Beyond Holiday Giving

Countless people are looking for ideas on how to give back this holiday season. We want to help those in need and make sure that they have the same opportunities that we do. Thankfully, there are many different ways to get involved with your community this holiday season. Here are four strategies for giving back this holiday.

Donate to your Local Food Bank

Hunger can affect anyone at any time. In the United States, one in eight people struggles with hunger, about as many as those in California and Texas combined! During the holidays, food banks are bustling because more people need them to provide for unexpected guests or extra meals.

In addition to donations of non-perishable items from your home, consider donating time to a local food pantry this year. Alternatively, consider volunteering at a food bank or soup kitchen.

Adopt a Family in Need

In addition to hunger, poverty can affect families and individuals of all different backgrounds. Many people struggle with poverty year-round, but the holidays are a callous time for those coping with financial stress.

By adopting a family in need this holiday season, you can ensure that they have everything they need while also showing them that they have not been forgotten. Adopting a family can be as simple as providing them with presents or hosting a meal, but the potential ways to help are limitless.

Host an Event at Your Local Homeless Shelter

Although homelessness affects millions of people each year, we must remember that the homeless population is not just made up of adults. Roughly thirty-five% of homeless people in the United States are under the age of eighteen.

By hosting an event at your local homeless shelter, you can help provide for these kids who often go without food or gifts during the holidays.

Send a Letter to Troops

During the holiday season, many of us go home to be with our families. For those who are serving overseas, family is just a letter away.

By sending letters to troops during the holidays, you can help make their Christmas brighter! You can write about anything you want, but it’s especially nice to hear about why they are so special to you.

Conclusion

Giving back at any time of year can leave the world a little bit bright. So get involved today!

Ways to Fundraise for your Charitable Organization

A charity needs money in order to run, and not all charities can rely on organic donations to keep going. There are times when those working at a charitable organization must figure out fundraising ideas to bring in money for that organization.

Yard Sales Help Organizations Raise Money

When a charitable organization is looking to raise a bit of money quickly, they can ask for donations and then put on a yard sale. Those setting up the sale might put prices on each item or they might ask customers to give a freewill donation. A yard sale helps people clear out their closets while helping out an organization.

Golfing Events Can Keep a Charity Going

Those who are able to plan a big event might put on some type of golfing competition. This can get golfers in the area excited, as it allows them to do something good while pursuing their hobby. Area businesses might donate prizes for the event.

Setting Up a Table with Information and Handouts Might Work

There are certain seasons when stores see a lot of customers, such as during the holiday season. Some organizations can benefit from working with a store to get a table set up somewhere near the entrance with information, handouts, and a donation box available.

Social Media Fundraisers Can Take Off

If a charitable organization has a large following on social media, they might be able to get a fundraiser started on their page and see that take off. The organization might encourage its followers to share the fundraiser and get their family and friends to join them in supporting the cause.

Putting on a Race Can be a Great Fundraising Option

Those who are looking to raise money for charity might get local businesses together to help them put on a 5K or another type of race. They can hype up the event and get the whole community excited to support their cause.

There are many ways for a charitable organization to go about earning money. Fundraising does not have to be boring work, and there are times when people will get excited to be part of a cause.

How to Start Your Own Nonprofit Organization

Many people desire to make the world a better place but lack the resources or skills needed. Starting your nonprofit organization is an excellent way to make a difference in your community and reach those who need help the most. This blog post will discuss four steps that you can take today towards starting your own nonprofit organization.

Do Your Research

You won’t be able to start your nonprofit organization without knowing what you want to do and how you’re going to go about doing it. Please research nonprofits similar to the one you hope to form and find out what they did while still starting. What challenges did they face? How does their mission statement compare to yours? If they have any advice for you, now is the time to find out. Next, figure out what your mission statement will be and how that will guide your organization. You can even write a complete business plan, which includes a detailed outline of what type of research you will need to conduct, what your goals are, what challenges you may face in the future, and how you’re going to overcome these obstacles.

