In a very tangible way, most artists do this by donating work to auctions or other fundraisers for nonprofits. You would be amazed at the number of requests for donations to such events I get each year (sometimes I get a little grumpy about it, actually, just because we are artists doesn't mean we can afford to give our work away for free all the time!). However, when I do give, it does make me feel good...
I tend to focus my giving to local nonprofits, and often ones associated with children or the arts. Here are some nonprofits I've donated artwork or time to over the past few years: The Children's Museum of Maine(Portland, Maine), The Maine Discovery Museum (Bangor, Maine), the Grand Theatre (Ellsworth, Maine), The Doweast Aids Network ("DEAN", Ellsworth, Maine), Habitat for Humanity (Local Chapter), A Kid's Place (Trenton, Maine), Schoodic Arts for All (Prospect Harbor, Maine), The Bay School (Blue Hill, Maine).
Posted by: fernhouse
I painted this rocking chair a couple of years ago for the Maine Discovery Museum, a children's museum in Bangor, Maine. This chair was painted for an auction they had of artist painted chairs.