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Every Little Bit Helps!

Simply being able to write a check for millions—or even billions—of dollars to help support issues you are passionate about would be wonderful, but it’s unfortunately not a reality for all but a lucky select few of us.

But that certainly doesn’t mean that we collectively can’t make a huge impact.

A classic example of this is the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, created by FDR to help combat polio. Making dimes the centerpiece of their fundraising campaigns, entertainer Eddie Cantor, appealing on behalf of the foundation, said: “The March of Dimes will enable all persons, even the children, to show our president that they are with him in this battle against this disease. Nearly everyone can send in a dime, or several dimes. However, it takes only 10 dimes to make a dollar and if a million people send only one dime, the total will be $100,000.”

5269294621_bfcfb307f0What followed that year were more than 2.6 million dimes addressed to the White House—and an eventual polio vaccine.

For a more recent example, one needn’t look beyond much more than a month or so ago as evidence: Giving Tuesday 2016 raised $168 million from 156 million—an average of roughly $107.

And although they weren’t donating to a nonprofit, contributions to Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign were said to average a mere $27. And while that number may be more symbolic than accurate, at its core it did prove that much can be accomplished with seemingly very little.

Those political contributions weren’t tax deductible, though—but your donations to your favorite nonprofits will be. And no matter how small, they will go a long way toward helping your favorite organizations accomplish their goals. Below are but a few example:

  • $1 to the San Francisco–Marin Food Bank provides $5 worth of food
  • $1 to the Food for Life Global provides five to seven hot vegan meals in India
  • $15 to UNICEF can provide 20 packets of high-energy biscuits
  • $25 to Little Kids Rock will sponsor weekly music lessons for a student for a year
  • $1 per week to the United Way of Monroe County buys art supplies for 50 low-income teens participating in an after-school program

So next time you feel like you don’t have enough to make a difference with your donation, think again!

Start Earning Your 2017 Top-Rated Badge Today!

According to a study, the GreatNonprofits seal is the second most trusted ratings seal, after only the Better Business Bureau. In addition, 72 percent of people say that the presence of a badge increases their likelihood of giving.

And more donations mean that you’ll be able to continue and expand the scope of the great work that you do. With the looming uncertainty of the next administration, attracting as many donations as possible may be more important than ever before. So, what are you waiting for?

196996_0e5c4c416ed94b0e879c58bd95c6cc2amv2More than 1,700 nonprofits earned Top-Rated status from GreatNonprofits in 2016. Was yours one of them? If so, you may already know the benefits. In addition to receiving 2017 Top-Rated Badge, certificate, and press kit and marketing materials, you will be:

  • listed on our 2017 Top-Rated Leaderboard and 2017 #GivingTuesday Guide
  • promoted via social media, public relations, and via the Huffington Post and other mediums
  • mentioned by our sponsors and partners, and receive special designation on our site

The 2017 campaign has already started—it began on New Year’s Day and runs until Oct. 31, so there’s no time like the present to get started. But if you didn’t make the 2016 list (or did, and simply need a quick refresher), here’s how to qualify:

  1. Claim (or log in to) your nonprofit
  2. Invite clients, donors, and volunteers to share their story
  3. Get 10 or more positive stories (4- or 5-star rating) within the campaign period

Qualified organizations will be notified on a monthly basis starting in April and instantly get listed on the leaderboard.

Your nonprofit has provided both the tools and inspiration that have helped people change their lives for the better, and it’s time for everyone to know about it! Get started on gaining Top-Rated status today!

Want to Live Longer? Volunteer

Now that we’re a couple weeks into 2017, it’s time to ask how your New Year’s resolutions are holding up—particularly if your goal is to be healthier than you were in 2016. If that’s the case, we’ve got just one piece of advice for you: Volunteer!

According to Doing Good Is Good for You, a study conducted by UnitedHealthcare:

  • 76% of people who had volunteered in the previous 12 months said that volunteering made them feel healthier.
  • 78% of people who had volunteered in the previous 12 months said that volunteering lowered their stress levels.
  • 80% of the people who had volunteered in the previous 12 months felt that they had control over their health.
  • 94% of people who had volunteered in the previous 12 months said that volunteering improved their mood.

