Aussies have long had a reputation for being generous and it’s official with Australia rated as the sixth most generous country in the world according to a report by the Charities Aid Foundation. Probono Australia reports that the amount Australians are donating to charity has risen by $30 million to 2.24 billion per year. But not everyone has money to spare for a good cause; or they would prefer to give back in other ways. So how can you give back without splashing the cash?
A massive 36% of Aussies volunteer and that number of volunteers has more than doubled between 1995 and 2014. There are literally hundreds of ways to get involved as a volunteer from a local grass roots level to overseas projects.
Australian Volunteer International partners with organisations overseas who are working to relieve poverty, promote human rights and support local development. By sharing your skills and expertise you’ll be helping their efforts. They have assignments in Africa, Asia, Pacific and Middle East as well as Australia.
Another way to mix up travel with volunteering is to book a holiday with purpose. UK based Responsible Travel organise volunteer trips all over the world. You can book everything from a gap year in South Africa to a conservation project in the Amazon.
2. Raise a puppy!
If you have the time and the space and love puppies you could raise a guide dog puppy. Puppy raisers have one thing in common - they have the opportunity to help change people's lives forever. Their pup may become an invaluable companion to a person with special needs, either as a Guide Dog or a Pets As Therapy dog.
What does it involve? Well grooming and exercising their pups daily, along with basic obedience, house-training, and visits to the vet when needed. While this training is important, the dogs are first and foremost puppies - so plenty of games and tummy scratches are also required! If you are selected as a puppy raiser, you will care for a puppy from the age of about eight weeks to 14 months - an important time of learning for dogs.
The Guide Dog Association will provide ongoing support and advice, with regular visits to your home to monitor the pup's development.
3. Give away your stuff
Giving electrical goods that are still in good condition is a great way of helping out the community. Whether it’s your personal or business computer, or an unused television, your donation can assist an individual or community organisation get access to a key tool for learning and communication while also helping to reduce waste. Consider it the next time you update your iPhone.
4. Give a part of you
Donating blood is a very special thing to do, because it can save a life. Make an appointment through the Australian Red Cross Blood Service and feel like an instant hero. Find out if you’re eligible to donate by taking this simple quiz.
If you want to give what might be considered the ultimate gift, you can register to be an organ donor, so that you can gift your organs for transplant in the event of your death. To register you have to be 16 years or older. Register online at the Australian Organ Donor Register.
5. Give your expertise
Givology is a P2P (person to person) online giving marketplace, directly connecting donors to students and grassroots projects around the world. Think crowd funding meets charitable giving. It’s a cool, alternative way to help kids and projects around the world. They offer internships, which can be done online where you can lead projects and learn new skills.
For more great ideas on giving check out Give Now, which has a smorgasbord of ways you can make a difference.
1. Find local and overseas volunteer work.
2. Research some travel with purpose.
3. Raise some guide dog puppies.
4. Pay your electrical goods forward.
5. Donate blood.
6. Become an organ donor.
7. Do an internship for good.
8. Check out dozens of giving back ideas.