We all know the importance of a good side hustle. Not only do they help with a little extra money, but side hustles can broaden your network, turn into full-time gigs, and give you opportunities outside your 9-5. But they can also help others, not just yourself. The pandemic is a great time to be giving back and why not use a side hustle to do it? Here are some side hustles with a cause and how to find them (you won’t necessarily be in it for the money, at least not initially):

Look for the Overlooked

When looking for a side hustle with a cause, think about the people who aren’t typically the recipients of volunteerism. For instance, the blind or visually impaired. There’s an app called Aira that pairs people with blind people to help them go about their everyday lives. Try to find other demographics like that. You could become a coach at Dietitian Side Hustle or you can even work at apps, like Coin Up, that are helping different causes. Not only will your help probably be more desired, but you’ll be able to work with people who don’t always get the help they need.


One of the best ways to pick up a side hustle with a cause during the pandemic is to deliver. This can be food, masks, prescriptions, or any other essentials people need. You’ll want to deliver to those who are more vulnerable when running errands—like the elderly or people with comorbidities. This is something you can either partner up to do with an organization, like Meals on Wheels, God’s Love We Deliver, Delivering Good, or go solo. Offering to help out a friend or neighbor is just as effective and welcome as volunteering with a charity. In fact, it’s more personal. And you should be able to pick up some good tips.

Start Your Own Non-Profit

This may seem daunting, but start small. Remember that side gigs can turn into full-time jobs. This is a good opportunity to figure out a cause you care about and turn your side hustle into a way to help others. The key is to start local and keep the side hustle personal. Maybe you’re interested in helping people clean out their homes—donate your garage for storage. Congrats! You’ve launched your non-profit. Now start raising money to upgrade the storage space. You can use apps like Donorbox or SimpleFund, which is for small nonprofits as well as large ones.

Back to Basics

Go old school and host a bake sale or a virtual party that benefits a cause. You can charge people a cover and give some of the proceeds to charity. Some of the traditional benefits—like raffles and car washes—can still work great during the pandemic. You can even use apps like ZillyWin for raffles and fundraising. You’ll be able to make some money yourself while also raising money. Plus, you can also have a little fun and encourage others to enjoy themselves too. This will help people, and yourself, associate giving back to enjoyment.

The Understaffed

One way to get a side hustle with a good cause is to look for the nonprofits or charities that are seeking part-time employees. This likely means that they need people to help them with administrative tasks or outreach and don’t need a full-time staffer. This could be your side hustle. You can get paid for your time while still helping a good cause. Finding places that are understaffed may be about making phone calls and offering up your services for a small fee. Or listings for these sorts of jobs might be posted on state websites, like the Nonprofit Association of Oregon. The Foundation List also has a compilation of nonprofit job boards.

We usually think of side hustles as a way to make extra cash and boost your own career, but there can be more than just personal gain in a side hustle. They can be great ways to help others while also helping yourself. Whenever you pick up a side hustle, ask yourself how and if this can benefit someone else. It’s important now, during the pandemic, that we think of others. I think that’s a win-win.


  • Nicole Lapin

    Author, Finance Expert

    Nicole Lapin is the New York Times Bestselling author of Rich Bitch and Boss Bitch. She is the host of the nationally syndicated business reality competition show, “Hatched.” She has been an anchor on CNN, CNBC and Bloomberg. Her third book, Becoming Super Woman, is out now. Host of "Money Rehab with Nicole Lapin" on iHeartRadio.