The study also found that volunteering helped people manage chronic illness better, which certainly makes sense, because if your mind is on helping other people with their problems, it’s less time spent thinking of your own.

It also makes sense that volunteering would help combat depression—it helps keeps you in regular contact with others, thereby keeping feelings of isolation in check.

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Another UnitedHealthcare study, in conjunction with VolunteerMatch, found that Americans who volunteer rated their levels of immunity, physical strength, overall energy, and physical stamina higher than those who did not volunteer. Volunteering also corresponded to a healthier BMI, with a “significantly lower proportion of volunteers identified as obese.”

And other recent studies focused on older Americans have shown that volunteering increases brain function, and decreases the likelihood of developing high blood pressure, which in turn decreases risk of stroke and heart disease.

Youth can benefit from volunteering as well: A study of Canadian high schoolers determined that regular volunteering reduced cardiovascular disease risk factors in teens.

Long story short, volunteering helps both your mental and physical health. And best of all, the UnitedHealthcare/VolunteerMatch study has determined that it only takes a couple of hours per week of volunteering annually to reap the health benefits of being charitable with your time.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and get healthy!

Is This the Right Volunteer Opportunity for Me?

With the arrival of a new year often comes a renewed desire to give back and help others. And we applaud you if you’ve decided to do so by volunteering at a nonprofit. So how exactly do you go about finding the right one for you? Here are some things to think about during your search (and also once you’ve started volunteering):

What Are You Passionate About?

The search can begin in earnest once you’ve decided what you’d really like to do. Work with animals? Children? Immigrants? Volunteering can be hard work, but it shouldn’t feel like a job 100 percent of the time. And if you love and really believe in the cause, you time volunteering will be that much more fun.

Time

Be honest with yourself: How much time do you actually have? Or more honestly . . . how much time are you willing to give? If the answer is “not a lot,” perhaps a one-off event is best for your needs: A park or beach cleanup, for instance, or volunteering at a soup kitchen or food bank at the holidays. But if you are in it for the long haul, perhaps something like mentoring a child is the way to go.

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Personality

Does the job seem like it will fit your personality? The role may involve lots of cold-calling or going door to door, but what if you’re an introvert? Similarly, what if you are a people person but stuffing envelopes seems to take up the bulk of your time? Are you a self-starter, or will you need a lot of guidance that a seemingly hectic office might not provide? How patient are you? If you need to see results right away, volunteering with a large national or multinational organization will not give you the same satisfaction as working at a small local nonprofit.

What Do You Really Want?

Think about what you’d really like from your role. If you really love animals, for instance, perhaps you’ll be thrilled with walking or grooming them a few times a week, or fostering a pet until a suitable permanent home can be found. But it’s also OK to be a little selfish and ask yourself what this role will do for you as well. If padding your résumé is a priority alongside doing good, will you have the opportunity to learn new skills that will be attractive to your next employer? Does it seem like they will value your ideas? Will you have the opportunity to take on more responsibility as you prove yourself, or will the role remain the same?

Don’t Get Discouraged

In a perfect world, the right opportunity would immediately present itself and you’d be a dedicated and lifelong volunteer. But things don’t always work out the way we plan. It might take a while to find the right organization. Or perhaps you think you’ve found the perfect one, and once you’ve shown up at the office, it quickly becomes apparent that it’s not a good fit. There’s no shame in exploring a few different options before finding one that really inspires you to do good.

5 Tips to Attract Volunteers

The nonprofit sector has always relied on the generosity of others, but that doesn’t necessarily only refer to monetary donations. Volunteers, especially for smaller organizations, play an important role in allowing a nonprofit’s impact to stretch well beyond its financial resources. So are you doing all you can to attract volunteers to your organization? Here are some tips to do just that:

Be Social. . .

