsor volunteer training supplies at their next training.
  3. Ask if they need equipment replaced and replace it.
  4. Pick a day, buy, and deliver lunch for everyone working. Breakfast is just as good.
  5. Buy a stack of gift cards, like Starbucks, and drop off as thank you gifts for volunteers and, or staff.

Five Ways to Increase Your Donation

  1. Find a friend to match your gift.
  2. Find a friend to split a larger gift.
  3. Join a Giving Circle to make even larger gifts.
  4. Make a challenge gift. Example: Match dollar for dollar the next ten $50 donors who have not given in the last several years. Send your $500 gift after the organization meets the challenge. Go wild and make the gift as large as you can afford.  

One Way to be Creative and Visionary

  1. Start a conversation with leadership about their future to identify the intersection between your interest and their plan to get there. How can you give to their future?

Well, that’s my 16! Let’s get to 21. What are your creative giving ideas?

Consider This

Giving is an art and a science. The art is exploring the why that makes your giving unique. The science is figuring out how you like to give.

Do You Like the Idea of Giving as an Art?

Check out Your Giving Fingerprints to learn more about your unique giving style. How do you stay true to the way you most love to give? 

Do You Prefer the Science of it all?

Think about ways to increase the size or value of your donation.

Don’t forget this is a challenge.  Share your giving ideas so we can get to 21 today.

Our readers helped us get to 21. See their giving ideas below in the comments section!

Like it? Use it. Share it. Comment below.


  1. Anton Edema

    Dear Dawn, I am from Sri Lanka. We have an Unwritten way of donating, which I would like to explain. In our Language it the Receiver is called “Pullana”. For example a person who is a middle-class person who is unable to provide something for his children. He cannot ask you nor he is unable to do anything. You know his plight.Whether it is a service or an item. You provide his children with the need. Some elderly who are wealthy do not have anyone to talk to, you donate your time for them.It is not only the economically poor but Poor in very sense.

  2. Barbara Bass

    Honor your friends’ birthdays or special life events with a gift to their favorite charity or a board on which they serve.

  3. Jo

    My idea: make a list of people you want to honor and make gifts in their honor to either their favorite nonprofit OR your favorite nonprofit.

  4. Jacque Fowler

    Being quite “poor” right now, I found the 5 unexpected ways to give very satisfying and doable. An unexpected pizza or 5 with a heartfelt “thanks for all you’re doing!” is always an incentive for volunteers and staff to keep on pushing through hard times. They know their hard work is loved and appreciated.

  5. Dawn Franks

    Thanks Jackie! I can see you sending that pizza right now.


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