Nonprofits are in business to do social good and help their communities. Unlike for-profit businesses, making money is not their goal. These organizations rely on grants, donations, and volunteers to continue running smoothly. For this reason, nonprofits need outside help.
What’s the best way to help a nonprofit organization? It’s hard to say and is really up to what fits you best. There are many impactful ways people can help.
Below is a list of 4 ways you can give to nonprofit organizations.
- Cash Donations
Cash donations are a tried and true way to make a difference in your community. For donors that are concerned about how the cash will be used, we recommend looking through the organization’s annual reports.
An annual report documents everything an organization has accomplished in the last year as well as its plans for the future. These reports include photographs, financial statements, and other relevant pieces of documentation that paint a picture of how they’re impacting the community. Viewing annual reports is a terrific way to see how your money will be used, enabling you to confidently donate to the right organization.
- Traditional Volunteering
Volunteer in a traditional way (e.g., fundraisers, soup kitchens, food pantries, etc.) for a hands-on experience. Organizations that have in-person events and services can always benefit from an extra hand.
This is a fantastic way to give to nonprofits because you’ll feel good doing it and will gain a sense of community. Working so close to the cause is intrinsically rewarding and will likely help you as much as it helps the organization.
If you’re pressed for time, consider micro-volunteering. Micro-volunteering is volunteering that can be done in small bursts or periods of time. For example, an hour on Sunday or forty-five minutes on Saturday.
- Donate Old Items (including cars)
If you have old items in good condition, chances are there’s a nonprofit whose sole purpose is to provide those in need with the items you have and no longer need.
For example, Second Chances Garage equips people with cars and needed repairs, Soles4Souls provides people with shoes and DressforSuccess supplies up-and-coming professionals with business attire.
If it was useful to you at some point in time, it’s useful to someone else right now. Cleaning out the closet, garage, or shed is a wonderful way to give to nonprofit organizations.
- Consulting Services / Skill-Based Volunteering
Nonprofits are not businesses, but they still must perform all of the typical “business functions,” (e.g., finance, marketing, sales). Therefore, the need for skill-based volunteering has surged. If you’re a finance whiz, you can help an organization with its budget. If you’re a master copywriter and can write a killer grant, you can volunteer your services. The list goes on.
Many skill-based volunteering opportunities can be fulfilled online and completed on your own time. Additionally, if you do not want to commit to a long-term, ongoing project, there’s the option to offer consulting services. Sometimes all a nonprofit organization is seeking is an hour-long phone call to dive deeper into a particular need and come up with solutions. The conversation can give the organization a new perspective and can be extremely valuable from a strategy standpoint. Overall, using your professional skills to help an organization is a tremendous way to make an impact.
Help Out Today
There are so many ways to help nonprofit organizations. Anyone can make a difference. If you’re looking for ways to help out in Frederick today, the United Way’s volunteer page is a great place to start your search.
If you want to help out Second Chances Garage specifically, check out all the ways you can support here!