To celebrate and publicize Random Acts of Kindness Week, I'm republishing my series from 2008, with some editing to fit 2010. For those of you participating in the Winter 2010 GeneaBlogger Games, there are some ideas here that you can use for Task 6. Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness.
It's time to put your money where your mouth is! Many of the following websites perform free or low-cost services to the genealogical community, and several struggle to maintain the expenses of running their websites, especially in this economic downturn. By giving a one-time $5 or $10 donation, you can help defray the owners' costs and continue to provide inexpensive resources to many others.
Census Tools - offering over 40 free spreadsheets for census, cemetery and passenger manifest data to make recording and analyzing your data easier; suggested donation: $10 via Amazon Honor System or Paypal.
Find A Grave - sponsor a memorial page of an ancestor or relative, which you can create; or be spontaneous, and sponsor the memorial page of a complete stranger! This one-time $5 donation will forever remove all advertising from the memorial page of your choice. You must create a free account to donate with a credit/debit card. You can also choose to mail in your donation. Lastly, you can make a purchase at the Find A Grave store to help this wonderful website defray its expenses!
Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness - you can donate by Paypal or by check or money order to keep this very useful lookup service online; or make a purchase at their online stores here and here.
USGenNet - hosts many free genealogy county and surname websites--among others--for the United States and Canada as part of their American Local History Network and American History and Genealogy Projects. Help defray their costs with a tax-deductible donation by mail or Paypal; details are on their home page and their FAQs page. Those that contribute $20.00 or more are automatically eligible for membership as a supporting or sustaining (voting) member.
Do you have a favorite genealogy website or blog which you frequent? Many of these have advertising on them. Support your favorite webmaster or blogger by clicking on these links every time you visit. By doing so, the owner likely will receive a small profit which often goes towards their bandwidth or webhosting expenses. If you have a specific genealogy purchase in mind (a coveted genealogy book or CD, or a new subscription database website you'd like to try), check out the ads on your frequently-visited sites or blogs to see if you can make your desired purchase through them. Sometimes you'll even receive a discount by doing so!