Surfing the internet is fun. There are endless ways to while away a few minutes. But did you know there are also lots of ways to help make the world a better place?
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Change Your Surfing Habits
They say that one change makes many; well that's certainly true in this case. Simply by going about your usual online activities (like searching and shopping) using NeoAid.com as a starting point, you can help generate money for your favorite causes.
NeoAid.com acts as a third-party website, allowing you to perform searches with both Google and Yahoo. Every time you search, a small portion of the advertising revenue goes to the charity of your choice.
Step 2: 'Click to Give' Websites
One of the quickest and easiest ways to help charities, is to visit the many free 'click to give' websites that have sprung up lately. They don't cost you anything other than your time, yet provide a very convenient way to make a real difference on a daily basis.
These websites operate on the premise that when you visit the site, clicking a button displays adverts from their sponsors. The revenue generated by these adverts then goes to charity; perhaps to fund programs that give food to the hungry, or helping to protect wildlife. There are many of these sites on the internet, so you're almost sure to find one for a charity you'd like to support.
Here are a few worthwhile examples of 'click to give' websites:
Step 3: Games
Charity game websites are quite similar to 'click to give' sites. Revenue from on-site advertising goes to support charity. The only real difference is that instead of simply clicking a button, you answer a question. Every correct answer you give earns a small amount of money from the advertisers which the charity then uses to pay for the donations it makes.
Why not play these charity games for a while?
Step 4: Donations
This is the most traditional way to help needy charities. You can use your credit or debit card to give money directly to the charity of your choice. Why not search for a specific charity or good-cause using NeoAid.com? (By using NeoAid.com, even your search will help generate money for charity!)
In the US, you could also use the Throwplace.com directory to find a charity to donate to:
In the UK, you can find a charity you'd like to support using Charity Choice; an online directory of registered British charities:
Step 5: Raising Awareness
Even if they don't have pre-coded adverts for you to add to your website, you can still link to their site from your own by adding a small amount of HTML script. Here is an excellent step-by-step guide on how to do this:
Step 6: Campaigning
Active charity campaigns have been created, developed and implemented completely on the internet. There are a wealth of free hosting providers out there, so if you have a cause you feel passionate about, why not start your own?
Care2 and Ning are both free online communities where you can create and join social networks dedicated to charitable causes, helping to raise money for and spread awareness about issues you care about.
Petitions are also a great way to campaign for a worthy cause. You can create a petition in support of, or against anything you wish. Collecting signatures shows the extent of public feeling on an issue and can prove invaluable in convincing politicians, lawmakers and businesses to take action and find a solution.
Step 7: Virtual Volunteering
If you have a little more time to spare and want to get more personally involved, virtual volunteering can provide you with some great opportunities. Activities like proof-reading, web design, writing, editing, graphic design, and translation can all be completed online and are a valuable contribution to the charities who need help with such tasks.
Step 8: Getting Out There
The internet can also be a great way to find more hands-on opportunities too.
While there are many companies that offer 'volunteering holidays' to different countries, these generally cost hundreds, if not thousands of pounds. If you'd prefer to give your time rather than your money, volunteering in your local community is probably a more viable option. Though not as exotic, local volunteering is just as worthwhile and can allow you to meet new people and make a real difference in the day-to-day life of where you live.
A quick NeoAid.com search using just a few key words, for instance 'volunteer', what type of work you'd like to do, and your location, can provide dozens of matches. Alternatively, if you'd like to work for a specific charity, visit their website and find out if they're looking for volunteers. Fill out their online registration form, or send them an enquiry email or letter detailing where you are, and what you'd like to do and they'll very likely reply with specific details of how you can get involved.
Why not visit these websites to find volunteering opportunities in your area? (Not just U.S.)
Local volunteering is generally the best way for everyone to get involved, but if you have specialist skills and experience, a longer term volunteer placement abroad may also be a possibility.
Step 9: And Finally...
Don't forget that no matter what you do, no matter how small your contribution may seem, that you're making a real difference, to real people. Most importantly, have fun and feel good knowing you're doing something wonderful to help others! :-)