Changing the World without Giving Up Any Money

How To Be an Everyday Philanthropist: 330 Ways to Make a Difference in Your Home, Community, and World – At No Cost (2009)
Written by Nicole Bouchard Boles
214 pages

I’ve never traveled to Africa to help feed the hungry or soothe a baby orphaned by AIDS. I’ve never initiated a rally for the homeless or poor. I haven’t found a cure for cancer, a way to stop domestic abuse, or an alternative energy source that will save our planet. And last I checked, I wasn’t a millionaire. But through simple steps I take each day-actions that cost nothing more than a bit of my time-I’m joining with thousands of other people who are trying to make a difference and give what we can to those who need it most. It is through these actions that we become philanthropists-everyday philanthropists.


I love browsing through my library’s shelves. Taking my time to go through most of the aisles, looking at the latest books my library has, walking from section to section finding books I wouldn’t otherwise have found on my own. A few weeks ago I went to the library and stayed as long as I wanted finding a ton of non-fiction reads, including How To Be an Everyday Philanthropist.

Nicole Bouchard Boles gives readers over three hundred ways to contribute to society. The author divides the book into chapter eleven chapters with each chapter devoted to a different way to give. Chapter 1, “Use Your Body”, list ways readers can use their body to help others such as giving blood, participating in baby-snuggling programs in local hospitals, learning CPR and more.

A great thing about this book is that there is something for everyone and every activity takes up only a short amount of time. It doesn’t take long to knit a hat for the homeless or infants, donate your unwanted clothes to a charity, or recycle  paper. This book has taught me that by changing the way I buy products, throw away trash, or use my time, I can help someone every day.

A few of the things I’m interested in participating in are:

  • Seed Savers. Seed Savers is a non-profit organization that shares heirloom seeds.  By saving, sharing, and growing heirloom seeds, gardeners are helping to preserve the biological diversity. On the organization’s site, I found many plants I would love to grow.
  • Blog Action Day. Blog Action day is an annual event that’s hosted by to raise awareness about a specific issue. Last year’s issue was climate change. Every year on October 15th bloggers around the world post their thoughts on the issue, sharing why the issue is so important and what people can do about.
  • Donating $50 to the Orphan Foundation of America. The organization has a program that gives birthday and holiday presents to foster kids who may not otherwise get presents.

Included at the back of the book is also a list of books that talk more in-depth about the issues the author has highlighted.

How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist is a great addition to any library.


About Vasilly

Mother, daughter, sister, college student, bookworm, lover of chocolate and coffee.
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11 Responses to Changing the World without Giving Up Any Money

  1. bermudaonion says:

    What a great book! There’s so much we can do to change the world right in our own neighborhoods. There’s an older couple in our neighborhood and when their gate started falling down and people started complaining, I said let’s not be that kind of neighbors – let’s be the kind that goes over there to see if they need help instead. It turned out they couldn’t fix the gate, so several men in the neighborhood did.

  2. stacybuckeye says:

    I lovethe idea of this book. It really can be about the little things, the daily decisions we make in our lives. I’m going to see if my library has this one.

  3. bookmagic says:

    I figure I do some already by my job. I work in an HIV/AIDS clinic. I also adopt shelter puppies and if I could I would have more that 2.I donate to United Way, though not much. I donate a lot of stuff but I know I should do more, way more.

  4. Kailana says:

    This sounds like an interesting book.

  5. Jenny says:

    I am always fretting about not doing enough Good Deeds, especially when I see blood trucks (they never want my blood!), so this sounds like a great place to get ideas!

  6. Kelly says:

    This sounds like a great book. Thanks for posting this review! I’m off to see if my library has it right now…

  7. Eva says:

    Yay! I’m glad this is worth a read! Although, like Jenny, I’m not allowed to give blood. I lived in UK during one of the Mad Cow outbreaks, so I might be tainted. lol

  8. vivienne says:

    This book sounds fantastic. I like the idea of helping out, but I haven’t the time to give up all my time. This sounds like a great book to help without giving up on everything.

  9. heidenkind says:

    What a great idea! I think a lot of people would like to help more people, but don’t think they have the time or money. Blog Action Day is definitely something that’s going to be on my radar now.

  10. Andi says:

    This book looks SO COOL and is definitely one I’m interested in reading. Here’s hoping it’s at my library!

  11. Marie says:

    Sounds like a terrific book with lots of valuable ideas about how we can all do little things that can add up to something big!

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