Add Some Kind to Your Daily Grind: Seven Ways to Blend Philanthropy Into Your Routine
If you have ever pitched in on a service project or made a charitable donation, you know how great it feels to work for the greater good. But our busy lives can keep us from giving back as much as we want to. We found seven ways to seamlessly blend philanthropy into daily life.
Want to fill every day with that feel-good spark that comes from making the world a better place? Read on to learn how.
1. Make it Social
Want to spend time with your tribe and give back? Make it social. Organize a service project where all your friends can pitch in. Find local nonprofits serving your favorite cause on GreatNonprofits.org. Or take a cue from Laurie Berzack, MSW, owner of Carolinas Matchmaker. She started a series of “philanthrodating™” mixers in Charlotte, N.C. where singles can meet others who value service and charitable giving while volunteering for local nonprofits. “Volunteerism is a lifestyle choice,” says Laurie. “People with philanthropy in their DNA want their life partner to have that same mindset.”
2. Set It and Forget It
Want to support a nonprofit, but don’t have the budget for a huge year-end gift? Set up a recurring monthly donation and rest assured that you are making a difference. Donor retention is a huge challenge for many nonprofits. Being able to count on your consistent support is a true gift. And best of all, you will know it’s being taken care of each month without having to do a lot of maintenance.
3. Make Your Phone Smart and Generous
It’s the Age of the App, which is great news for charitable people. Depending on your giving goals, there are many apps to make the process simple and easy. One Today is a Google-based app (also available for iPhone) where you donate $1 per day to a Google-vetted nonprofit. Bonus: Google takes care of the transaction fee, so your entire gift goes to the organization. Also check out Donate a Photo, CoinUp, and ShareTheMeal.
4. Your Pain, Charity’s Gain
Are you a gym rat? Do you leave it all on the pavement when you go out for a run? Your love of fitness can actually help your favorite causes. Use the Charity Miles app to walk, run or bike to support one of more than 30 organizations. Instead of going for a solo run on a Saturday morning, sign up for a local race or event, many of which support charitable causes. Training for a marathon or triathlon? Pair your training program with a nonprofit, like Team in Training, which raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
5. Take Your Philanthropy to Work
The many benefits of workplace service projects include increased employee engagement, stronger relationships among colleagues, and better teamwork. And don’t forget the enormous benefit to the nonprofit getting volunteer hours! If your company doesn’t offer a service program, start one! What a great way to show initiative and bring philanthropy into your daily life. Here are some tips for starting a workplace volunteer program, courtesy of Inc.com.
6. Hobbies Can Help
With the nonprofit and technology landscapes so vast and ever-changing, almost any hobby can now be used for good. Here are ten charities looking for yarn crafters. Love the lens? Here are 12 ways to use your photography for good. Nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity and Homes for Our Troops rely on skilled volunteers to keep their costs down and serve as many people as possible. Are you known for whipping up fantastic meals? On GreatNonprofits.org you can enter your ZIP code, filter results by the Food category, and find local nonprofits waiting for people just like you to help them out.
7. Think (Very) Local
There’s nothing wrong with keeping your philanthropy super simple. Commit to one act of kindness every day. Make it social and challenge your friends to do the same. Imagine what your community, and even your world, would look like if everyone decided to focus on the greater good?
How have you blended philanthropy with your daily routine? Please share your thoughts in the comments section so we can inspire each other!
Grace Kennedy is a Charlotte, N.C.-based nonprofit writer and marketing consultant. She specializes in using storytelling to bring nonprofit mission statements to life. Learn more at www.gracekennedy.net.