8 Ways To Give Back To Your Community

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Volunteer!

This one seems obvious enough, right? There are always lots of places looking for volunteers. From working with kids at an after school program to helping to facilitate an event, the opportunities to help out and volunteer a few hours of your time are plentiful. Even if you don’t think you’re particularly talented, you may be able to help a someone (or several people!) learn a new skill, It just takes a phone call and a little patience.

Double Your Next Batch

Next time you’re baking for a family or work event, consider doubling your batch and bringing the extras to a local police station, veteran club, senior home or soup kitchen. You’re already baking your specialty anyway, and all it usually takes is a few extra scoops of flour and sugar! There are plenty of places out there filled with hard-working people who will appreciate your skills!

Make New Friends At The Shelter

Animal shelters are almost always looking for extra help, and volunteering has never been so cute or rewarding. While there might be some unglamorous tasks, on occasion, you’ll also get to spend some quality time with some loving, adorable animals, and nothing beats that!

Organize A Clothing Sale

Ask locals to donate clothing and accessories, and re-label them for reasonable resale prices. Donate all the proceeds from the sale to a local charity and then give any of the remaining unpurchased clothes to a local shelter.

Paint A Mural

Consider organizing a mural painting somewhere in town. There’s bound to be a blank wall that could use a little beautifying somewhere along your daily route. Gather a few friends, approach the owner with your idea, and see about making a masterpiece that everyone can enjoy!

Share Your Pet

Your pet makes you smile and can be very therapeutic, so maybe they can make someone else happy too! Consider bringing your pet to a local senior center, veteran’s club, or hospital to bring some joy to the residents. Of course, this may not be the right choice for every pet or every location, so be sure to consider the demeanor of your pet, the needs of the patients, and the policy of the site before you try giving back in this way.

Tutor The Community

We’ve all got something we’re good at, and if you’re lucky enough to be good at long division or skilled in Spanish conjugations, consider sharing your smarts with local students. Many schools and afterschool programs would be happy to take on a volunteer to help students improve.

Visit Local Seniors

Senior Centers will almost always take volunteers, and usually, all they ask of you is to give your company. It’s often as simple as saying hello and listening to some beautiful stories. Maybe a fun round of cards or bingo? You can also read to them, run a dance or art class, give residents manicures… whatever! It’s all about spending time together, that’s what matters.

Responding to Natural Disasters

The American Red Cross is an internationally-known nonprofit organization that provides care to help those in need. Whether it be from a natural disaster, military families who need support, health and safety services, blood donation, among various other humanitarian aid across the globe, the American Red Cross is does everything they can to prevent and relieve people from suffering. Through an extensive network of volunteers, donors, and employees, this nonprofit organization has made life-changing impacts on people from all over the world.

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One of the Red Cross’ primary duties is to respond to natural disasters. Each year, the Red Cross responds to around 70,000 emergencies in the United States alone – which can range from a small house fire to devastating earthquakes that have wiped out millions of people from their homes. When these disasters occur, the Red Cross responds as quickly as they can to provide shelter, food, water, health services, mental health services, and any other assistance a community (or country) may need to help get people back on their feet.

Instead of Nepal’s most recent devastating earthquakes that have displaced millions of families from their homes and inhibited their access to food and water, the American Red Cross has worked closely with the global Red Cross and the Red Crescent network to deliver services to aid those affected by the disaster. These organizations respond to natural disasters like the earthquakes in Nepal by deploying disaster experts to assess humanitarian needs, organizing relief distributions, and providing shelter for those whose homes have been destroyed.

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Also, relief supplies are mobilized directly to the site of the disaster, no matter what part of the world it occurs in. Amounts ranging tarps and blankets to hygiene supplies and cooking items are delivered from disaster experts who are sent to those specific areas. Helping out financially by supporting local shops and businesses is another way the American Red Cross helps people suffering from a natural disaster.

For more information on ways, the American Red Cross responds to natural disasters and other information concerning their relief efforts, visit their website here.

