There are many ways to support charities and nonprofits. You may not realize it, but you probably have a lot to offer to local charities and nonprofits, including your time, skills, and even your space.
Here are some of the best ways to give back and do good.
Volunteering is an obvious way to help charity and nonprofit organizations when you’re not in a position to offer up cash. Many charities rely on volunteers to help with activities like collecting donations, assisting with events, organizing supplies, and physical labor.
Reach out to the charities you’d like to support to see what kinds of volunteers they are looking for and whether you’re a fit.
You should read: Can You Make the World a Better Place?
Donate Supplies or Items
Donating much-needed supplies and items that you no longer need is good for both you and the charities you support. For example, you can give:
- Nonperishable food and pantry items to food banks
- Pet food, toys, and supplies to animal shelters
- Clothes and toiletries to homeless shelters
- Toys, clothes, books, and furniture to family centers
Not only will this support the charities in your local community, but it also gives your unwanted items a second life, positively impacting the environment through upcycling.
Reach Out to Your Network
If a charity you follow reaches out for something specific, consider whether anyone in your personal or professional network would be able to lend a hand.
For example, maybe a connection of yours can help with a building repair, or you may have a friend who lives in a town where something needs to be picked up. Coordinating assistance within your network can get charities out of tough spots and save them money.
Donate Your Professional Skills
Charities require support in many ways. Often, they’re underfunded and don’t have the means to focus on marketing channels like their website, blog, or social media. They may also have to cut corners when it comes to event planning, writing grant proposals, or promoting fundraising events.
Even if it doesn’t seem obvious, it’s likely charities could benefit from your professional skills in one way or another. From offering your expertise to coming up with a partnership proposal between your employer and a local charity, there are many ways that you can use your job and professional knowledge to give back.
Coordinate Fundraising Events
Fundraising events like walks and runs and neighborhood collections get the community involved and can generate a lot of interest, meaning more participation and donations.
Run a neighborhood food drive for your local food bank; organize a community walk or run for a good cause; host a raffle or 50/50 drawing; or sell items like cookie dough, fudge, or chocolate bars in exchange for donations.
Reach out to neighbors, family members, and contacts from local groups that you participate in, like sports teams or book clubs.
Set a goal and let everyone know what it is so that you can work together to meet it.
Take Advantage of Giving Tuesday
Giving Tuesday takes place each year on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. It began as a movement encouraging people to include charitable donations in their holiday spending, but has since become popular with businesses as well.
Many companies offer donation matching for specific charities, meaning that if you can make a donation on Giving Tuesday, your impact will be doubled.
If you can only donate money once a year, be strategic about making a difference and save up the fruits of your fundraising efforts for Giving Tuesday.
Interact on Social Media
When a charity or nonprofit organization that you follow asks for help on social media, interacting with their post increases the number of views it gets, boosting their reach.
Liking, sharing, and commenting can all go a long way in getting calls for help in front of the right people, and it requires little effort on your part.
Make sure you’re following your favorite charities on social media and help them to spread the word when they’re in a bind by interacting with their content as often as possible.
Be a Supply Drop-Off Point
Some local charities aren’t conveniently located, which makes it hard for their supporters to drop off supplies on a regular basis. Offer to allow others to drop supplies off at your property, and either transport them to the charity yourself or have the charity coordinate a pick-up when there are enough items to make the trip worth it.
This is especially useful for charities that benefit from bulky items like food and clothing. Plus, having an easy and accessible drop-off point makes it easier for others to donate, meaning they may donate more items more frequently.
Help in Small Ways
The smallest of gestures can make a big difference. Helping out with simple tasks can free up time for charity workers to take care of more specialized tasks. You can always offer to:
- Shovel snow, salt sidewalks, or mow lawns
- Make phone calls or mail letters
- Send out emails
- Inventory supplies
Ask How You Can Help
If none of these ideas seem like a fit for you, all hope is not lost. Get in touch with the charity that means the most to you and ask them how you can help. Tell them about any relevant professional skills or hobbies you have that they may find useful.
Although they may not have anything for you right away, chances are they’ll reach out in the future when they find something that’s a match.
Donating money is just one of many ways that you can help charities and nonprofits to pursue their mission, grow, and thrive. By exploring your options, considering what you have to offer, getting creative with gifts, and involving yourself in the community, you can become a valuable asset to the causes that mean the most to you.