June 20, 2013
Gandhi once said that, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
An interesting new study written about by UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Center shows that this isn’t just a popular inspirational quote.
A student gave study participants $5 and one of two notes; one indicating that they could spend the money on their own bills on one indicating that they could give the money away to charity or to help someone else. Other participants were given more money, $20. Regardless of the amount of money, people who gave the money away felt happy about it, while those who could use the money for expenses did not feel an increase in happiness, and those who had more to give, felt more happiness.
Regardless of income level, giving made folks happy.
Despite these, well, ‘happy’ findings, research also shows that not every giving situation gives people happiness. Here are some tips from Berkeley on how to make donating a happy experience for all involved.
Perhaps most importantly, making a measurable impact matters quite a bit to donors. Donors that can connect the money they give to its impact, feel best about their gifts. Having client reviews on GreatNonprofits.org is one of the best and most direct ways to showcase your impact. Who better to tell the story of your programs than those directly benefiting from them? Additionally, GreatNonprofits offers a “Results” space on every nonprofit profile for charities to chronicle concrete achievements for donors.
Need tips on how to solicit reviews?
Other tips included not cornering a donor into giving and making the donation feel forced or obligated, and helping make a connection for your donors to the person or cause that they are supporting.
Nonprofits, what tips have you found helpful during fundraising?
March 18, 2013
When was the last time you checked in on a neighbor? Been awhile? According to a new survey published in Atlantic Monthly, you aren’t alone.
The survey showed that, regardless of income level, the one community resource that most people felt they lacked was “kind, supportive neighbors.”
And community and environment can actually play a role in overall health and happiness.
How connected are you to your local community? Can you name a local nonprofit helping your community? See what happened when we asked some locals to name a nonprofit near them.
Find an organization in your community using our thousands of city pages. Start here with our zip code search. If you’ve spent time at a local nonprofit, share your story here by writing a review.
March 15, 2013
Feel like you don’t have the time to volunteer? A study published in Psychological Science revealed that doing something nice for others can actually give you a sense of having more time to spend.
When folks take the time to help someone else, they know it’s time well-spent. The study showed that when people feel like they’ve done something worthwhile with their time, however busy they may be, they also feel like they have more time.
Spending time on others actually gave subjects in the study more feelings of “time affluence” than actually having more free time. The study also compared feelings of time affluence after subjects simply wasted time or spent time on themselves. Doing for others won out.
So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by your schedule, one of the most effective ways to feel like you have more time is to spend it helping others. Why not find a new place to volunteer near you?
Find a nonprofit that needs help near you. (We make it easy with our zip code search.)
Giving your time may just help you as much as your community.
March 5, 2013
Can you think of a local nonprofit in your city? Can you guess how many nonprofits are near you? We decided to do an experiment: we walked around our San Francisco Bay Area offices to find a few long-time locals. Could they name a single Bay Area nonprofit? Did they have an idea of how many nonprofits were in the area?
The results? Check them out below:
So, can you name a local nonprofit in your town? Use GreatNonprofits to find a local nonprofit!
If you’ve volunteered or donated to a nonprofit near you, have you written a review about that nonprofit to help others learn about it?
February 8, 2013
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, there’s no better time to show your local nonprofits some love. Want to make it a date? We’ve got some great, romantic ways to give back:
Go for a romantic walk–with a shelter dog: Many homeless puppies and dogs in animal shelters spend the bulk of their time in cages. Sign up to spend some time walking dogs together at a shelter.
Donate to your valentine’s favorite charity: Can’t volunteer together? Give your partner a gift card with money to put toward any charity he/she likes, or, make a donation in your partner’s name to a favorite cause. Find charity gift cards at JustGive.
Cook for those in need: Not into the packed restaurant scene on Valentine’s Day? What about cooking a wholesome, hot meal for those in need in your neighborhood instead? Sign up together to cook or distribute food to the needy for a night.
