You are pretty lucky even though you might not think so. Because you were born in a developed country you had everything easy. I know it can seem tough sometimes, but it's really not. You have access to education which guarantees you a good future if you want it. There are medical institutions where you will receive good care. You have a roof over your head to keep you sheltered from harsh conditions. And you have a better chance than anyone of surviving into old age.
Some people are not so lucky. They don't have those luxuries that you class as basics. Have you ever thought about giving something back? And I don't mean giving $10 every month to some charity. I mean getting in the thick of it and sharing your love. There are plenty of places around the world where you can volunteer your time to people who really need it. To kids that might not have anyone who truly loves them. If that sounds like something you'd be interested in then have a look below at some options you have available to you.
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years you would have heard about the devastating earthquake that tore the country apart. Whole families were wiped out, and children are now left without parents. The country has not had much luck with anything in recent years apart from the kind men and women who come down to give anything they can. If you look around there are plenty of places looking for hands-on help and they'd be lucky to have you if you're willing to give it a shot.
Africa has had problems for the longest time. There are still millions of people who don't have access to fresh running water. Children have lost their parents to aids and malaria. They are so thin because there isn't enough food to feed them. All these people need your help. Why don't you go across and teach them about sex education so they will be safe from aids. Or help dig wells so the have access to something as simple as water. The kind of water that doesn't mean they are risking their life every time they have a drink. Again, there are plenty of opportunities available for any length of time you have to offer.
The country remains very poor. People are fighting to survive. Because Thailand is much more known than Cambodia it seems like that's where all the volunteers go to help out. Even though they need just as much help as Thailand they are missing out. Women are kidnapped and sent away to be sex slaves. Children are still abused from the people who should be looking out for them. You can provide the adults with simple education so they may find work in the tourist industry, or teach children so they have a chance at a good future. There is plenty of places that need you.
Nepal is the easiest country to volunteer on the list. Although there are plenty of organizations you could probably jump on a plane and have something available the moment you land. You could volunteer at an orphanage where you will be looking after hundreds of children that don't have anyone else. Again you could teach English or anything else with the experience you possess. There are over 10 orphanages around the capital alone, plus there are more than two dozen children's resource centers that deal with their welfare. After you have finished there are plenty of attractions you can see around the country before you go home.
John McKenzie is a Toronto based travel enthusiast. He recommends the service of VS Travels for those who wish to seek excellent new year vacation deals.
Tips For Giving Charity When You Are Facing Tough Times
When many people think about giving to charities, they tend to think that they need to have money in order to help. The good news is, it doesn't take much money to help out a great cause and even if you do not have a single penny to spare, there are still ways you can do your part. Today we are going to discuss a few of the easiest ways you can go about giving back even if you are in a tough spot yourself.
Spread the Word
Is there a charity that you feel strongly about but you do not have the means to give your money or time? Even simply spreading the word makes the world of a difference. With so many charities out there, a lot of the times people do not realize just how simple it is to donate or where they should donate or even how they should go about donating. Using your social networking sites as a way to advertise a specific cause can make a dramatic affect on the successfulness of a charity. The more friends or followers you have, the better. Word spreads fast on the internet.
If you have the drive and the ability, you may want to create your very own blog or website revolved around this charity or charity-related topics in general. You can write articles, post photos and share inspirational stories about ways you have given back or what charities you like the most. Even if you have never made a website or blog before there are many free options out there that do much of the work for you. You may want to check out Webs and Wordpress as places to get started. Both are extremely simple and reliable options.
Facebook Fan Pages are another unique option. This allows you a special place separate from your own Facebook Page where you can focus solely on charity-related topics. If you have your own business, you can start collecting donations for the charity of your choosing. This is a great way to give people simple and easy access to the causes that tug at their hearts the most.
Donate Your Time
If you aren't able to give money but still want to help out a charity in a personal way, you may want to consider physically going to the charity location and asking what you can do to help out. Whether they need help filing paperwork, keeping track of finances, organizing food and clothing items for the needy or cleaning up; there is always a need for some form of help. Simply contact local charities and see what you can do. It feels great to do something out of the kindness of your heart and you are bound to learn some amazing life lessons along the way as well as meet people you are never going to forget; whether it be those who you are helping or the people you are working towards a cause with.
Have you ever considered giving back in your workplace? Many companies have the 'use it or lose it' rule when it comes to vacation time but will allow you to donate your vacation time to those who need it. Maybe your coworker has a sick family member and needs some time off to sort things out or they are struggling to find a new babysitter and are having a hard time keeping up. Giving someone else your unused vacation time is a great way to give back. For those of you who enjoy your job, you aren’t going to mind being at the office those additional hours. Plus, you can feel great knowing you gave your time to someone who truly needed it and appreciated your gesture.
