5 Ways To Get Involved That Go Beyond A Simple Donation

What is it about philanthropy that makes you think of a room full of millionaires sitting around a stuffy round table that casually costs an entire year's salary? Not only is this an antiquated notion of what giving back is supposed to look like, but it can also be a deterrent for those who feel like what they have to contribute isn't "enough."
Newsflash: You don't have to own a yacht to give back in some way, shape, or form. Donating to the causes you care about doesn't have to mean dishing out your hard-earned cash (your time or advocacy is plenty valuable). And offering support isn't necessarily about finding a 501(c)(3) for the sake of a tax break. Which is why we partnered with Alba Botanica to change the status quo in the name of making the world a better place.
As part of the brand's Do Good Do Beautiful initiative, we surveyed more than 700 women around the country to find out the causes women actually care about — and how they go about giving back to them. What we discovered was surprising, and TBH, it explains a lot: All in all, only one in two (!) women find it easy to get involved. "As a full-time working mother, social causes just aren't a priority for me versus what I need to do for my family, my well-being, and my work," notes one study participant — and we don't blame her. With the impending doom that is the student loan crisis, inflation in the housing market, and our generation's obsession with $15 avo toast (kidding on that last one), donating money not only can seem overwhelming — it can be downright impossible for many families.
Which leads us to the question of the hour: How do you get involved without ever even checking your bank account balance? Luckily for you, we have answers. Scroll down for unique ways you can give back to the causes you care about most — from women's rights to animal welfare.

Environmental Protection & Sustainability

How to get involved: Be more thoughtful in your consumption.
With 67% of participants noting that they care deeply about the ingredients they put on their bodies, it makes sense then to support brands that are sustainable. Try investing in a brand like Alba Botanica that is Leaping Bunny-certified, reef-friendly, and striving to create biodegradable formulas with recyclable materials whenever possible.

Child Welfare & Education

How to get involved: Donate your old books.
Sixty-nine percent of the women we surveyed choose to support social causes in order to create a better world for future generations. The best way to go about that? Invest in our children. Consider donating your gently used books to organizations like Books For Africa or Book Spring. We know Marie Kondo inspired you to cleanse that dusty AF bookshelf of yours — now it’s time to repurpose the clutter for a good cause.

Racial Equality & Justice

How to get involved: Be an ally or an advocate.
Every. single. person. has the ability to be an ally to marginalized communities. To be proactive about a cause in your community, try organizing a showing (followed by a group discussion) of the documentary Race: The Power of an Illusion, join a workshop hosted by The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, or mark your calendars for next year’s White Privilege Conference.

Women’s Rights

How to get involved: Educate yourself and others — and then get to the polls.
Educating yourself on feminism doesn’t have to mean attending a gender studies 101 course at your local college. Podcasts like Call Your Girlfriend or Women’s Hour are both informative and entertaining — imagine that!

Animal Welfare & Protection

How to get involved: Volunteer your time.
Donating your time to your local animal shelter is a great way to start, but if you want to take it one step further, try volunteering for organizations that focus on political advocacy for animals. In New York, for example, there’s Voters for Animal Rights, or you can subscribe to the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade newsletter to learn more about initiatives in your area.
All in all, there’s truly no shortage of ways to give back to your community — without burning a hole in your pocket. You can invest in more sustainably minded brands; donate old books to children who will eagerly take them off your hands; find ways to be an ally for marginalized communities; educate yourself (and others) on women's rights; or volunteer your time at animal shelters. We're only getting started, fam.
Have other ways that you like to give back? Share 'em in the comments below — we're all ears.

More from Living

R29 Original Series