5 Ways to Give Back Now!

Does it feel good to give to others? Biology tells us that giving back actually makes us happier!  The National Institutes of Health found that when people give to charities, it activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust, creating those warm and fuzzy feelings. And when you feel warm and fuzzies, your brain wants to continue to feel that way. But giving is more than just making ourselves feel good.

Have you ever thought about what it really means to give back? To put some passion and ambition into making your community a better place? How about how we, as individuals or as businesses, can use the skills and resources that we already have to create a better community for tomorrow? Whether it be for furry 4-legged creatures, those with an illness that has impacted you in some way, or those who have fallen on harder times, what can you offer to your community today?

  1. Time: The most valuable resource. But, would any of us be anywhere today if somebody didn’t invest their time in our growth and development? Picture them. A schoolteacher? Your boss? Your parent? A neighbor? Whoever it may be, they gave their energy to make you better than you were. It is time to pay it forward.
  2. Treasure: When nonprofits say that “anything helps” they really mean it! There are times when we need to donate funds, but it is also important to help raise money to be donated. Help them buy a specific piece of equipment, purchase backpacks for school children, or raise money for a benefit walk or run. 
  3. Talent: What are you good at? When you first think of giving back your mind might go right to money and time. And while those things are important, there are times that charities need assistance in what you are good at. Are you great at graphic design? Awesome! You could help create marketing materials for their next fundraiser. Are you great at building things and working with your hands? Wonderful! Their home base could use a little refreshing. Whatever you are good at, offer a hand to the organizations that are making a true impact in our communities. 
  4. Network: Have you ever heard of Six Degrees of Separation? It is the idea that you are only 6 introductions away from knowing every other person on the planet. Every. Other. Person. You’re only 6 introductions away from knowing Oprah! The goal here is to get your cause in front of as many eyes as possible. And when somebody knows a person behind a cause it can really resonate with people. Your network is powerful. And social media makes it easy.
  5. Voice: We all have one. How are you using yours? What if you used your voice to tell others about the amazing things that an organization is doing to build our community up? What would start as a whisper could soon be a thunderous message being shouted off rooftops. Find your passion platform, and let others know what makes it so special. What is this organization doing that is so impactful? How does it align with you, and potentially their, values? Be the voice. Advocate for your cause.

You don’t have to pick just one. All of these create tremendous potential for making an impact. Imagine what could happen if you did numerous things to give back?  At the end of the day, we all have something to give. And it is the right thing to do. So, start to think, what are you good at? Can you lend your time? Could you round-up a group to fundraise? Can you help a nonprofit find the mission of their organization?

It takes everybody to create a community that you are proud of. To no longer make the causes that philanthropy supports a taboo subject. And it starts with you. It is up to us, as individuals and as businesses, to support and grow our community. To make the places that we live thrive. For now, and for the future. Let’s look at some ways that use our skills to really contribute to the greater good. What could you do to help? 

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