After you’ve determine your personal passion (link to blog post here to determine what that is!), you can then learn what work is being done to help this cause.
The first step before you take action is to research nonprofit organizations that are working on this cause. Search online and nearby and become familiar with the organizations that are tackling this issue.
Find out what those organizations are doing and where the gaps may be. Learn how they could use more support. Best ways to do this include visiting organizations’ locations, attending a nonprofit fundraiser event, and speaking directly with people who work at these organizations. Comb through organizations’ websites and download financial statements at Guidestar.org
Once you have a solid understanding for where the gaps are when it comes to tackling the cause you care about, do something! The best actions steps to take are entirely dependent on what you learned about the work being done.
Here’s some ideas on action steps to take:
If there’s a fabulous group or organization working hard on this cause, support them. Find meaningful ways to funnel donations their way and volunteer on a regular basis. Don’t forget to bring others along for the ride! Doing good and giving back is contagious when you share it.
If there are people interested in this cause, gather them. Be the person to rally others together and take action to promote change and give help to those who need it.
If there’s unmet needs and this cause needs help, start it. You may be the best person to start the movement towards making the world a better place. There are many different ways you could organize this movement. Options include an informal group, a nonprofit organization, or a nonprofit foundation. If starting a nonprofit, the most common types are a nonprofit organization (public charity with higher regulations) or a nonprofit foundation (offers more flexibility for control by a smaller group). You can learn more at irs.gov/charities-non-profits.
Not sure which is the best? Contact Philanthropy Forward (philanthropy-forward.com) to help you assess how to make a difference in the most effective way.
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