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So, you've got (a) coding skills, (b) reasonably regular spare time and (c) a social conscience? Contact a bunch of charitable or non-profit organisations whose causes you support and offer to do some work for free. This is quite possibly better than a donation: the amount of money they save not employing a person or company to do the work is probably more than you'd give as a donation; and besides, you're more directly involved and you might even learn something.

HTML and web design skills seem like they'd be the most commonly needed - sites constantly need updating and if you're lucky (and suitably skilled) you might even get a whole new site to get your teeth into - but who knows what else might be useful. Make suggestions, be creative: people are open to all sorts of new ideas once they realise they won't cost them anything.

I haven't actually tried this myself yet, but with a sizable chunk of free time coming up I'm getting together a list of likely candidates. Smaller, more local organisations are at the top of my list, partly because I figure they're more likely to need the help but also because I think it's nice to contribute something to the community.

(By the way, if you're missing (b) or (c) above I'd do something about it!)

The only downside to this is that, at least in the US, you get no tax writeoff for this. You can deduct the value of material goods given to charity, and simple monetary contributions, but coding is a donation of your time, which in the eyes of the IRS has no value.

I'm not suggesting that the only reason to give to charity is to get a tax break, but it seems somewhat unreasonable that if a carpenter gives a table to charity, he can claim it, but if you put tables on their webzit, you can not.

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