“Extreme” Poverty Findings

According to a recent article published by Philanthropy News Digest, “A report from the World Bank estimates that the percentage of people living in extreme poverty around the globe will fall below 10 percent by the end of the year,” (World Bank Sees ‘Extreme’ Poverty Falling Below 10 Percent).

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The report, entitled Ending Extreme Poverty and Sharing Prosperity: Progress and Policies, consisted of 83 pages and projected that the number of people living below an updated international poverty line would fall 9.6 percent this year. With an international poverty line standing at $1.90 a day, the number of people living in these circumstances will drop from 902 million in 2012, to 702 million this year.

This decrease in “extreme” poverty, according to the report, is mainly due to strong economic growth and a multitude of investments in education, health, and social safety nets, which have collaboratively assisted around a billion people out of poverty starting early in the 21st century. However, it’s important to note that:

“At the same time, extreme poverty has become more concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa, where nearly half the global poor live, even as the extreme poverty rate in the region fell from an estimated 56 percent in 1990 to a projected 35 percent in 2015. Another third of the globe’s extremely poor are concentrated in South Asia, where the extreme poverty rate is projected at 13.5 percent, down from 50.6 percent in 1990,” (World Bank Sees ‘Extreme’ Poverty Falling Below 10 Percent).

It is vital in determining whether or not poverty levels have dropped significantly or barely at all through the use of statistical data processed over the years.

Further improvements to aid in the decline of extreme poverty will be catered towards sustainability and the development of how and when to reach specific goals. Also, more statistical analysis will be used to see unevenness in shared prosperity, disparities in dimensions of development, and access to health services and quality education. Though we have seen a somewhat significant decrease in extreme poverty globally, certain target areas will need further improvements.

In conclusion, we, as a global nation, are making significant strides to eliminate the amount of poverty in the world today. This is a big deal. As World Bank president Jim Kong Kim said, “This is the best story in the world today – these projections show us that we are the first generation in human history that can end extreme poverty,” (World Bank Sees ‘Extreme’ Poverty Falling Below 10 Percent).

 

Saudi Prince Donates Billions to Charity

Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, an investor, business man, and Saudi royalty, announced last week that he will donate all of his fortune ($32 billion) to charity within the next few years.

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According to the Huffington Post, Alwaleed recently stated, “‘It is a commitment without boundaries. A commitment to all humankind,’” (Saudi Prince Says He Will Donate $32 Billion to Charity). Alwaleed is the CEO of Kingdom Holding Company, an investment organization located in Saudi Arabia, and also has made significant investments in Apple, Twitter, Citigroup, GM, Euro Disney, and many other well-known companies.

At 60 years old, Alwaleed plans to donate billions to Alwaleed Philanthropies, his nonprofit organization that supports a wide array of causes, such as disease and poverty eradication, intercultural understanding, women empowerment, and disaster relief. At a recent press conference, the prince spoke about his plans to allocate the money, saying, “‘It will be based on a strategy that is supervised and managed by a board of trustees headed by me to ensure that it will be used after my death for humanitarian projects and initiatives,’” (The Huffington Post, Saudi Prince Says He Will Donate $32 Billion to Charity).

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Furthermore, according to the Huffington Post, “Gender, race or religious affiliation will not factor into which humanitarian issues are addressed,” (Saudi Prince Says He Will Donate $32 Billion to Charity).

To read more about Alwaleed’s business and philanthropic life, check out the Huffington Post’s article here.

 

Fundraising for Philanthropy

Scot UlmerWhether you are an active member of a philanthropy or you run one – there are many ways you can contribute to fundraising for your cause.

Fundraising for philanthropy is a great way to not only connect people throughout your community, but to educate those around you about your charity – that could be as specific as raising money for hospital funds that will go to one of your relatives in need, or for a widely-recognized philanthropy such as the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation.

Here are some helpful tips you can use to raise money for whichever philanthropy you are passionate about:

First, whenever you are raising awareness for a cause, make sure to be creative. Nobody ever wants to be harassed in the middle of the street in New York City on their way to work. Instead, be appealing and use your resources.

Making an announcement at work, or sending out an email to those you think would be interested is a great way to let people know that you want them to attend your fundraising event – but only if they want to. Never force somebody into donating money, because chances are they won’t want to donate to your cause again.