Get Incorporation and State Forms

To start your nonprofit organization, you will need to file some official paperwork. A great place to look for legal advice is with a local attorney experienced in this field, who can provide a more detailed explanation of what forms and processes are needed. You may also wish to check out your state or county website, where you can find a list of all the requirements needed to incorporate a nonprofit organization.

File for Tax-Exempt Status

To accept donations and begin applying for grants, your organization will need to be recognized as tax-exempt by the IRS. In most cases, this is as simple as filling out a form requesting tax-exempt status from the IRS and waiting for your request to be approved.

Conclusion

Nonprofit organizations provide people with the opportunity to make a difference in their community. If you follow these four simple steps, you will be well on your way to starting your nonprofit organization!

How to Encourage Philanthropy in Your Family

Philanthropy is a powerful tool for social change and building communities. The need for philanthropy is increasing across the globe since many developed countries are experiencing massive economic growth with the rapid development of technology, 

Philanthropic activities create charities and organizations that help the world have played a significant role in developing civilizations. People create charities because humans are motivated to help those in need, which is an admirable goal. However, a generous, giving attitude is not something that arises spontaneously in people. Instead, it directly results from how children are raised. Teaching children values such as caring, compassion, and empathy makes philanthropic giving and charitable organizations possible in the first place. 

However, not all children in families are encouraged to support charitable works. In this article, we will share ideas from famous philanthropists about teaching children about kindness, from sharing toys on the playground to getting involved in volunteering for charitable efforts when they grow older. 

Charity Should Be Viewed as a Developmental Stage in Children 

Director of Development at Shriners for Children Medical Center Aaron Hanson believes that a charitable disposition is not genetic but a learned behavior. For this reason, it’s possible to view the idea of putting others first as a significant developmental milestone that leads to a happier life. 

A Giving Attitude Creates Happiness 

Hayley Cordaro from Boy Scouts of America points out that research shows that children who learn about the value of giving are more likely to have a happy and joyful disposition. 

Developing a Positive Attitude Toward Charity Is Like Developing a “Skill Set” 

Senior Manager of National Events & Brand Campaigns for Youth at Make-A-Wish® America Dana Gold suggests empathy is a learned skill. Children who develop it appreciate the value and benefits of charitable contributions. 

Conclusion  

The world would be a better place if parents raised children interested in improving the world. Families can contribute to a better society and environment by cultivating values like empathy in children. The world is currently in a state of apathy and turmoil. To change this, families need to appreciate the benefits of philanthropy and charity when raising children.

 

The Difference Between Charity and Philanthropy

When people think of making a difference in the world, they commonly picture either charity or philanthropy. Charity and philanthropy are about helping, but the two have differences, although people use them interchangeably. The explanation below sheds light on the difference between charity and philanthropy.

Charity

Charity usually is a short-term giving as a natural and emotional reaction to an abrupt situation. Charity can be in the form of volunteering or monetary donations. Charity correlates strongly with donations, charitable giving, and children. It also relates strongly with charity ratings and organizations.

Charity is defined as the act of giving – help, money, items, anything. It’s the humanitarian thought behind the action that earns it this classification, as the ultimate goal is to put some good back into the world.

Philanthropy

Philanthropy is about addressing the cause of social issues. It requires a long-term and more strategic approach. A significant number of philanthropists engage in advocacy in addition to volunteering and giving money. People searching for philanthropy relate it to creating, managing, research, knowledge, and organization.

Charity & Philanthropy

Sometimes charity and philanthropy congregate during particular situations like disaster relief. We all feel obliged to assist with the essential necessities when we learn about a tragedy on traditional or social media platforms.

An example is the reactions after tragedies like hurricanes and tsunamis. The number of Google searches for “charity” and correlated keywords were at an all-time high around 2005 Hurricane Katrina. Sri Lanka Tsunami in 2004 was second for charity searches. The number of searches for both cases increased approximately fivefold during peak times.

