RAG Week is coming up! The annual bonanza of giving means students up and down the country are currently going to great lengths to raise money for the charities they hold dear.
Nobody’s quite sure why they call it RAG Week. The Oxford English Dictionary believes the term goes back to 1864, when students would hassle or ‘rag’ passers-by until they made a donation. Others meanwhile think it originates from young scholars in the Victorian era, who were known to take time out of their studies to collect rags for the poor.
Whatever the origins of the term, one thing’s for sure; RAG Week is expensive. Everyone is asking you to donate and for a student on a budget it can get a little overwhelming. How do you balance your conscience against your budget? Here are a few tips that should help.
Make every week RAG Week
Most charities prefer us to give monthly micropayments rather than the one-off donations traditionally advocated at RAG Week. As it makes the donation stream regular and reliable, lots of small payments work better for a charity’s coffers than a single big lump sum.
The good news for you is that the laws of finance mean you’ll find giving modestly and regularly is actually easier on your budget too. RAG Week is a great cause – but by giving smartly all year round, you’ll find it much easier to support the causes that mean the most to you.
Be a conscientious consumer
A lot of retailers and supermarkets donate portions of their profits to charity. By taking advantage of their goodwill and carefully choosing the shops you visit you’re winning on two fronts. One: You maximise the positive impact you make as a consumer, and two: If enough of us shop in stores with built-in charity schemes, our purchasing power will eventually convince other shops to follow suit, spreading like a chain reaction of goodwill.
Of course, consuming more doesn’t redeem you for donating less. But when a worthy proportion of proceeds are going to charity and the product is something you’re going to buy anyway, why not choose the seller that is chipping in for a good cause?
Unleash your own value
Even if we don’t have much cash, we always have the power to achieve incredible things.
In the UK, somebody needs a blood transfusion every few seconds. Without the generosity of volunteer blood donors, many people would not be alive today. As long as you’re fit and healthy, giving blood is an excellent example of how you can help people in need without spending a penny.
Still want to do more? Wow, we respect your charitable spirit! Well, you can always donate your time. While charitable organisations rely on money to stay alive, they also depend on an army of volunteers willing to set aside time from their schedule to pitch in to the day-to-day running of their preferred charity.
It’s never been easier to volunteer. Do-It is an excellent online resource that lets you search more than a million volunteering opportunities by interest, activity or location and then apply for them with the click of a mouse. It’s not just charities who you can volunteer for too – libraries, schools, hospitals, care homes and many more will all also greatly appreciate your kindness and assistance.
So: No more excuses. Armed with this knowledge, you don’t have to wait around until you’re a cash-rich professional to do your bit for charity. The time to make the world a better place is now.
Empathy and care for others are two of the most important traits we look for when hiring at Enterprise. Why not browse through our current job opportunities to see how you could fit in? If you are motivated by identifying and engaging with people’s needs you’ll be a roaring success here.