Many of us who wish to contribute to our communities have long-harbored notions that the road to inner happiness includes some sort of giving. And it’s hardly an accident that this belief is so natural. Why wouldn’t happiness be spread from goodness and in both directions? But it is so often our struggle to achieve this generosity. We are concerned with our own immediate challenges, like getting the recently opened position at work, helping our aging parents, or disputing a traffic ticket. That’s why it’s great that there are plenty of ways to support nonprofits, monetarily and otherwise.
Finding nonprofits in Chicago is not difficult. What can be, though, is choosing one to dedicate energy toward. Looking for something in your neighborhood is a nice way to narrow the field of possibilities. Find something local that aligns with your interests. The more personal investment, the more likely you are to maintain your relationship and make it long-lasting.
Organizations pledge to match donations to nonprofits if they’re made within a certain period (think on Giving Tuesday or during a big fundraising campaign). Find out when that time is and make your donation then. It doesn’t matter the amount; your support will be doubly appreciated.
Everyone is busy. Don’t think you have to volunteer on a regular basis to make a difference. Many nonprofit organizations would love your help, even if it isn’t weekly or monthly. Find out about an event that a nonprofit needs help with and make an appearance. That way, even if you aren’t available all the time, your presence is still felt.
Does anybody want to hear that you spent your Saturday volunteering at a local shelter? Chances are, they don’t. Does anybody want to hear about a particular instance when the shelter made a difference in someone’s life? Absolutely. Sharing stories is a great way to give a voice to the underprivileged, as well as inspire others to get involved.
Following nonprofits on social is probably the simplest way to lend support. Exposure for the organization cascades through likes, mentions and shares. It’s also a great place to share the above stories.
Inviting friends to join you in support might seem tricky. We don’t like to ask for help. Many feel guilty for just thinking about asking. A friend in need is a pest, right? Not really. Spending time with friends while making a difference in other peoples’ lives is a great way to make a meaningful connection.
Companies are often looking for nonprofits to partner with, especially around the holidays. Send a message to your supervisor or office manager telling them about a local nonprofit like IPaintMyMind. Enriching Chicago workplaces with art rentals is an enticing way to support the children in your community.
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