When you think of donating funds, you probably think about sending in a donation to a charity you care about. But, nowadays charity donations can come from the companies you choose to visit, or just good work they choose to do.

Here’s How You Can Make Sure Your Purchases Improve the World:

Buy Local

There’s simply less fuel used to transport products if they come from your local community. Plus, you can support small business and potentially get better products. For instance, I shop at a grocery store where all the meat and eggs comes from one farm. I know the animals were treated humanely and the eggs are farm fresh. The produce is as high quality as the farmer’s market when I can’t make it there on a Saturday. In numerous ways, I support my beliefs and my community every time I shop there.

Buy from Nonprofits

I buy produce once per month from a local nonprofit that helps individuals get farm fresh produce. I pay more than those with less income, but it’s still cheaper than other options. When I purchase my produce bag, I add an extra layer of donations by purchasing extra produce that’s given to a senior center. Jacob Harold, CEO of charity evaluation tool, Guidestar, takes his son to a local community health center where 90 percent of children are impoverished. His kids get great healthcare, and the money his family and the insurance company spends supplements care given to kids who can’t afford their visits.

Pay Attention to How Products are Made

I’m a big proponent of going to local coffee shops, but when there isn’t one close by I go to Starbucks. I like how they treat their employees. I also shop from West Elm that shows videos of how and where their products are made. If you worry about international labor laws, ask questions of all the stores you buy from. Buying products from both stores and product lines that treat their employees fairly, helps show consumers care about how they treat people. Give your favorite causes an extra boost when these same product lines and businesses donate to your favorite charities.

Help Your Community With Your Skills

I decided long ago, I don’t like taking on individual clients for paying for college or career coaching. My time is better spent and I can help more people by speaking to large groups. However, there are times when someone really needs my help. I’ll spend up to an hour helping them with ideas for weight loss, career, or financial advice. It’s part of my policy to do a good deed per day, and I can change someone’s life. You can do the same with your skills by just being a positive active member of your community. Start by saying, “hi,” and talking more to cashiers at grocery stores, your baristas, and fellow commuters on public transportation. You’d be surprised how much you can help someone in a five minute conversation. Then add to the efforts by calling local nonprofits and volunteering your skills.