Times are crazy right now and it might feel like you can’t make a meaningful impact on your favorite nonprofit organizations. Creating impact can look like a lot of different things. In fact, there are many simple and effective ways you can support their mission. In this article, we’ll share ten easy ways to help out, including volunteering your time, donating money, and advocating for a cause. Remember, at the root of it all, ask them how you can be helpful. If you can’t donate cash, or at the same levels as you used to, don’t feel bad asking how you can still create impact.
Volunteer your time
One of the most impactful ways to support a nonprofit is by volunteering your time. Not only does it provide much-needed help for the organization, but it also allows you to gain a better understanding of their mission and the people they serve. Whether you have a few spare hours on the weekend or can commit to a regular schedule, there are many opportunities to get involved.
Before you start volunteering, take the time to research organizations in your community and find a cause that aligns with your values. Whether it’s working with animals or mentoring children, you’ll be more fulfilled if you’re passionate about the work you’re doing. Once you’ve found a nonprofit that resonates with you, reach out to see how you can get involved.
Think about the skills that you can bring to the table and offer those up. The organization can’t read your mind and might not ask you for support in your area of expertise. Let them know what you love to do and what you can bring to the table. Just as importantly, remember to be open about the time you have to spend with the organization. It might be that you want to fill food boxes or answer phones instead of making a commitment to an event or program. That’s ok – just be hones about what your able. todo.
This is the most obvious way to support your favorite organization. I wanted to include it here because we tend to think that we have to make a large gift to make a big impact. Now more than ever organizations need unrestricted gifts to help them keep the lights on. That means gifts that support their staff, operation costs, and the ability to keep doing their incredible work. ANY GIFT SIZE MATTERS!!!!
The beauty of this article is that by combining some of these elements together you can greatly increase your overall impact. Have a conversation with your favorite nonprofit and ask them where they have the biggest need.
Spread the word on social media
Anytime someone talks about something they love the more people listen vs an organization talking about themselves. Don’t underestimate the impact that is felt when you share on social media.
To make the most impact, it’s important to use hashtags and tag the nonprofit in your posts. This will help others discover the organization and potentially donate or get involved themselves. You can also participate in social media challenges, like the Ice Bucket Challenge, to help raise awareness and funds for a specific cause. Overall, make it personal. Tell your story and why you are personally connected to the organization you’re talking about.
If you want to take your social media support to the next level, consider hosting a virtual fundraiser or giving campaign. This can be as simple as creating a Facebook fundraiser or setting up a crowdfunding page. Encourage your friends and family to donate and share the campaign on their own social media accounts.
Host a fundraiser (or friend raiser)
This can look like a whole lot of different things.
- an in home party.
- a virtual party.
- social media fundraiser, like mentioned above.
This is a great way to introduce your favorite nonprofit to your friends and family. They can have an opportunity to share about their impact and get to know new potential prospects. Again, remember that this doesn’t have to be something that raises a ton of money. The introductions and ability to get personal with new people is a great benefit to nonprofits. It opens them up to a new network of people that could open the door to more and more people.
I’m a huge fan of having conversations with as many people as I can because you never know what opportunities or people they can introduce you to. That is the beauty of these fundraiser events. It gives the team an opportunity to talk to a warm audience.
Participate in a charity walk or run
Participating in a charity walk or run is a fun and active way to support your favorite nonprofit. You can choose from a wide range of events and distance options, from a 5K walk to a full marathon. Not only does this allow you to give back to a cause you care about, but it also promotes an active and healthy lifestyle.
By joining a charity walk or run, you can create social connections with others who share your passion for the same nonprofit. You can also help raise awareness and funds for the organization by asking friends and family to sponsor your participation. Many nonprofit organizations rely on these events as a significant source of revenue, so your contribution can make a big impact.
If you’re not sure where to start, check out websites like Active.com or Charity Navigator for a list of upcoming events and sponsors. You can choose an event near you and register online, then start training and fundraising to make the most of your experience.
After you’ve completed your charity walk or run, don’t forget to share your experience on social media and encourage others to participate next year. This can help build momentum and increase awareness for the cause.
Shop for a cause
Where you shop matters. Reach out to your favorite nonprofit and ask if they have any retail partners. That way you know the dollars you’re spending are helping them. Usually the retail partners are local so you’re also benefiting small business which is an added perk.
In addition to supporting a cause through your purchase, you can also spread awareness by sharing your experience on social media. Tag the company and the nonprofit in your post to help raise awareness and encourage others to join in.
If the organization doesn’t have any partners, that might a great way for you to step in and volunteer to set up a program.
Another great place to find out how you can shop for a cause is reaching out to your local Chamber of Commerce or Visitors Bureau.
Donating items is another excellent way to contribute to a nonprofit’s cause. Many nonprofit organizations require donations of clothing, household goods, and non-perishable food items to help those in need. It’s a simple act that can make a huge difference in someone’s life. By donating items, you are helping to ensure that organizations can continue to provide essential services to those who need them the most.
It’s essential to note that not all donations are accepted by nonprofits, and they may have specific requirements for the items they can receive. Be sure to check with the organization beforehand to see what types of items they are currently accepting.
Donating items not only helps the nonprofit organization but also helps the environment. By donating items instead of throwing them away, you are reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Offer your skills
This might feel like volunteering – and it is – but I want you to think about this with more specialized skills. This could be a short term project like helping develop a marketing strategy or secure a new real estate location. Or a longer term project like a signature event or developing curriculum for a youth program.
Your skills can save an organization thousands of dollars because they don’t have to hire consultants or staff member to do the work.
Attending events is another great way to show your support for nonprofits. It’s a perfect opportunity to learn more about the organization’s missions and goals, and how you can contribute to their cause. Whether it’s a fundraising event or a volunteering opportunity, attending these events will help spread awareness about the organization’s impact and encourage others to participate.
Moreover, by attending events, you can meet other like-minded individuals who support the same cause as you. You can connect with people who share your interests and work together towards making a difference. By participating in events, you are not only helping the organization but also building a community of individuals who are passionate about making the world a better place.
Want to take it to the next level? Invite your friends and family to attend with you so they can learn more about your favorite cause.
Advocate for the cause
Advocating can take many forms, from sharing posts on social media to attending rallies and lobbying for policy changes. Advocating for a cause can feel intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Start by educating yourself on the issue and the organization’s goals. Share your knowledge with others and encourage them to learn more. Utilize your skills and expertise to support the organization, whether it be through graphic design, writing, or networking.
Advocating for a nonprofit can make a significant impact on the organization and their mission. By spreading awareness and gaining support, more resources can be directed towards their cause. It also shows the organization that there are individuals who are invested in their work and believe in their vision.
Overall, advocating for a cause is a powerful way to make a difference for nonprofits. By taking action and using your voice, you can help bring attention to important issues and support the organizations working towards solving them.
It’s easy to make a difference for nonprofits and the causes they support. Whether you choose to donate money, volunteer your time, or spread the word on social media, your support is essential. By participating in charity walks or runs, hosting fundraisers, attending events, or advocating for the cause, you can help create positive change in your community. Remember, even small actions can have a big impact. In the words of Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” So choose one or more of these simple ways to support a nonprofit today and make a difference that will last a lifetime.