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Next, try to get children involved in your fundraising event. There’s nothing that people love seeing more than innocent children (though they may not always be so innocent) making an effort to learn and care about a certain charity. Try hosting an arts and crafts session for children that helps children learn about a cause while simultaneously giving them creative freedom to have fun and partake in the arts.

For example, if you are an advocate for heart health and cardiovascular disease, one of the leading causes of death in the United States, host an arts and crafts project where children (parents) donate 5-10 dollars and in turn get to make paintings of hearts – these could even be donated to a nearby hospital!

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Another great way to help raise money for your philanthropy is to promote good health by holding a sports competition or race at a local high school or infamous landmark in your town. A basketball tournament is always a great way to get the community together for friendly basketball games. Plus, who doesn’t love watching the local dentist get called for a double dribble?

In conclusion, there are many ways you can help raise money for your philanthropy, but having fun with it will always end in a better turnout and outcome for your event. Good luck!

What is Watsi?

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As our society develops into more and more of an online, tech-savvy world, often, we get distracted by the likes and notifications and forget to notice the true beauty of how technology can help save lives. Online websites and profiles have helped people around the world get the medical attention they need through various funding efforts and awareness. One platform that comes to mind is Watsi, but what is Watsi?

Watsi is an online platform founded in 2012 by Chase Adam, a Peace Corps volunteer, that helps provide medical care to individuals who need it, despite their income or medical situation. Adam came up with the idea of this technology-driven philanthropy when he was traveling through Watsi, Costa Rica, by bus and was witness to a woman on the bus asking for donations to help pay for her son’s medical care – which as we know, can be extremely expensive. When Adam returned to the states, he used Kiva, a crowdfunding website, as a model for creating an online platform that was easily usable and accessible to help low-cost, high-impact medical treatments for people who need the help.

Often used by citizens of underdeveloped or developing countries, the web platform caters to a wide range of needs – from setting broken bones back in place, to removing a complex brain tumor. According to an article published by Philanthropy News Digest, “To be considered for funding, a patient must have an injury or condition that, if left untreated, will severely affect his or her quality of life,” (Watsi). Once a patient is considered for funding, the Watsi team (which is based in San Francisco) helps find a doctor, donor, or anything related to the specific injury, that can help the patient out. Over the years, Watsi has partnered with the African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Project Medishare, and the Children’s Surgical Center in Cambodia, along with other highly recognized web platforms like Google, Dropbox, and Periscope to help assist with funding and medicinal needs.

Since September 1st, 2015, more than 13,400 donors have provided assisted healthcare for over 4,800 patients around the world. Also, according to Philanthropy News Digest, “The Watsi team offers a guarantee that 100 percent of any donation will support the procedure toward which it has been given” (Watsi). Watsi is an incredible example of how our predominantly technologically-driven world can be used for the benefit of humanity. Other online platforms should look to Watsi as an example of a well-thought-out, and well-received, web source that points to where the future of technological innovation should be heading.

 

9 MOBILE APPS THAT SUPPORT CHARITY

1. I Can Go Without

I Can Go Without allows people to swap a WANT, for someone else’s NEED. It is an app that encourages users to pledge to make lifestyle changes (such as giving up a cup a coffee each week) and then enables users to donate the money that they save to nonprofits. It is a social giving platform that allows its’ users to participate in philanthropic work by connecting causes and donors in a fun, engaging way.

2. HelpBridge

HelpBridge lets you notify your friends and family by text, email, or a message to your Facebook wall that you are okay when a disaster happens. Those messages can include your location, too. It also allows you to browse volunteer opportunities during crises.

3. Google One Today

Give a little, change a lot. One Today lets you donate $1 each day to causes and nonprofits that inspire you. It’s a community of generous people doing one good deed a day. It allows you to create a culture of giving every day, which in turn, can make you feel like you’re making a consistent positive change in the world!

4. Check-in for Good

Check-in at the places you love, raise money for the causes you care about. This is an app that enables users to check-in on their device to participating retail locations to generate micro-donations to nonprofits. It is also free for businesses to create an open Check-in for Good Cause page, which can help you realize your vision by increasing awareness, mobilizing supporters, building partnerships, and raising funds.

