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.

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. 

 

Invisible Disabilities

Alan Rasof Invisible DisabilitiesEvery so often, an article circulates about some horrible citizen who parked in a handicap spot and exhibited no need to. Often accompanied by secret smartphone footage and quiet snide commentary, the outrage usually emerges because there is no visible evidence that someone is suffering from a disability. As it turns out, though, there are countless invisible disabilities that could render an otherwise simple trip to the grocery store excruciatingly difficult or painful.

Invisible disabilities include those that impair the individual from navigating life as comfortably as those with fully-functional bodies, but whose handicaps may not be as obvious. Take, for example, someone with severe hearing loss. Or someone with “burning syndrome,” a nervous disorder that renders the person extremely sensitive to any touch so much so that their skin feels on fire all the time. Those people still need a little extra help as they traverse the world, but a passerby would have no idea.

For a long time, invisible disabilities were treated as either totally hallucinated or as miracles from God. For long stretches of human history, women could be diagnosed with “hysteria,” when in fact they were dealing with something that today we would call depression, anxiety, or PTSD. Many who suffered from what we call epilepsy were thought to be prophets — the “dreams” they had were trademarks of the cognitive disorders associated with epileptic episodes, and some even think that Joan of Arc herself suffered from epilepsy.

One woman in Boston recently wrote about her difficulty riding the train to and from locations because of an autoimmune disease that eats away at her tendons, making mobility difficult and terribly painful. For some time, it was awkward for her to ask strangers to cough up their seats for someone who appears to be perfectly healthy, but then she began using a cane and slowly mustering the courage to verbally ask people if she could sit in their chair.

Today, though, we have a much better understanding of the physical and cognitive disabilities that may not be as obvious as missing legs or speech impediment. Our ability to accommodate such people, however, is still in the works.  
Towards the end of last year, England rolled out a program for their public transport in which some passengers wore small blue campaign pins that read, “Please Offer Me a Seat.” London offered these free buttons to 1000 riders with invisibilities so that they didn’t have to feel so awkward asking for a seat on the subways. After a few months, the city counted the experiment a total success, with more than three quarters of the button-donning passengers reporting that their riding experience had indeed improved.