In this day and age, social media is the most powerful recruitment tool at your disposal, but it won’t mean much if you post a bland, text-only plea for help that users may skip right over. Content with pictures and videos will capture attention, and are much more likely to be shared and commented on. Volunteers will also be able to see very clearly the great work that you do and just how they’d be able to help.

. . .and Respond Promptly

A donation of time is still a donation. Would you wait several days, or even weeks, to respond to somebody wishing to write you a check? Then don’t do it to someone offering their time.

Offer a Challenge

Some volunteers will happily answer phones and e-mail or stuff envelopes if they are passionate about your cause, but others may be looking to pad their résumés by honing current skills or developing new ones. Don’t limit your potential volunteer pool by limiting duties to the least interesting ones in the office.

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Be Specific

Let volunteers know exactly what they are signing up for—give them an actual position title and as detailed a description as possible concerning what their role will be. And although they are volunteering their time, no one wants to volunteer all their time, so let them know upfront the time commitment you are hoping for.

Ask!

One of the biggest reasons people cite for not volunteering is a surprisingly simple one: No one ever asked them. Keep in mind that donors and people following you on social media are already passionate about the work you do, so don’t be afraid to start with them.

You Have a GreatNonprofits Donation . . . Now What?

Checking the status of donations is easier than ever thanks to GreatNonprofits’ new page design.

1. Simply log in to GreatNonprofits.org:

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2. Scroll over “Hello, [screen name]” on the right-hand side of the page and click “Manage My Nonprofit”:

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3. Click the “Donations” button on the top navigation bar:

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4. From there, you’ll see the date of the donation, the donor’s name and e-mail address, and dollar amount, as well as any special requests from the donor:screen-4

JustGive charges a fee of 4.5 percent (plus 25 cents) for donation processing and handling. Your donor was notified of this fee prior to making her/his Giving Basket transaction.

And now that you have all the information you’ll need, the only thing left to do is thank your donor!

Give to Charity if You Don’t Want to Give Trump Your Tax Dollars

Use Your Tax Dollars for Good This Giving Season

 

Do you have qualms that your taxes may be used to pay for Trump’s wall, or subsidize the fossil fuel industry, or fund a Muslim registry? If you are against how the Trump administration and Republican Congress will spend your hard-earned tax dollars, you can minimize your taxes and do good at the same time. You can do this by donating to nonprofits.

There’s less than a week left to make your year-end tax-deductible donations. The time to act is now.

Voting is not the only way that we participate as citizens. Unlike many other countries, the American tax code gives generous tax deductions to encourage people to give to nonprofits. Nonprofits have a unique role in our society as an alternative or complement to government services. The tax deductions allow taxpayers to lower their taxable income by sending money directly to causes they care about, reducing the taxes they pay, which ultimately are subject to the government’s spending whims.

Many people can reduce their tax bill by roughly a quarter for every dollar they donate. If individuals donated even an additional 3 percent of their adjusted gross income, that would channel $336 billion in more money to charity. And it would take about $84 billion away from Trump. If individuals donated 10 percent of their adjusted gross income, that would raise about $1.2 trillion for nonprofits. And take away about $300 billion from Trump’s uses.

Plus, many employers will match your charitable contributions, making your dollars go even further.

In addition to money, you can also donate property—stocks, houses, cars, art, and household goods and electronics in good shape. And you get tax deductions for these as well.

By donating you both reduce your tax dollars going to Trump while helping directly support causes you are concerned about—health care, equal rights, conservation and the environment, LGBTQ rights, and immigration, to name only a few—that are expected to take a beating under Trump. Since the election, we have seen donations rise for these causes. These causes face the specter of more demand for their services and likely federal budget cuts.

And in addition to national nonprofits, there are thousands of terrific local nonprofits with strong communities of volunteers and donors who fight for these causes every day at a grassroots level.

Donating to nonprofits this Giving Season provides you with a chance to not only make a statement about what kind of country you want to live in, but also to make a difference in helping to make it happen. It’s a chance for you to have a voice on issues that matter to you. And you can have a real impact on the lives of people in your communities. In a way, you can vote again—with your dollars.

