These days, many of us lead busy lives that are short on two things: time and money. And while this may pose a challenge when it comes to supporting local nonprofit organizations, there are ways you can give back to the community, no matter what your schedule or financial situation looks like.
Here are three simple ideas for making a positive contribution, whether you’re strapped for time, resources or both:
Use Your Work Day
You’re probably pretty busy juggling family and work obligations. Chances are you really want to volunteer in your community but may not always have the time to do as much as you’d like. This doesn’t mean that lending a helping hand is out of reach for you.
Consider starting a Volunteer Day initiative at your workplace, where the whole team offers their time to local nonprofit community service projects one afternoon every few months.
Your boss may love the idea if you remind him or her that such an effort will be great for team building.
Or check with your human resources department about the possibility of paid time off to volunteer in the community. There may be opportunities at your company of which you are not aware.
Nominate a Nonprofit
You don’t need to be a big donor to help secure substantial support for organizations doing great work. For example, a program called “50 States for Good” enables people to nominate their favorite community organizations to help gain funding for grassroots community programming. It is designed to make it easier for regular folks to give back, and is funded by Tom’s of Maine, a leading natural products company focused on oral and personal care.
Anyone who is heartened by the work of local nonprofit organizations can nominate their favorite for a chance to share in $150,000 in funding. A panel of independent judges then determines 51 finalists, one from each state and the District of Columbia.
Fifteen organizations will be awarded $10,000 each, as determined by a public vote in September.
In past years, Tom’s of Maine has funded “50 States for Good” projects that have built community playgrounds, maintained sustainable nature trails, provided shelter and food for the homeless and cared for animals, among many other initiatives. Now in its fifth year, “50 States for Good” celebrates and rewards nonprofit organizations committed to meaningful change and work that addresses local needs.
To nominate an organization via a short essay, visit www.50statesforgood.com through July 8, 2013.
Walking the dog? Taking the kids to the park? Consider combining your stroll with a mini cleanup. Bring a plastic bag, wear gloves and pick up litter as you go. Not only will you be beautifying the neighborhood, you’ll be helping to prevent harmful garbage from entering local waterways.
Get the kids involved to teach them an important lesson about how their behaviors can make a larger impact.
You don’t need to be Bill and Melinda Gates to make a meaningful impact. There are creative ways that make it possible for anyone to give back to their community.