The approach to helping by one form of intervention shows the difference between charity and philanthropy. Philanthropy goes further than just helping by focusing on the entire disaster relief life cycle. It looks at prevention, preparedness, and recovery. Donors can decide to focus on specific populations like the poor, children, or elderly as a part of their strategy. Others choose to improve systems by working directly with the stakeholders.

There is a place to fit between charity and philanthropy when we get beyond definition to start giving. The charitable will always give even when they can only afford a little. They up their name when they have more and start connecting with philanthropy at this point. There is a place for both whether you think your assistance to be philanthropy or not. We can all choose the place that will help us make the most impact, including the ratio of charity and philanthropy that we plan to engage.

How Businesses Can Incorporate Philanthropy on a Budget

Philanthropy is something that can be difficult for relatively new businesses to incorporate into their models. Often, business owners wait until they’ve reached a certain financial threshold before even thinking about donating or raising money for charitable causes. However, there are plenty of simple ways in which all businesses can incorporate philanthropic practices into their day-to-day processes.

Start Small

One of the most effective ways businesses can incorporate philanthropy into their daily operations is to do so on a small scale. Business owners and managers usually have little trouble coming up with smaller initiatives to raise money. For example, businesses could easily organize parties, games, or events where proceeds and donations can go towards helping needy children or homeless shelters. Companies might also try organizing a designated donation day where customers are asked to donate small amounts of money for various causes before leaving the store. This process helps businesses raise money for people who need it and reinforces the positive customer service experience that most customers expect from modern businesses.

A Worthy Mission

Another way in which businesses can incorporate philanthropy into their operations is by taking up a mission-based approach. One of the reasons why many business owners are initially reluctant to donate is because they don’t have a worthy purpose in mind to devote themselves to. Businesses could focus their attention on improving literacy rates in local schools or promoting their own sustainability goals to customers. In other words, entrepreneurs need to find causes they are genuinely interested in helping out with before committing to philanthropic activities that don’t they don’t actually care about.

Partnering with Charities

One of the best ways businesses can incorporate philanthropy on a budget is by partnering with local charities. A partnership can take on various forms, including simple sponsorship deals to more comprehensive, long-term arrangements that give both organizations room to grow and develop together. When businesses partner with charities, they help both organizations grow and improve at a faster rate.

Start Today

As businesses get older and more established, they tend to gradually build up the capital reserves that can be used to fund philanthropic causes. However, this doesn’t mean that new businesses or companies with a small budget aren’t able to incorporate philanthropy into their operations. By working hard from day one and focusing on important movements or causes in their local communities, all business owners can feel the joys of helping those in need while also bettering their own reputations as excellent employers.

Tips For Volunteering Overseas

Volunteering is a beautiful way to make a difference while supporting the nonprofit organizations that you love. It makes you feel like you have a purpose in the world while making the lives of others better.

The idea of volunteering overseas can be both intimidating and appealing for many potential volunteers out there. Yet, there is specific advice that they should try to follow. This advice will help keep them from making mistakes and unintentionally causing more harm than good.

Know the Organization

Unfortunately, there are a few pitfalls volunteers need to be aware of when considering volunteering overseas. When looking for an organization, keep exploitation concerns in mind. Some less scrupulous organizations may be willing to overcharge volunteers for the opportunity to help others.

While other organizations out there care less about causing a lasting positive change and more about making a profit. These organizations are at high risk for causing more damage in the long run and should be avoided at all costs. 

When it comes to organizations hoping to connect volunteers with vulnerable children, it is imperative to look closely at what is happening. Look at child protection policies, and make sure they are in line with common sense and ethics.

Keep Reading

Once you’ve found an organization that meets your needs – and the standards mentioned above – it is time to look more closely at the project itself. Generally, when an organization sends out volunteers, they do so with a purpose.

There is a vast difference between heading overseas to help build houses versus providing additional aid and education. Now is an excellent time to read up on the program itself and better understand what skills will be needed.