Five Ways to Give Back to Your Community

Wanting to change the world is a noble cause, but trying to figure out how to do just that can be overwhelming. A good place to start is your own community. Here are five simple ways that you can:

Tutor: Overextended teachers (and school budgets) unfortunately means that some kids will fall through the cracks and not receive the individual attention they need. Volunteering as a tutor will give kids a much better chance of succeeding in school.

tutoring_center_3349979270Mentor a Youth: Unfortunately, not every youth has a positive adult role model in their life. By volunteering to serve as a mentor, you can have a huge impact on a child or teen’s performance in school, self-confidence and self-esteem, and decision-making, particularly when it comes to potential interactions with the juvenile justice system.

Coach: Youth sports leagues are always in need of coaches. And best of all, you can stay in shape while teaching kids the importance of teamwork and persistence, lessons that will serve them well in the future.

Community Cleanup: A common but still necessary suggestion—people are slobs. Make that park or beach experience the best it could be for both yourself and others by organizing a cleanup day. Best of all, you can see results pretty quickly, so volunteers will leave feeling good that they accomplished something. images

Help Out a Senior: Not everyone in a nursing home receives regular visitors, so stopping in for even a short chat will surely brighten some days. Another way to get involved is to help elderly neighbors by running errands, cleaning their yard, or any other task that no longer comes easy to them.

Drivers for Survivors: An Interview with Sherry Higgs

sherry-founder-thumb-200Drivers for Survivors is a Fremont, Calif.-based nonprofit that provides rides to medical appointments for people dealing with cancer. They serve patients of all genders fighting all forms of cancer and have given more than 9,600 rides to date. Drivers for Survivors currently operates in the East Bay area of the San Francisco Bay, offering rides to residents of Fremont, Newark, and Union City. In addition to offering transportation for patients who need to get to their doctor’s appointments, Drivers for Survivors emphasizes an element of companionship in its programming that helps to counteract the emotional toll of treatment.

  • There are more than 100 different types of cancer, and they can affect any part of the body, according to the World Health Organization.
  • An estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed this year in the U.S., according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
  • Roughly 36.9% of the population will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime, according to the NCI.
  • Inflammatory breast cancer accounts for only 1–5% of all breast cancer diagnoses, tends to be diagnosed in younger patients, and often develops quickly and spreads aggressively, according to Cancer.gov.

Sherry Higgs started Drivers for Survivors in 2012, after battling inflammatory breast cancer, one of the rarest and most aggressive forms of breast cancer. Since the organization’s humble beginnings—Higgs had never worked in the nonprofit sector before, and she built the charity from the ground up—Drivers for Survivors has helped 258 patients get to their medical appointments and now oversees 134 volunteer driver-companions who serve 228 active clients. Higgs was kind enough to sit down with us and answer some questions.

screen-shot-2016-12-24-at-3-20-11-amGreatNonprofits: Can you talk a little bit about your own experience with cancer?

Sherry Higgs: During the time I got sick, I saw a lot—experienced a lot—and I was devastated. [The diagnosis] put me in a tailspin. I was in shock. Untreated, I was told I had six months to live, and I already had a lot going on in my life. When I began treatment, I wasn’t in a situation where I had a lot of family here, so it was a little bit tricky. I had some people help me, but there were certain appointments I couldn’t go to as fluidly. Everybody’s so busy with their lives, and when you go through something like this, you’re at the hospital or the doctor’s office constantly. That’s your life. That’s the new you.

GN: Is that what inspired you to start this nonprofit?

SH: Yes. Well, throughout the process, I would be sitting in the chemo rooms, and I’d be around people, some much older than I was, and I saw them experiencing a little bit of isolation. An example of that would be somebody would pick up a magazine, flip through it, put it down, and then they’d pick it up again. It’s stressful. I’m watching all these things, and how some of these people seem so lonely. Sometimes they don’t have anybody sitting next to them to talk to them. And you’re about to undergo chemo, and you’re by yourself—it just didn’t seem right. So I inserted myself into the community, met with about 400 people, and slowly started to realize that everyone had a story and substantiated the need. The conversations alone demonstrated that cancer touches everybody’s life in some way.

screen-shot-2016-12-24-at-3-28-30-amGN: What do you want people to know about Drivers for Survivors?