5. Charity Miles

An app that enables users to earn money for charity when they walk, run, or bike. Donate without dipping into your bank account, and become a sponsored athlete? That’s a beautiful thing. Charity Miles is the easiest way to integrate philanthropy into your daily workout by earning money and raising awareness for charities each time you exercise – turn on the app, choose a charity, and press start.

6. Instead

“You don’t have to be a billionaire to change the world. You can do it $3 and $5 at a time,” Instead’s website reads. This “micro-donations, macro impact” app is all about tapping into our everyday choices. For example, instead of spending $15 a week on buying coffee every morning, you decide to make it home and save the $15. Each time you brew a coffee at home, you can log in to the app and donates a few bucks.

The app displays the impact of your choice — so instead of your regular store-bought coffee, those few dollars could provide a South Sudanese child with clean water for a year.

7.  Budge

Budge is a great way to spice up any friendly challenge. With the Budge app, you can create a problem with your friends or family, and the loser has to pay an agreed-upon donation. This can be a fun motivation tool when training for a sporting event, losing weight or keeping on top of your most recent goals.

8.  VolunteerMatch

Tapping the most popular volunteer network online, the VolunteerMatch app lets you search for volunteer opportunities by your location, learn about what is involved, and share with your network. So, the next time you’re sitting around wondering what to do on Saturday, open the VolunteerMatch app.

9. JustGive

The JustGive app is possibly the easiest online app for making traditional donations. Just browse or search listed charities and make a donation quickly and easily. It really is THAT easy!

Corporate Philanthropy

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Remember, when you were a kid, and your parents told you to do something? Even if you had every intention of doing whatever it was— cleaning up the dinner dishes, making your bed, putting on a hat in the cold— being told to do it just irked you a little bit.

Truth be told, that feeling rarely dies off in adulthood. Just ask Tom Gimbel, Founder, and CEO of LaSalle network. Gimbel realized that if corporations wanted to be actively involved in any charity, it was disastrous to force that participation on employees. Instead, leadership should take a hands-off approach and let their employees figure out precisely what it is they want to be involved with. In this way, corporate philanthropy becomes much more intrinsic— employees are helping because they want to help.

Gimbel realized this when an employee began circulating emails about a dance marathon for charity. At first, the CEO was reluctant to let such activity continue. After all, so many emails that no one is reading can be annoying. Or worse, it opens the floodgates for everyone to send their own related emails and gum up the system.

So Gimbel investigated. When he approached the employee responsible for the email that he saw, he quickly learned that she wasn’t blindly casting a net to her coworkers. That is, she wasn’t the only one involved. Five others were participating in the same activities. Soon the number was ten, and it only grew more from there. Thirty employees and what one can assume were several emails later, Gimbel joined in. The result was a fun and productive outing that mattered to everyone involved.

Too often, company executives pick their favorite charity and make everyone else pitch in. But it can be argued that a grudging giver may not as well give at all. Gimbel suggests letting your employees lead you towards your next charitable action to create a lasting culture of giving.

 

Fundraising for Charity

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Raising money for a specific cause or charity can be more complicated than you may think – that’s why it’s essential to go about fundraising creatively. When fundraising is implemented creatively, you can avoid the hassle that comes with boring, repetitive fundraising techniques that most people don’t get too thrilled about. Instead, help people get motivated to donate by engaging in a fun activity within the community. Here are a few ideas of how you can set up a unique fundraiser for a great cause:

First, get the children involved. Let’s face it – people of all ages become inspired when they see young children participating in an event for charity. Whether it’s a dance recital, a play, or a sports event, parents and other donors will undoubtedly be influenced to support their children and help raise money for the cause.

Next, organizing a competition is a great way to raise money for a charity – make sure you have everything planned out beforehand. There are plenty of options to choose from here – you can host a fashion show, a pie-eating competition, or even a basketball shooting competition in your community that everyone will want to participate in. These types of events not only get people excited to join in, but they raise the level of community involvement and bring everyone together.

