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Celebrating 150 years with 150 ways to give back

Canadians are known and praised internationally for our inherent niceness. We hold doors open for strangers, apologize to a fault, and say “please” and “thank you” like it’s nobody’s business. But our niceness goes above and beyond mere pleasantries; Canadians want to support the development of thriving, healthy communities and build a better future for all. In 2013, 82% of Canadians made financial donations to a charitable or non-profit organization. And 44% of Canadians volunteered, devoting about 1.96 billion hours to volunteer activities. To put it in perspective, that volume of work is equivalent to about 1 million full time jobs. A study released by Volunteer Canada, IPSOS Public Affairs, and Investors Group titled, "Recognizing Volunteers in 2017" revealed that 75% of Canadians are very willing to volunteer in times of crisis, and that
82% of Canadians believe that all Canadians have something to offer.

The bottom line: Canadians have big hearts, and we think that’s worth celebrating.

Alberta’s Promise is all about helping Albertans and Alberta-based businesses give back to the community. In honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, we are offering 150 creative ways to give back and make a difference.  Follow along and share how you help others during our #GiveBack150 campaign, which kicks off on Canada Day 2017.

Without further ado, here are 150 truly Canadian ways to give back. Let’s get to it, eh? 


Purchase with Purpose
Be a socially conscious consumer; use your purchasing decisions to support causes close to your heart.

  1. Choose a socially conscious utilities company
  2. Support a restaurant that donates a portion of proceeds to charity
  3. Before making a purchase decision, research corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies of the businesses you are considering
  4. Boost local business: support organizations that utilize local suppliers, designers, talent, etc.
  5. Support businesses that implement green initiatives
  6. Shop for items made with environmentally sustainable fabrics and materials
  7. Instead of buying new, shop at thrift shops
  8. Support fair trade businesses
  9. Support social enterprises, social entrepreneurs, and social impact businesses

    Give through Your Biz
    Alberta’s Promise helps businesses find creative and meaningful ways to give back to local non-profits. Here are some simple ways to get started.

  10. Want to develop or improve a giving strategy for your business? Download our free community involvement toolkit to further your giving strategy
  11. Give a percentage of proceeds to a cause that aligns with your business’ values
  12. Non-profits in your area might be looking for a meeting space: offer up available boardrooms on evenings or weekends
  13. Donate corporate event tickets or box seats to a charity, nonprofit, or silent auction
  14. Offer up excess space as storage for non-profit collecting food or item donations
  15. Grow employee skill-sets by offering pro-bono services to non-profits during slow times of the year
  16. Donate unused office equipment to agencies that could use an office makeover
  17. Sponsor a local non-profit’s event or fundraiser
  18. Sponsor an amateur sports team in the community
  19. Encourage employees to give to causes they care about by offering donation matching
  20. Support employee giving campaigns in the office (e.g., employees could donate to a cause to earn casual dress days)
  21. Sponsor an annual employee volunteering day
  22. Launch a new product in partnership with a non-profit
  23. Extend your purchasing power to a non-profit in need of goods of services
  24. Promote a non-profit in customer newsletters or flyers
  25. Involve your customers and host a food, clothing, or book drive for a local non-profit
  26. Have a retail space? Select a charity to support and accept donations at the till
  27. Use your business’ social media channels to raise awareness of the causes and charities you support
  28. Organize team-building events that support a cause; many non-profits welcome corporate groups
  29. Include the logo and website of an organization your business supports on your website, business card, or in your email signature
  30. Be strategic in who you support so that your money and time makes a noticeable impact
  31. Give back to your employees by offering free income taxes services at the office

    Make Someone’s Day
    Random acts of kindness will never go out of style. Surprise and delight someone with a caring gesture.

  32. Buy coffee for the person behind you in line at a coffee shop
  33. Say thanks to those who serve and protect
  34. Give a genuine compliment to a stranger
  35. Bring treats to the office to share with coworkers
  36. Give a generous tip to someone in the service industry
  37. Bake some holiday cookies and share with your neighbours
  38. Leave a note of cheer on someone’s windshield
  39. Add a book to a Little Free Library
  40. Offer to mow your neighbour’s lawn
  41. Be a snow angel: shovel your neighbour’s driveway or sidewalk
  42. Put together a care package for the homeless
  43. Offer to pay for someone’s parking
  44. Do 3 Things for Canada
  45. Take a new colleague out for coffee
  46. Offer to babysit for the busy parents in your life
  47. Recognize a coworker with a thoughtful note
  48. Offer to buy someone’s groceries
  49. Smile at someone
  50. Give a transit ticket to a stranger
  51. Help someone carry their groceries to their vehicle
  52. Leave quarters at the laundromat
  53. Surprise someone you love with flowers "just because"

    Give Goods or Services
    Offer treasures and talents to support your community.

  54. Donate blood, plasma, or breast milk
  55. Donate food to a local food bank
  56. Help kids in need with back-to-school: donate backpacks and school supplies
  57. Donate gently-used or new sports equipment to local agencies
  58. Does an organization need your skills? Make it a win/win: give back while building your resume
  59. Donate concert or sporting event tickets to a local charity
  60. Buy a donation bag of food at the grocery store
  61. Donate books to a local agency
  62. Bring a box of toys to a children’s hospital
  63. Bring some blankets, dog food, or pet toys to a nearby animal shelter
  64. Donate or make your own artwork for senior centers
  65. Donate gently-used clothing to a local agency
  66. Donate an item off a non-profit’s wish list or urgent needs list
  67. Donate furniture to collection agencies or to a non-profit in need
  68. Artistic? Donate your services to design promotional materials for a local non-profit
  69. Social media expert? Offer your marketing services to a local non-profit

    Share the Wealth
    Monetary gifts support the front-line work of phenomenal non-profit organizations.