Get the kids involved, or volunteer to help kids in need: Do your kids love making valentines? Why not deliver some to an elderly home? Or, do you both love working with kids? Volunteer together to mentor children in need.
Build something together: Work on a project together; it could be helping out at a Habitat for Humanity site, getting your hands in the dirt planting trees or helping school kids make art projects. Get creative!
Do you plan on volunteering this Valentines Day? Let us know how in the comments.
January 31, 2013
The idea of volunteerism has been around for a long time, even the word “volunteer” has been in use since the 1700s. We know you love to help out and lend a hand with nonprofits near you, but we bet you didn’t know that these historical figures were big volunteers too!
Ben Franklin – He created bifocals and was one of America’s Founding Fathers, but did you know he also created the very first volunteer fire department? You’ve likely heard Franklin’s famous quote, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Franklin brought together a group of 30 men in 1736 to form the Union Fire Company to prevent massive fires in Philadelphia.
October 19, 2012
Want to help get your local charities some well-deserved extra attention? Interested in promoting local giving in your own community? Join our national team of Local Ambassadors!
GreatNonprofits has launched our Get Local campaign for 2012 to encourage local giving this season. Sign up to be a Local Ambassador with us and you’ll get to spread the word in your city about the best charities around. It’s a volunteer position (we’re a nonprofit too!) with a 2-5 hour a week commitment. We’ll give you all the tools you’ll need. Here’s what you’ll do:
Tell others about amazing nonprofits in your city!
- Highlight outstanding nonprofits via the GreatNonprofits microsite for your city
- Use email and social media to spread the word
- Reach out to local newspapers and blogs and let them know about exemplary local nonprofits
Why do it?
- Get great experience reaching out to local media
- Manage the GreatNonprofits microsite for your city. People will see your name and photo!
- Be a major help to your local nonprofit community, enabling it to do more good
- Be part of a nationwide grassroots effort to showcase small, local nonprofits
Check out our available cities.
Sound good to you? Contact Jessica@greatnonprofits.org
October 3, 2012
The concepts of sharing time and giving to those in need are a part of the learning curve in a child’s life, but why are these ideas so important for kids to learn?
In his book, Giving back: A guide to Volunteering and Donation for Families and Individuals, Stephen P. Ketchpel tells us:
- Giving back empowers a child, making them more independent.
- Volunteering as a family, together as a group, leads to stronger family ties.
- And, the earlier a child participates in this experience, the more he/she enjoys and makes it a part of his/her whole life.
September 4, 2012
Want to volunteer or intern at a great Boston non-profit? Whether you’re new to Boston and want to learn about the city’s charities, trying to change up your routine with some local charity work, or just want to volunteer or intern at a neighborhood non-profit, everyone knows that the best way to find the right place for you is from the people who’ve been there!
Here’s a list of volunteers’ and interns’ favorite Boston charities. Every non-profit on this list earned has an overall score of 4 or greater out of 5 on GreatNonprofits.org, and must have been reviewed by at least 10 volunteers. If your favorite Boston non-profit or volunteer gig is missing, find it on GreatNonprofits.org, write a positive review, and show your co-volunteers how to start adding reviews and get it on the list! (more…)
August 27, 2012
Want to volunteer or intern at a great New York City non-profit? Whether you’re new to New York and want to learn about the city’s charities, trying to change up your routine with some local charity work, or just want to volunteer or intern at a neighborhood non-profit, everyone knows that the best way to find the right place for you is from the people who’ve been there!
Here’s a list of volunteers’ and interns’ favorite New York charities. Every non-profit on this list earned has an overall score of 4 or greater out of 5 on GreatNonprofits.org, and must have been reviewed by at least 10 volunteers. If your favorite New York non-profit or volunteer gig is missing, find it on GreatNonprofits.org, write a positive review, and show your co-volunteers how to start adding reviews and get it on the list! (more…)