Do you serve as a board member for a non-profit organization, a college or university, or perhaps for your church? Do you give of your time as a volunteer? Of your money? If you answered “yes,” this column is for you.
Previously, we focused on those things that people who work in fundraising can do to help beat those summertime blues. This column is for the rest of us. While sweating out the summer months you can think about things philanthropic. With a glass of iced tea in hand you can think about how you are involved in making the world a better place. While there is no shortage of ways to make a difference, we challenge you to think about your values and your beliefs. What one or two things are most important to you and your family? Is it helping to end world hunger? Eliminating the spread of AIDS? Increasing women’s participation in sports or governance? Perhaps it is ensuring access to clean drinking water across the globe, or increasing education and decreasing poverty right here at home.
Do you give of your time and money in a way that matches with your priority values and beliefs? If the answer is yes, consider talking or visiting with someone at the organizations or institutions you support to learn more about their upcoming plans. Ask what one thing you can do in the coming year to help make a difference. If you can do that one thing, make a plan to do so. Mark your calendar. Consider inviting a friend to partner with you.
If your giving is not in alignment with your values and beliefs take some time to investigate local, national or international organizations that could be a match for you. Ask your neighbors, friends and work associates for suggestions. Check out the organizations on the web, with a phone call or visit, and at www.guidestar.org, a website that provides information about non-profit organizations.
Summer is also a great time to look at your budget for the upcoming months. Can you given an additional $25 a month? If you have the means, can you give an extra $250? Talk with your employer to find out if there is a “matching gifts” program. Companies use such programs to give to organizations that their employees support, often doubling and sometimes tripling the impact of your giving.
You are at the very heart of our country’s non-profit sector. Your time, money, and commitment make a difference. Invite your friends over to sit on the patio or the porch, and make your plans for making a difference.