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.

Benefits of Service Dogs

Service dogs play a critical – yet oft-overlooked – role in the daily lives of many people. Service dogs can change the quality of life for many of those with disabilities and those with chronic conditions.

It’s essential to know how service dogs can help improve life, if for no other reason than to appreciate and respect these animals and their important work truly. Listed below are some of the benefits of service dogs – though it is by no means a complete list.

Aiding Mobility

Service dogs are trained to provide physical aid to their owners. For example, they can reach wheelchair users’ items and provide basic tasks for those that can’t, fetch objects, press buttons, etc. 

Medical Alerts

Some service dogs have been trained to be on alert for people experiencing a medical crisis. Specific episodes can be alerted in advance, allowing the person to either get to a safe place or request help. Otherwise, service dogs can provide a safe space, get help, or stand watch as needed.

Fall Prevention

Service dogs provide a critical service for those that deal with fatigue, physical challenges, pain conditions, or just have trouble walking. These dogs are specially trained to help a person who is struggling with their balance. They can brace a person about to fall or help soften their landings. Furthermore, they can provide help by fetching items (reducing the risk of getting up needlessly). 

Independence

Thanks to service dogs, many people have gained a level of independence that they would otherwise not have been able to reach. They no longer have to rely on those around them and can always trust their service animal to provide whatever aid is needed.

Companionship

Having a service dog comes with the added benefit of always having a companion around. Yes, that companion is working, but they are incredibly loyal and willing to help out however possible.

As such, service dogs can help reduce certain adverse emotional states, such as anxiety, depression, and loneliness. All while boosting positive ones, including self-confidence and happiness.

It’s important here to note the significant differences between a service dog and a therapy animal. While both have their benefits, ultimately, they do provide vastly different tasks. Be sure to properly research both before deciding which one is right for 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. 

 

Cerebral Palsy and Bad Teachers

Any parent of a child with a disability will tell you that teachers are either saving graces without whom nothing would be possible, or a parent’s worst nightmare who fails to adapt to the needs of teaching a child who is differently abled.

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A few weeks ago, a particular case went viral. Rosa Johnson is a student with severe cerebral palsy that leaves her little control of her body. Rosa’s mother Doreen had sent her to a school for students with special needs near their home in Ann Arbor, MI, where Doreen believed her daughter would be getting the best care available. However, in early November 2017, Doreen received a message from her daughter’s teacher that read “She won’t be quiet!!!!” accompanied by an image of Rosa’s mouth taped shut with blue painter’s tape. Doreen immediately looked for legal counsel and soon learned that Rosa had also been subject to other instances of abuse and neglect, including having been locked in a closet and having been slapped by a school bus driver.

As far as the US has come in our care of the physically and cognitively disabled, there are still lots of areas for improvement, and some cases continue to fall through the cracks. Lucky, the advent of the smartphone has made it easier for classmates and other adults to capture evidence of abuse, but that in and of itself won’t fix the problem. In the event that you or a loved one finds yourself in a situation where you have to investigate the way an adult or superior is treating a subordinate or student with special needs inappropriately, there are a couple of best practices you can follow.

Firstly, as Doreen did, immediately seek legal counsel. For a case as egregious as Doreen and Rosa’s, lawyers are likely to take it on pro-bono and help you find restorative justice and ensure that all liable parties are held accountable for their actions and missteps.

You can also start to collect “evidence” that may prove useful in establishing a pattern of abuse and neglect. Anyone who has spent time watching Law and Order will well know the importance of having documentation, pictures, doctors’ reports, etc., that provide concrete proof that something was amiss in the school. As tedious and uncomfortable as it may be, go back through your emails, texts, smartphone pictures, and conversations with friends.

Even if you can’t win in state or federal court, you can often win in the court of public opinion. With the blessing of your legal counsel, you can write about what happened and publish it on social media, on your blog, or try to get your story to run in a newspaper or magazine. Perhaps others will come forward with similar stories and you can spare another family the heartache and trouble that you’ve had to endure. 

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.

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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.