Give Items You No Longer Need
If time and money aren't something you have readily available, you can always give personal items that you no longer need. Maybe you have clothing items that have been in storage for years or toys that your kids have grown out of. Donating these items to people who are less fortunate can drastically change their life. You get to clean out your home and feel good knowing that your donations are going to great use.
Maybe you have some extra canned food in your home that your family isn't going to get around to eating. Instead of letting the food go bad or gather dust in your cupboards, you might as well give it to people who desperately need food for their next meal. A surprisingly high number of people every single year are going hungry and not getting the proper nutrition.
Have you ever considered donating your hair or blood? Blood and hair are always in high demand. You may be able to help someone who was in a car accident and needs a blood transplant or a patient suffering from cancer who needs a new wig so they can continue living their life with a head full of hair.
Other Things You Can Donate
Maybe you've donated all the items in your home that you no longer need, but you still want to find new ways to give back. If you enjoy sewing or crocheting, you could make blankets for those in need. There are a surprisingly high number of people around the world who do not have the proper protection from the elements. Get creative with it. Contact local charities and ask them what types of items they are in most need of.
Ever heard of those local events where a large number of people come together and 'race for the cure' or walk for a certain cause? A lot of the time such events have a small fee to join or are completely free to participants. If you have a day off of work, why not do something that is going to help others instead of sitting on the couch and watching movies? Not only is it great exercise for you but you can also meet amazing people along the way. Bring your family and friends and it can become an event you will remember for the rest of your life.
Every Little Bit Counts
When it comes to giving back, keep in mind that every little bit counts. It doesn't matter if you can only afford to give a dollar or if you can only donate your time once a month. If you are passionate about helping out those in need, there are always ways to do so. Even if you are bedridden or handicapped, there are things that can be done. It doesn't matter where you live, what your income looks like, your sexual orientation, the color of your skin; any of that. Giving back is giving back, plain and simple. Never become frustrated because you 'cannot give as much as you'd like'. Trust us, the people and/or animals you are helping do not care how much or how little you can give; they are getting the benefits of loving and caring people such as yourself who take the time to give, even if they may be struggling themselves.
Not Sure What You Can Do In Your Area?
If you still aren't sure how you want to give back, contact local businesses that you enjoy such as that veterinary clinic down the road or that food bank and ask them for tips on how to give back. There are a lot of companies in need of help that do not have the money required to have proper advertisement. You may be able to give back by doing things you already do on a regular basis such as shop at certain stores or use a debit or credit card that gives a percentage to specific charities.
The above guest post is written by Jessy Law who is part of the team at Third Sector Jobs. The Third sector jobs, world leading charity recruitment company to get you right charity jobs easily.
3D images credit: LuMaxArt
Charities need fundraisers for a variety of reasons. A fundraising event is one of the most important ways to create attention for a charity, and can also help to generate engagement with a local community. Moreover, charity fundraisers help to enlist new people for Charity Jobs, as well as developing links with local businesses. Moreover, charity fundraisers can help to create specific fundraising drives, as well as establishing long term targets for an organisation to hit. The importance of fundraisers for charities is expanded on below:
1 - Attention
A major event, or even a smaller local one, will create a lot of attention for a charity. If properly marketed, an event can help to bring attention to the work of the charity, and will create a lasting profile, even if people do not initially donate. Local events are particularly useful for smaller charities that don’t have the marketing budget of larger organisations. A few memorable events can become a tradition for the charity, and will help to support a range of other mail outs and fundraising drives.
2 - Local Engagement
A well organised fundraising event represents an excellent way to engage with a local community. An event that involves that community will also help to build an identity for a charity within the area, and can encourage people to use that charity as a future partner for their own fundraising events. Getting a charity involved in local schools and businesses is similarly important for raising awareness, and for increasing the potential for future collaborations.
3 - Enlist New People
A well attended fundraising event can bring in a number of volunteers. These volunteers might then decide to stay on at the charity in a voluntary or a future professional role. Having an event at a school, college or university can also help to build loyalty to a charity at a young age, and can spin off a number of individual fundraising activities.
4 - Specific Fundraising Drives
A special event can work to bring attention to a specific cause. The focus of an event can therefore make it easier to demonstrate where the money is going to be used, and how individual donations will contribute to that effort. In this context, it is important for an event to be tailored to a specific cause, from a walk to raise funds to tackle breast cancer, through to a charity music night set up to help cancer sufferers. Although a direct identification does not have to be necessarily made, the event can be made more memorable by using badges and logos that identify the particular cause and who it will be helping.
5 - Sets a Standard to Hit
Successful fundraising events ultimately establish a standard by which a charity can be measured. In many cases, a public fundraising event can be years in development, and can provide a charity with a much larger amount of income than everyday fundraising. Being able to assess and meet these targets consequently means being able to work out an annual schedule for major events that can push fundraising targets over a certain limit.