Research

Now that the organization and location have been decided upon, it is time for the next round of research. It’s time to research the area itself! Look up essential tourist guides to start – safety, advice, language tips, etc. 

This is a good starting place. Also, look up where you’ll be staying, what the cultural norms are, and if possible – reach out to volunteers who have gone before you. This will help create a better understanding of the location and what will be asked of you.

The Benefits of Volunteering

There are many reasons why people choose to volunteer their time to an organization they appreciate. Those reasons can include the desire to help nonprofits succeed, make a difference in the world, or even just the idea of learning a new skill.

The truth of the matter is that volunteering comes with many benefits. Some of those benefits are for the individuals helping out, while many others go toward the organization in need. Here are just a few of the ways that volunteering can make a difference.

Developing New Skills

This may surprise many, but volunteering can and will teach a person new skills. These skills can then be used in a multitude of ways, from work experience to personal advancement.

Provides a Sense of Purpose

Gaining a sense of purpose is probably one of the more common reasons why people volunteer – even if they don’t realize it at the time. The idea of joining something more significant and extraordinary is powerful and something that nearly every human desires.

Building a Community

Volunteer work has been known to help build and strengthen communities, as confirmed by the Corporation for National & Community Service. This happens on both a macro and micro scale. On the one hand, the community as a whole is strengthened. On the other hand, individual volunteers improve their networks as they come together.

Boost Self-Esteem

To put it simply: volunteering feels good. Furthermore, it has been scientifically proven that volunteering can improve self-esteem. This means that a person can simultaneously help their community and themselves at the same time.

Gaining Experience

Volunteering can provide valuable experiences, many of which can be applied to in a work environment. Volunteering can be included on a resume and is often something that management may look for, especially in a relevant field.

Physical Health Opportunities

Many of the volunteer opportunities out there are at least somewhat physically demanding. While this may sound intimidating to some, what it really means is that this is yet another opportunity to achieve more goals. A person can get exercise and do good at the same time.

Reduces Certain Risks

According to Medical Press, people who actively volunteer may be at a lower risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, studies from the Journal of Gerontology help support this statement by showing that social service improves elasticity in the brain. This, in turn, can help prevent certain health conditions down the line. 

 

About the March of Dimes

The March of Dimes was originally founded by President Franklin Roosevelt after his personal struggle with polio that led him to create the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, better known as the March of Dimes. The foundation’s original mission was to establish a polio patient aid program that funded research for vaccines, which effectively ended the polio epidemic in the U.S.

Alan Rasof History_01 of March of Dimes

The name “March of Dimes” was derived from the contemporary radio and newsreel series called The March of Time, which was created by Eddie Cantor as a nationwide fundraising campaign for polio in the week before President Roosevelt’s birthday in January of 1938. During the campaign, pins were sold for ten cents each and thousands of citizens mailed cards and letters to the White House that contained dimes in them to show their support for President Roosevelt and their motivation to fight against polio. Over $85,000 was raised by the end of the week-long campaign – a truly revolutionary fundraiser.

Since the original mission has been accomplished, the March of Dimes now focuses on helping moms have full-term pregnancies and researching problems that threaten the health of babies, ultimately reducing birth defects and infant mortality. According to their website, the March of Dimes “has led the way to discover the genetic causes of birth defects, to promote newborn screening, and to educate medical professionals and the public about best practices for healthy pregnancy,” (Preventing Birth Defects). Recently, the organization has promoted a Folic Acid Campaign to aid with a significant reduction in the number of neural tube defects.

Alan Rasof logo of March of Dimes

The March of Dimes has been internationally recognized for its Prematurity Campaign that began in 2003, which raises awareness and helps find various causes of premature babies. The nonprofit has chapters and volunteers working in every state across the U.S. and in Puerto Rico that assess local child and maternal health needs and help plan, fund, and carry-out community events that aim to improve the health of mothers and their children. To learn more about the many ways the March of Dimes helps mothers with their pregnancies in local communities across the globe, check out their website here.