After winning a 2016 Zennies award, we’re happy to share the following guest post on how to support nonprofits from Dana Lardner of Goods Giving Back and Create to Donate. She’s changing the world and shows how you can, too — easily and without a lot of funds.
Did you know that a good workout isn’t the only thing that gives you an endorphin boost? Scientists have found that people get a “helper’s high” from volunteering as well!
Some research goes so far as to suggest that volunteering may even benefit the giver more than the receivers. It’s one of the best win-win situations.
And no matter what life phase we’re in, we always have something to give. So why not keep the happy vibes alive and volunteer in some form or fashion?
Here are three easy and meaningful ways to support a nonprofit you love.
1. Say Something
How many times were you told as a child to “use your words” instead of acting out?
Well, this age-old advice is a great approach for our adult years, too. Using our words is a powerful and easy way to support a cause or nonprofit. It is also a way to give back to your community if you’re tight on time or cash.
Say Things Out Loud
When you say something to support a cause, it can be as simple as letting your friends and family know about issues affecting your communities and the nonprofits addressing those needs. You can even go a step further and suggest they get involved in something in which they believe.
Say Things Online
And while some people have been criticized for participating in “hashtag activism,” it’s a very effective tool to have your voice heard. Try joining Twitter conversations for #socialgood or Facebook groups that support your favorite causes or nonprofits. Building awareness through these online interactions will have a lasting impact.
Then, if you want to take your online activism a step further, find and sign a petition at The Petition Site.
2. Do Something
Do Something For Your Favorite Nonprofit
Most nonprofits need assistance in a variety of roles. So if you have time, the easiest thing to do is to review the website of your favorite local nonprofit to see if they have volunteer opportunities listed. If nothing is specified, give them a call to ask where they need help most.
Do Something For a Cause
Want to volunteer for a specific cause but don’t know how to start? There are several organizations that help connect you to volunteer opportunities across the United States.
Points of Light is a great place to start because it allows you to find opportunities that are cause-based or project-based. When you want to get involved, you can work through one of their HandsOn Volunteer Action Centers to find an opportunity that fits your schedule.
Create The Good also has volunteer opportunities listed and using their tools you can search for volunteer needs not only in your area but also if they offer the option to do the work from home.
3. Make Something
Even if you don’t consider yourself a crafty person, there are some simple projects like card-making or no-sew blankets that nonprofits will accept with open arms. You don’t have to be an expert at knitting or sewing; there is something for everyone.
Who needs handmade goods? Places like homeless shelters and senior homes, as well as programs for foster children and hospital patients, welcome a variety of handmade goods.
So, if your hands are at the ready, the Create To Donate campaign is a great place to start. This initiative seeks to inspire people to craft for the greater good. Use your DIY creativity to craft for a cause you already love or let them introduce you to some new organizations that need some TLC.
Small Can Be Big
Since the smallest of actions can have a lasting effect, doing any one of these suggestions will improve your community, and over time, the world at large.
Share the goods: What was your favorite volunteer experience? —Dana Lardner