Third, host a dance-a-thon – because who wouldn’t want to go dancing for charity? The way you market this event is vital because there are very different types of people for your target audience. You can speak towards couples, dance teams, athletic teams, older men and women, and children alike to give them each a different experience to look forward to raising money for a great charity.

Lastly, we live in an age where people are aware of the importance of health and fitness and are increasingly becoming involved with various fitness events – so use one for a fundraiser! Not only will you be supporting a good cause, but people will want to be involved with an event that benefits their own body and brings people together through good health. So, set up a 5K within your town, or host a yoga or Zumba fitness class outside in a park – there are plenty of options you can use here, and community members will love it!

For more information on how to start fundraising for a nonprofit organization, please read this article published on Udemyblog.com

 

Why Volunteering is Good for YOU

Why volunteering is good for you

Spending time volunteering to support a local group or cause is not only an excellent way to give back to your community, but it is also proven to be right for you. 

Many people spend time wishing that they had more time to give back. Wanting to give back and do good is a great start, but finding the time is another story. It’s time to make volunteering a priority, and these reasons why should help give you some extra motivation. There are so many different ways that volunteering is right for you.

Think of the word “volunteers” and you might picture a group of people so generous that they put aside the fun things in life – say, relaxing at home or watching a movie on the couch – in favor of spending their time at soup kitchens and nursing homes. And yet, oddly enough, people who volunteer are often happier than those who don’t – whether they give their free time at a shelter or take on a prominent role in their town. So why is this?

Volunteering Is Good For Your Health

It might seem counterintuitive, but helping others can be a selfish way to spend time. Volunteers aren’t just happier than other people; they’re also healthier, with less likelihood of having some severe health conditions. Performing volunteer work could increase physical activity among people who aren’t otherwise very active. Even more surprising, people who spend time volunteering may feel they have more free time than those who don’t. They have learned the art of multitasking and get the self-satisfaction of feeling more efficient as a result.

Volunteering Is Good For Your Career

If more happiness and better health aren’t enough to convince you to take the time to volunteer, what about career advancement? For people who are unemployed or recent graduates who haven’t found a job in their field, volunteering can be a great way to get experience, make new connections, and even potentially turn it into a job opportunity. Few organizations will pass up free help with building databases, running fundraising campaigns, or designing marketing materials – all of these can be great resume enhancers. Even high-level professionals often find that volunteering on the board of a local charity teaches them new things about managing an organization. It also adds appeal to your resume! The desire to give back is an attractive trait in employees that any company would be happy to have more of.

How To Volunteer

Of course, not every kind of volunteer work is for everyone. But, fortunately, there is a vast range of organizations looking for free help, and they’re seeking a considerable variety of talents. Do you like building things? Find a local Habitat for Humanity chapter. Love animals? Your local animal shelter is probably looking for someone to walk the dogs or help with adorable cats. You’ll be a better volunteer, and more likely to keep at it if you find something that you enjoy!

For many people, volunteer work is an extension of other parts of their lives. Parents are especially likely to volunteer, and for many of them, that means helping at their kids’ school, coaching a Little League team, or leading a scouting troop. Many older volunteers – and plenty of younger ones too – join their churches in service projects in the local neighborhood or halfway around the world.

In some cases, the ideal volunteer job may be one that happens only occasionally. That could be helping to organize a team for the American Cancer Society‘s available Relay for Life events or taking part in a holiday food drive. On the other hand, a regular gig like a once-a-week shift at a food pantry can help build lasting relationships with other volunteers and be less disruptive to your routine.

Speaking of routine, one great motivator for many volunteers is support from the organization that takes up the bulk of their time – their employer. Some companies encourage workers to support local organizations by offering a few paid days a year for helping out. Other companies will roundup employees in a significant annual push like local United Way branches’ Days of Caring. Bosses find these events are also excellent for team building because they bring people from different parts of the company together in a new setting. And local organizations like them because people who spend one-day volunteering are likely to come back for more.

It can be hard to get started, trust me I know, but people who have helped out with an organization a few times tend to see how what they’re doing is generous as well as helpful to themselves at the same time!