SH: That we are a heart-driven organization. We understand the importance of having someone in your life who’s been through treatment and who knows firsthand about offering hope . . . that you want the people around you to understand. . . . There was a woman I was close with who was going through treatment, one of our clients, and it turns out that she would come back from treatment each day and take care of her husband who also has cancer. So you really never know what’s going on with people. The majority of our clients are the underserved and seniored. Everyone is welcome to use our service if ambulatory and in the service area. You’re going through cancer, and you’re traumatized a lot of the time. Just having somebody there and not having to deal with it by yourself gives a sense of hope to the point of feeling like “Hey, I can do this.”

 

Drivers for Survivors is always looking for more volunteer-companion drivers in Fremont, Newark, and Union City, Calif., as well as corporate sponsorships and people who are willing to donate specialized skills such as grant writing. If you’re interested in getting involved, check out their website or browse our Top-Rated Cancer Nonprofits and Top-Rated Breast Cancer Nonprofits for an amazing organization near you. And consider sharing this page to raise awareness about inflammatory breast cancer and the amazing work being done by Drivers for Survivors!

Pressing for a Wider Audience

With the year coming to an end, donors are looking for causes to support and news organizations are writing stories about charitable giving, so there’s no better time to make news releases a part of your communications strategy.

26990135184_03de9cd1c8_bHere are some tips for composing your press release:

  • A catchy title. Unfortunately, if the headline is bland, your release’s chances of getting picked up are slim, so make it count!
  • Get to the point quickly. News outlets may not look beyond the first paragraph of your release, so if you are promoting an event or announcing an award that you’ve received, don’t bury that information.
  • Maintain focus. There’s no reason why you can’t send out multiple releases, so stick to a single award announcement, event, or launch of a new program or campaign. Cram too much and you risk the thing that you most want to publicize getting cut by an editor.
  • Use quotes: A quote, whether from a staff member, volunteer, or client served, can frequently tell a story better than simply listing a bunch of accomplishments. And ending your release with a strong quote will leave a lasting impression.
  • Make it visually stimulating. Including photos and a video will help increase likes, shares, and retweets. Remember, it’s all about reaching the biggest audience possible.

Getting the word out early and often will only help your organization when it comes time to promote events or fundraising campaigns, so be sure to make press releases a regular part of your outreach.

And feel free to check out these recent Top-Rated Award winners who successfully got their message out:

 

Tracking Your Donations

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-10-07-27-pmThe New Year is almost upon us, which hopefully means you’ve already received plenty of donations from people eager to beat the clock striking midnight on Dec. 31 and the deadline for 2016 tax write-offs.

And checking the status of those donations is easier than ever thanks to GreatNonprofits’ new page design.

Simply log in to the site, scroll over “Hello, [screen name]” on the right-hand side of the page, and then click “Manage My Nonprofit.” From there, click the “Donations” button on the top navigation bar, and you are ready to keep track of the status of your donations by date, the donor’s name and e-mail address, and dollar amount, as well as any special requests from the donor.

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-10-09-01-pmDonations made on GreatNonprofit’s website are mailed to you once a month on the 15th of the month from our processor JustGive, which charges a fee of 4.5 percent of the donation, plus 25 cents for processing and handling. Donors are notified of these fees prior to making their Giving Basket transaction.

GreatNonprofits wishes you a great holiday season, and hopefully you will have plenty of reason to check your Donations Received page! (And don’t forget to thank your donors!)

Five Ways to Thank Your Donors

Post it!

