bumblebee conservation trust

Bumblebee Conservation Trust use Teemill to raise funds.

Rather than always donate to big charities, small charities often run on a shoestring and do more good. Many farm sanctuaries, animal shelters and homeless shelters benefit from support. But rather than just throw money that you don’t have, here are some alternative ideas to help. Also read of clothing brands that help animal charities (buy your next t-shirt and help animals at the same time).

Charity Excellence has an extensive list of organisations that can help with funding tiny charities, like those struggling financially.

animals asia bear t-shirt

Teemill is a wonderful company (created by organic Isle of Wight fashion brand Rapanui). Charities can create designs for their print-on-demand organic  t-shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts (and beanie hats) then sell online. The items are sent direct (printed in a green factory) and can be returned at end of life for recycling. So basically you’re selling clothing for people that need it, but it counts as a charity donation at the same time. Genius! Animals Asia (helping to stop the bear bile trade) uses this company to raise funds.

switch to a charity search engine

easysearch lets you list your small nonprofit (whether that’s an eco cause, animal shelter, homeless shelter or hospital). Then for each search, sponsors raise money. It this is done at community level (not big animal-testing charities), the rewards are immense. If each person say in a village signed up and performed two searches per day, it would earn thousands – paid for by sponsors, so it’s a no-brainer.

play the veggie lotto

Although there are many good reasons not to play the National Lottery, if you’re going to play one, Veggie Lotto, a small lottery (akin to visiting the Bingo or tombola, over multi-million pound lottery businesses) is a better idea. This still has huge prizes (up to £25K) but tickets cost just £1 a week with 7 guaranteed winners, and the prize sizes depend on tickets sold the previous Saturday night. And if there are multiple tickets that win the jackpot each week, they all receive the full prize money, not divided. The difference here is that 50% of all sales go to support the Vegetarian Society (that is mostly vegan these days), rather than the National Lottery that only gives 25% to good causes. A recent recipient has been a tiny sheep sanctuary that receives very little funds, and relies on volunteers. If you’re going to have a flutter, switch to this outfit instead! You’re more likely to win and it will do more good! There’s also a syndicate guide you can download online.

micro grants for small change

The Pollination Project is a US idea that is a great inspiration on what could be done here.  This charity basically gives tiny micro grants (no more than £1000 or so), like a ‘seed grant’ to help small charities establish or keep afloat. Often this amount can stop a farm sanctuary or homeless shelter from going under, and it exists to give out lots of tiny loans, rather than one big one.

Two examples of work they funded was a stainless steel vet station in a mobile van, to check health of pets escaping from domestic violence situations, and earth-friendly water bowls given out across India, to ensure that millions of s tray dogs, cows, monkeys, birds and other animals have access to clean water.

translate for small vegan charities worldwide

Vegan Hacktivists offers skills for free, to those who need them. From graphic design to other services, one service offered is translation material so others can read it.

be someone else’s eyes with this app 

Be My Eyes is one of the world’s most popular charity apps, where there are (unusually) more people wishing to give than receive. This is great fun for us – you sign up and then basically any blind person worldwide can contact you, to ask them to ‘be their eyes’, from reading a recipe, to deciphering a colour or reading instructions. Such a simple idea, but it’s transforming people’s lives worldwide. Not exactly a ‘charity’ more a ‘charitable app’, but worth listing all the same.

save & donate to charity (at the same time)

Charity Bank is a cross between a savings bank and a charity. You just join up and pool your savings, and these are used to support small community projects nationwide.

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