Backing a charity is one of the most effective ways to make a social impact, but when you have a set budget, time constraints, and a myriad of business and life events to juggle, it can be a challenge to decide which charity to champion and how to best contribute.
That being said, we’ve been lucky enough to witness the generosity and care that individuals have offered our non-profit clients and we can confidently say that there is no donation or volunteer opportunity too small. Every drop of honey counts when filling up the jar. ?
Whether you’re a small business looking for the perfect partnership or an impassioned individual, we put together five questions to help you evaluate if a nonprofit or charitable organization is the right fit and some ideas on how you can offer your support.
1. What issues are you passionate about?
Start by creating a list of things you’re passionate about. It’s great to be granular to help narrow down the list of potential partners. Are you super into elephant painting? Great! You’ll likely be interested in Animals and Arts. Do you also happen to have a business that is perhaps honey related *wink wink*? Maybe you should look into Elephants & Bees. You might be surprised what nonprofit combinations exist, here’s the top categories to think about when making your list:
a. Social issues
b. Climate change/environmental
c. Arts & culture
2. How do you want to contribute?
Remember, how we mentioned that every drop of honey counts? You can Donate, volunteer, sign up for a charity run, raise money, offer pro bono work, etc.
Deciding how you or your business would like to get involved will help refine your scope of interest even further. Money isn’t always in question! If you’ve got time to volunteer or even join a Young Professional Committees it’s a great way to get involved at a lower investment level
3. Do you want to donate locally or globally?
If you’re interested in volunteering, an international nonprofit might not be a great fit. So use your response to the last question to inform the answer to this one.
4. Do all facets of the organization fit your values?
a. Once you’ve narrowed down your list, do some good ole’ Googling to find nonprofits that fit within your passions.
b. When researching, be mindful that the overall mission of the charity you support aligns with your own values, and their specific programs or initiatives do too! This will ensure a longer relationship because it will feel more meaningful and you will connect on a deeper level with their goals.
5. Are they legit?
a. They are tax-exempt 501(c)(3) public charities.
b. Do they hold themselves accountable and are they transparent about their financials?
c. What progress is the charity making toward its goals?
d. What metrics does it use to measure progress and impact?
e. Are they financially healthy?
Tip: Sites like guidestar.org, charitynavigator.org, charitywatch.org, and givewell.org do the legwork of combing through charities’ tax filings and governance documents
Check out some of the nonprofits we know and love!