Week 22: Get involved!
In our second week of discovering new ways we can create a larger community, week 22 of the 52 Weeks of Good campaign will look at different ways to get involved.
So often I hear excuses on why someone isn’t contributing to their community. A couple common ones are: “I’m broke, so I can’t donate any money.” or “I’m too busy. I don’t have time to volunteer.” Excuses, excuses. News flash, WE’RE ALL BUSY! And, with the economy, we’re all watching our nickels and dimes. Getting involved with a local organization doesn’t have to be so complicated, exhausting or drain your bank account. Starting with a local nonprofit is a great place to start. I think many of us have put this idea of volunteering high up on a pedestal and have made it so unapproachable we end up just writing it off as not possible. If this sounds like you, I have 5 easy steps to find a way to get involved in your community, that suits your lifestyle!
Here are 5 easy steps to get you involved:
- Pinpoint an area that interests you. An easy block is getting overwhelmed with how many organizations are out there and the fact that you can’t help them all. Just start with one. Figure out what it is that you are passionate about. Do you like to run? Do you like to buy local or organic produce? Do you feel there is a need to empower women or our youth? Maybe you’d like to see fewer homeless people on the street? Maybe your dog or cat is your best family friend and you’d like to connect animals to proper homes? Or, you’re tired of seeing people throw items away that should be recycled, so you’d like to look more into an environmental organization. Whatever suites your fancy, there is an organization for you.
- Figure out how or what you can contribute. Maybe you are the busiest person on the planet and aren’t able to give any of your time, so maybe giving a small monetary amount is the path for you. Have two less cappuccinos a month and donate $10 every month. Doesn’t seem like much? To the organizations, every dollar counts, no matter how big or small the amount. Money too tight? Maybe you have a free hour on Thursday afternoons after work that you could give to an organization. Think about the skills you have to give. Are you a web designer? Do you have a large network? Are you an artist? Are you good at talking to people over the phone? Any admin skills? Like photography? Good at writing and telling a story? No matter what organization you end up helping, they need people of all different skill sets to help keep their organization going.
- Find the organization. It is as easy as jumping onto Google and entering the word “nonprofit” + your area of interest + your location. Another great search tool is: http://www.volunteermatch.org/. Just be mindful that the organization you pick actually does what they say they do. See if anyone has heard of them or Google the organizations name and the word “reviews” and see if anything comes up. As you find organizations you think you would be interested in contributing to, make a list of three or four of them.
- Contact them. Send them an email or give them a call. Let them know who you are and what you are able to do. Whether it is donating $10 a month, redesigning their website or stuffing envelopes, see if what you are able to offer is something they could use help with. I’ve always gone with organizations that respond to me in a timely fashion because to me that says they are ready for me and I won’t be wasting my time. See which organization you are most attracted to and make a list.
- Get involved! Pick one and get started. They will appreciate your help and you will feel good giving what you can!
Hope this helps and you are able to connect with the right organization!
“Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.” ~Author Unknown