As we hit the middle of November, we are well and truly into the Christmas shopping season. It's a time of year that we are encouraged to think more about how we can help others, and contribute to charitable causes; but it's also a time of year when money may be stretched tight as we scramble to buy presents for loved ones. Few people realise that there are ways to give money to charity that don't cost them a penny (more than they would be spending already).
In this blog post, we share three ways that you can easily fundraise for us (or other charities of your choice). These services are all easy, free, and allow you to donate money as you shop online.
Moreover, these sites aren't just great for raising money while you do your Christmas shopping - you can use them year-round! Both Easy Fundraising and Give As You Live allow you to raise money as you do your weekly food shop; when you fancy a takeaway or book a holiday; or even when you sort out your car insurance!
Easy Fundraising allows you to raise money through over 6000 online stores.
Simply sign up for an account and select the charity that you wish to support (*cough, Three Little Birds, cough*), and it will allow you to immediately start shopping, with up to 6% of what you pay going to that charity!
You can either use the store directory on the website, or install the extension on Google Chrome, which will remind you every time you shop on a site that supports Easy Fundraising.
As a bonus, Easy Fundraising has a 'Spin to Win' wheel that you can spin every day. One in ten spins wins a donation for their selected charity!
Give As You Live
Give As You Live functions in much the same way as Easy Fundraising: you create an account, specify the charity of your choice, and raise money as you shop. You can either raise money by visiting stores through their online directory, or by adding the extension on Google Chrome. Through Give As You Live, you can shop at over 4000 different shops, with up to 7.5% of the money you spend going to charity.
Give As You Live also offers an 'In Store' option, which involves purchasing a prepaid voucher. This can be for a specific shop, or a 'One4All card', that can be used at over 55,000 outlets.
We couldn't make this list without including what is probably the best known service for raising money while you shop: AmazonSmile. Although AmazonSmile only gives 0.5% of what you pay to your chosen charity, it all still adds up - every donation helps! AmazonSmile is different from the other two services because it does not require you to create a new account - you simply sign in to Amazon through smile.amazon.co.uk and choose the charity you would like to donate to. From then on, 0.5% of anything you buy on smile.amazon.co.uk (which navigates exactly the same as the standard Amazon site) will go to that charity. Remember - if you shop through the normal Amazon URL, no donation will be made!
You can also use AmazonSmile when you shop through the Amazon mobile app - simply go to 'settings' and select AmazonSmile. Then select your charity, and follow the on-screen instructions to ensure all future purchases you make through the app contribute to them.