It’s nice to feel appreciated for all the hard work that your nonprofit does—especially in the form of donations that allow you to continue that work. And those generous donors who allow you to do so like to feel appreciated as well. Since this is the time of year when your organization is likely to receive the bulk of its annual donations, here are a few tips for thanking your donors:

Personal visits

While it’s impossible to visit with every one of your donors, especially if you are working with limited time and a small budget, try meeting with your largest ones in person once a year. You can also save time by inviting donors to tour your offices and related facilities, which would really allow them to make a connection to the work you do. Or even better, host an event for donors if you are in a party mood.


Phone calls

In this impersonal world of texting and e-mail, actually dialing the phone would allow donors to hear from the tone of your voice just how appreciative you really are. It will only take a few minutes per call, and allows you to still make that personal connection if personal visits are impossible.

Public recognition

If your organization has Facebook or Twitter, there’s no excuse for not posting a quick but heartfelt thank you. Also be sure to thank them on your website and newsletters.

Video

Almost everyone has a smartphone these days, so recording a personalized video thanking donors is quick and easy. It doesn’t have to be long—a couple of minutes should be sufficient. And there’s no need to be stuffy either—if you have talented staff members, don’t be afraid to film a thank you in the form of a song and dance routine. Actually, you don’t even need to have talent—being completely willing to embarrass yourself on film will show just how thankful you are. Another option is to film the clients who’ve benefited from your work delivering the message.

Handwritten notes

In this high-tech world, this is a decidedly low-tech approach, but one that really shows your appreciation. Donors may be slightly shocked to receive a handwritten note, but they will feel much more appreciated than if it had been a thank you that seems vaguely like a mass e-mail.

 

And remember, when it comes to donations, you can never say thank you enough times. So don’t be afraid to use more than one of these tips at a time. And no matter what form it takes, get that initial thank you out as quickly as possible: the longer it takes, the less genuine it will seem. You can always follow up with more personalized ones afterward.

Five Tips for Using Quotes

Whether it’s from a client served or a volunteer, a rave review of your organization feels great. But what comes next after reading them? Remember: When others say great things about you, it will make more of an impact than you saying great things about yourself. Is your organization taking full advantage of all the positive comments it receives? Here are five tips on how to do just that:

Make quotes a regular part of your funding strategy and volunteer recruitment

Donors want to see evidence of your impact, so including quotes from clients whose lives were changed by the great work you do will add more punch to your grant proposals and appeals for donations.

justgiveAnd when trying to recruit new volunteers, use quotes from past and present ones that show how enthusiastic they are about the work they did, as well as how valued you made them feel.

. . . And your editorial strategy as well

Make quotes a regular part of your blogs, newsletters, and Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media that you use to reach people. People like to read feel-good stories, and more importantly, share them. And if just one person who hadn’t heard of you before is motivated to learn more about you, the quote has done its job.

Timing is everything

Is there a breaking news story or event that ties to the work of your nonprofit? Find a quote or review and use it to reinforce your involvement in the issue. If your organization deals with water, for instance, when news of the Flint water crisis broke would have been a great time to send out a quote to your constituents. The same goes for recent stories of violence in schools if you focus on of bullying, children, and/or gun control.

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-4-34-27-pmDon’t wait until the last minute

If you do commit to making quotes a part of your strategy, finding the right one for a message just moments before it is set to go out can be hectic, especially if you have a lot of reviews. If you start collecting and organizing quotes well ahead of time, they’ll be ready when you need them. You can filter GreatNonprofits reviews by role as well, which will make the job of grouping your quotes easier.

Words paint a picture. . .

But there’s no harm in helping out those words by placing them over a picture, right? As we’ve said before, pictures attract attention. So pairing them with your quote will really make the message stand out.

 

People are saying great things about you, so why not spread the word? Check out your profile page on GreatNonprofits and start collecting those kind words right now!

 

Top 10 Tips for Giving

On Giving Tuesday, GreatNonprofits participated in the Reuters Charity twitter chat, which discussed among other topics ways to involve your family, pitfalls to avoid when making donations, and all of the various gift-giving options, such as cash, stock, and charitable trusts. Here are the questions that GreatNonprofits answered:

26019917581_43b98ab8a7_bHow can I make a greater impact with my donations?

