No matter how hectic our lives get, sometimes we’re overcome with the urge to help others in need. However, it can feel almost impossible to add one more thing to our to-do lists no matter how worthy the cause. Reaching out and working for a cause has shown to increase endorphins (those ‘mood booster’ brain chemicals), reduce stress, and of course, help the world.
So how can you put a little back in when you are already doing so much? Remember that you don’t need to donate hours each week or write huge checks. A little goes a long way.
Tap the Talent
What comes easily to you? What do you spend a lot of time doing in your career? Many charities need help with social media posts, newsletters, fundraising, or general business management. Wise advice is worth a lot! See if the cause calling your name can use your specific skills. Chances are it could.
Many retailers are offering to donate a portion of your purchase or product to an institution in need. Make it a habit to seek out and choose businesses that will give a little back themselves.
Talk to your human resources department or your boss and find out if your company will match a charitable donation you make. Often they will match your contribution dollar for dollar. There may be restrictions on donating to political or religious organizations, but your business will let you know.
Pass the Presents
Have you reached the point where you have enough stuff? Let friends and family know that instead of a gift, they can donate to a charity instead. It can be one they like or one you suggest. Consider buying this kind of gift for a loved one who would appreciate the gesture more than another ugly holiday sweater.
Nonprofits and charities need loud voices. Making phone calls, penning letters, lobbying, and similar activities help keep sponsors, lawmakers, and other supporters abreast of the latest news. A few minutes on the phone or typing up an email or letter goes a long way toward keeping needs in the forefront.
It’s easy to let the busy-ness of our day trick us into thinking there isn’t anything we have time to do to give a little back to the community. But with careful forethought, small efforts can yield big results.