  70. Take advantage of matching programs to make your giving go further
  71. Donate to a friend’s online giving campaign in support of a cause dear to their heart
  72. Sign up for automatic withdrawals to give to a charity regularly
  73. Give financial gifts to charity in lieu of traditional holiday or birthday presents
  74. Forego your daily coffee for a month, and give the savings to a favourite charity
  75. Set a personal goal and collect pledges from friends and colleagues; the extra motivation will help you achieve your goal while helping an important cause
  76. Work with a local agency to offer financial support to a family in need
  77. Drop your loose change into a piggy bank to help a cause you love
  78. Consider donating dollars to a food bank instead of food; they can make your dollars go further thanks to buying power

    Give Creatively
    Think outside the box when it comes to supporting your community. Your giving can be as uniquely awesome as you are.

  79. Host a community garage sale and donate the proceeds to charity
  80. Offer to read to patients at a hospital
  81. Make supper for a busy coworker
  82. Start a Little Free Library
  83. Grow a garden, and donate excess food to a non-profit
  84. Attend donation-based events
  85. Sign up for a walk or run for charity
  86. Start a charity challenge on social media
  87. Write a blog on giving back to the community
  88. Visit someone in the hospital that needs support
  89. Instead of a traditional birthday celebration, rally your friends and volunteer as a group
  90. Offer to collect gently-used clothing from coworkers to donate to a local agency
  91. Raise awareness of your favorite charities by posting about them on your social media channels
  92. Are you a parent? Spend time with a new mom or dad to offer support and share your own experiences
  93. Share a healthy recipe with friends
  94. Take up a “hobby for good,” such as knitting caps for newborns at a local hospital
  95. Kick a bad habit with a coin jar for charity
  96. Attend a sporting event on a charity night

    Give Your Time
    Time is precious; make it count by supporting something bigger than yourself.

  97. Volunteer with any one of our amazing Alberta’s Promise agency partners
  98. Volunteer at a senior center
  99. Volunteer at your child’s school
  100. Sign up as a volunteer at your local library
  101. Give your time at a local women’s shelter
  102. Volunteer at a hospital or hospice
  103. Volunteer at an animal shelter
  104. Coach a team in your community
  105. Help a student by becoming a volunteer tutor
  106. Help prepare and serve meals with a non-profit organization
  107. Volunteer as a non-profit board member and make a difference while building your resume
  108. Get involved in a community garden
  109. Become a mentor to a child
  110. Volunteer at a local festival
  111. Teach English to new Canadians
  112. Teach someone how to play a musical instrument
  113. Visit a neighbour who may be isolated
  114. Get involved with your local community association

    Go Green
    When you help the environment, you help the community.

  115. Donate old cell phones, computer equipment, and electronics to an agency in need or to an electronics recycling centre
  116. Take advantage of nice weather: walk or take your bike instead of driving
  117. Adopt one new eco-friendly habit
  118. Start composting
  119. Recycle old batteries
  120. Sign-up to a carpool app
  121. Bring reusable bags to the grocery store
  122. Drink your morning coffee out of a reusable thermos or recycle your coffee cup
  123. Pass on buying plastic water bottles and opt for a reusable bottle
  124. Pick up one piece of litter on your way to work
  125. Offer to carpool with nearby coworkers
  126. Plant a tree
  127. Host a bottle drive and donate the proceeds to charity

    Share the Love
    Giving can be as simple as sharing, collaborating, and moving from “me” to “we”.

  128. Collaborate with like-minded businesses and non-profit agencies in your community: Alberta’s Promise can help make the introductions
  129. Do you represent a business or non-profit? Consider sharing office space with another organization to reduce both of your overhead and help each other out
  130. Non-profits: share contacts and vendors with other non-profits in your community
  131. Join the sharing economy and sign up to a sharing app to share tools, equipment, rides, sporting goods, etc.
  132. Consider sharing your summer home with a family in need
  133. Start a community garden
  134. Buying ad space for your business? Consider donating a section to a non-profit you support
  135. Attend events and workshops on collective impact
  136. Are you an expert on a topic? Share your knowledge with others
  137. Subscribe to an educational podcast and share your learnings with others

    Host and Help
    Step up and plan an event in your community.

  138. Host a community clean-up
  139. Team-up with local businesses to organize a silent auction fundraiser for a favourite cause
  140. Host a bake sale
  141. Offer free transportation to a neighbour or friend
  142. Offer to donate your talents, such as playing a musical instrument, to an charity event
  143. Organize a lemonade stand for charity
  144. Host a pay-what-you-can pot luck or cookie walk at work with and give the money to charity
  145. Organize a “Prize Survivor” elimination-style fundraiser
  146. Organize a workplace campaign (e.g., donate to wear jeans to work for a week)
  147. Host a pay-what-you-can block party for charity
  148. Host a meet-up for new Canadians to meet people
  149. For holidays and special occasions, host a prize draw or 50/50 raffle in the office where employees donate for the chance to win
  150. Create a caring community by hosting a picnic meet and greet for neighbours


Need help giving back? Connect with Alberta’s Promise.


Alberta's Promise
Alberta's Promise makes community investment easy.
We help businesses in Alberta direct financial gifts, volunteer hours, and in-kind donations to non-profits that support the well-being of kids and their families.

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Alberta's Promise