Tell your story about giving to inspire others to give. Amplify your giving: Find a group—like a local giving network—and find wonderful, interesting, like-minded people.

I do not personally have extensive resources to give to charity, but I really want to help. What can I do?

Even small donations help the nonprofit know that you care. But if you absolutely can’t spare anything, volunteer. Check out top volunteer opportunities, such as this in SF: http://bit.ly/2gKWg2m

I’m thinking about retiring soon. How can I continue charitable giving when I no longer have the same level of income?

A friend of ours just did this—he left a bequest in his will to his favorite charities.

How can I involve my family in my charitable giving?

Volunteering as a family to collect food in your neighborhood, make sandwiches and hand them out to homeless people.

Giving is part of raising a compassionate child. Tips on how:http://bit.ly/2gSIvCJ

How has the 2016 U.S. presidential election impacted the donor landscape? What might changes might donors expect?

Trump’s tax plan would lessen incentives for giving. He’s said he would cap itemized deductions for couples at $200K

How could charitable giving change in 2017 & beyond?

2017 donors will go beyond church, alma mater, and hospital. Donors will give more to local & advocacy causes.

What are some smart tax strategies for donors to use now?

Tax strategies for giving: donate stock, items that can be auctioned, donate through your employee giving program.

What are some common mistakes people make with their giving?

Some people forget to tell their families about their giving. This is a chance to tell kids a story about your values.

How can I be sure when giving to a charity that my information is safe and will not be shared?

You can give safely and to any nonprofit in the U.S. on http://www.greatnonprofits.org  

Where can I go if I need some help deciding which charities to give to?

Check out #nonprofit recommendations from other donors and volunteers on http://www.greatnonprofits.org.

Lights, Camera, Action!

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Creating a video for your nonprofit organization can seem like a large project, but the benefits of getting behind the camera—or in front of it—are worth it. It is estimated that more than 100 million Internet users watch online video every day. And videos inspire people to get involved or donate to a cause—pages with video stories get twice the donations of those that do not have them. Here are some five simple guidelines for creating a video story: (more…)

“Why Don’t I Solve This Problem Called Hunger?”- An Interview with Andre Angel

andre_and_cheryl“As an entrepreneur and someone who has sold so many companies, I know how to build a business, so I thought, ‘Why don’t I solve this problem called hunger?”

Andre Angel is a serial entrepreneur and philanthropist who has built more than a dozen companies and, so far, created successful exits from eight of them. He created TangoTab, a marketplace app that helps restaurant owners manage their customer traffic to fill their empty (underutilized) seats by offering incentives to consumers to come in at less busy hours. Every time a customer uses his app, the company donates a meal to a person in need, locally. So far TangoTab has fed nearly 1.7 million people.

  • Approximately 795 million people do not have enough food to lead a healthy and active life, according to the World Food Programme
  • 45% of deaths for children under 5 are caused by poor nutrition
  • According to an estimate by the World Food Programme, $3.2 billion is needed to feed the 66 million hungry school-age children

(more…)

Charities Focused on Helping the Homeless

homeless_manAlmost all of us see and interact with people experiencing homelessness on a daily basis, and in some cities the housing options are so limited that the experience of running into homeless kids and families isn’t abnormal. Like many social issues, homelessness and lack of housing—even for kids and youth—have become normalized simply because the issue is so widespread, and many people aren’t sure how they can get involved. We compiled some statistics about homelessness in the U.S.:

  • More than 57,000 veterans are homeless each night, according to the Huffington Post
  • 25% of people experiencing homelessness are children, or roughly 138,000 kids on any given night
  • One in five people experiencing homelessness is suffering from a severe mental illness

(more…)

Five Tips for Giving as a Family This Holiday Season

In kids’ eyes, the holidays are a season for getting. And although that may be true for the more fortunate ones, it’s also never too early to remind children that it’s also the season of giving. And just because they may not have the means to help someone else financially does not mean that they can’t help spread a little joy to those in need of some.

Here are five tips for giving as a family this holiday season! (more…)