August 27 - Giving Back

I put a lot of time and energy in figuring out how I can give back and try to better the world. I believe that we should all be trying to make the world a better place. But where do we start? How can we help? The following are the things I think about when I try to "give back".

1. Pick What to Focus On 

There is so much in the world that needs to be improved. If you tried to help all of it, you'd just be overwhelmed and you'd end up not really helping anyone. You need to think about where you want to direct your efforts. Personally, my focus is helping people in my local community and children. So my major charities are my local food bank and UNICEF. But some people focus on medical causes like Cancer Research. Some people focus on Animal/Environmental issues. Some People focus on a specific social need like LGBTQ+ rights. Figure out what speaks to you, and try to focus your efforts there where you can have the biggest impact. 

2. Vet Your Charities

There are a lot of resources online to check how non-profits use the funding they get to help people. Look for charities that spend no more than 10% of their income on marketing and administrative tasks. I also just do a quick Google search "Charity Name + scandal" and just skim what that pulls up. Just because a charity has had a scandal, doesn't mean it's a bad charity, but I like to check to make sure I'm not donating to someplace that consistently has questionable conduct.

3.  Give What you Can

Straight Talk - Most Charities really just need money. They often have good deals with suppliers and other organizations so they can get more for each dollar they spend. For example, my local food bank advertises, that they can get about $10 worth of food for every $1 they spend. That said, if you don't have the money, give what you can. Donate Blood. Donate Hair. Donate Food. When you get a BOGO coupon for soap or shampoo, donate the other bottle to your local homeless or woman's shelter. And most importantly, donate your time. Run a fundraiser. Volunteer to help at the charity's events. Spend time putting letters together. Charities know that not everyone can donate money. They often have sections that talk about other things you can do to help.