Those of us who work in the nonprofit sector know how important volunteering and fundraising can be to the success of our organizations. Of course, it can be difficult to dedicate time or resources to something other than your own work and family this time of year, but it’s critical so that our fellow nonprofits can succeed in their important missions. Here’s a quick reminder of the ways you can give back before setting your sights on the new year.
Donate to your favorite causes
On the heels of #GivingTuesday, many nonprofits continue fundraising campaigns through the holiday season. This tactic contributes to meeting year-end goals and allows them to plan for the new year. With digital fundraising, you can easily donate without leaving your laptop. While many organizations accept digital payments on their own websites, Facebook Fundraisers allow you to instantly contribute to the charity or nonprofit of your choice with the click of a button while scrolling through your feed. Follow your favorite organizations on social media, check out their fundraisers, and give them a few spare dollars. Always remember that any amount can make a difference.
Volunteer your time
Some of us feel truly fulfilled by donating our time and abilities, and nonprofits thrive as a result of in-person service. Not sure where to begin? Think about the organizations or causes that mean the most to you. Love kids? Call your local elementary school and see if they need help getting materials or space prepped for the new marking period. Passionate about food justice? Head to your local food bank, put on some gloves, and pack boxes of food for those less fortunate. Arts and culture nerd? Check out your favorite museum’s website for their volunteer events and trainings. Volunteer Match is a great tool that will help you connect your interests with the perfect opportunity.
Donate holiday gifts and clothing
We all know Toys for Tots. Certainly it’s one of the most recognizable drives, and there are plenty of others such as One Warm Coat and Cell Phones for Soldiers. In addition to these larger nationwide programs, you can also give back by donating your gently used household and clothing items at the local level. It’s crucial that folks without safe living environments have ways to stay warm, so don’t wait to dust off those old jackets, sweaters, and thermals. Take them to your local community support organization immediately to increase your chances of helping someone in need this winter. If you see a food, toy, or clothing donation bin in your office or apartment building, take advantage of that convenient opportunity to give back.
As 2017 comes to a close, look ahead to the new year. Challenge yourself to give back to your community and causes you care about, knowing that we’re all in this together.
Blog by Kathleen M. O'Donnell, YNPNdc Volunteer