Sebastian is a freelance writer and a blogger. He writes for a UK based charity job portal and through his posts advises about how to go for the best ngo jobs available in UK.
Top 6 sunglasses brands which donate to charity
Clear vision is often something we take for granted due to our easy access to medication, prescription eyewear and professional treatment, but for some people, good eyesight can be considered an unaffordable luxury. Almost one billion people in the world have no access to glasses, meaning that many people are unable to read, learn, study and carry out their daily activities as effectively as they would if they were provided with a sufficient prescription. When you buy one of these pairs of sunglasses, you not only protect your eyes from the damaging sun’s rays with 100% UV protection, but you also contribute to a good cause, potentially restoring the sight of someone in need.
Here are 6 of the most humanitarian brands, offering unique and fashionable eyewear.
1. Tommy Hilfiger. Despite being a well-known designer brand, Tommy Hilfiger is down-to-earth when it comes to charity. The sunglasses ‘promise collection’ benefits people in Ruhira in Uganda by providing free eye check-ups and corrective lenses to those who need them. These frames showcase African styling with colourful, tribal-inspired prints on the sunglasses arms.
2. Westward Leaning sunglasses appear to be just average, stylish frames. However, on the arms of each pair is an inlaid coloured panel celebrating a different social cause. The glasses all feature a black, wayfarer style frame with an attractive arm plaque. The designs range from the ‘Children of California’ subtle wooden square ($10 to ‘Teach for America’ for every pair sold), to rainbow ribbon threaded through the arm in support of gay rights organisations. In addition, every pair sold raises $10 for non profit charities such as Love Thy Neighbor Mexico. This charity seeks to raise awareness about the link between the high drugs demand in the US with the drug wars in Mexico, using the unconventional tools of social media and art installations.
3. TOMS sunglasses range marks part of the brand’s charity campaign, ‘Summer of Sight’ in which they aim to help restore the sight of 100,000 people around the world. For every pair purchased, TOMS will provide essential medical treatment, prescription glasses or surgery needed to restore vision. The glasses appear to be regular sunglasses with a dark, wayfarer frame, but buying a pair of these will help someone in need.
4. Warby Parker promises to donate one pair of prescription glasses to someone in the developing world for every pair bought. The prescription glasses donated are tailored to the needs of the local communities and can help provide the dignity, independence and confidence of clear vision. The sunglasses range is stylish and cool, with an emphasis on bold frames in tortoiseshell, red, and other bright colours, forming part of a popular brand that promised to do good in the world.
5. Solo is a San Diego glasses range which is dedicated to a charitable cause. For every pair sold, Solo promises to donate a pair of prescription glasses to someone in need and to fund part of an eye surgery for two people. The glasses are cool and innovative, featuring dark bamboo arms and bright plastic lens frames, for a quirky contrast. And with one simple purchase, every customer can help save the sight of someone in need.
6. Proof focuses on creating unique aviator-style frames, whilst supporting a charitable cause. For every pair sold, Proof promises to help those who cannot afford the treatment they need in India, by providing sight-saving cataract surgeries. When choosing your pair of sunglasses, you are even given the option of creating different combinations of wood shade, stain, lens colour and frame shape.
So if you’re feeling charitable, consider investing in a pair of super stylish, innovative frames, whilst benefiting those in need. You can wear a unique pair of frames; whilst someone across the globe can regain their sight... it’s a win-win situation.
Victoria writes for online retailer of glasses frames, Direct Sight
Cycling is an excellent way to get a really good workout and do great things for your body while being outside and enjoying the scenery around you and all of the amazing fresh air. Burning approximately 400 calories in an hour, there really is no better workout, and biking is a great way to explore your surroundings as well.
There are an abundance of charities and groups that are using cycling and its enthusiasts as a way to raise money and awareness for their respective causes. By giving their participants ample motivation and cashing in on their philanthropic desires, they combine physical challenge and service opportunities, making a healthy and worthwhile combination for all who chose to partake of the experience.
Here is a look at 7 of the most popular rides hosted for a good cause:
American Lung Association
The Big Ride across America is a seven week, cross country bike ride hosted by the American Lung Association of the Mountain Pacific Region. This non-profit organization requires riders to raise a minimum of $6,000 and also charges them a $150 registration fee. Once the cyclists are registered, they gear up to make the cross country trip from Seattle, Washington to Washington D.C. Over the course of the seven weeks, riders travel approximately 3,300 miles from beginning to end.
This ride hosted in Maine annually, was started by a man named Chris Woods after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. This ride is particularly interesting because studies have shown that tandem bike riding can actually help to ease the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. The ride offers a variety of mileage options, allowing for any level of cyclist to participate. Participants must raise an minimum of $100 to participate and all proceeds go to the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
The American Diabetes Foundation
The American Diabetes Foundation is perhaps one of the foundations with the greatest amount of rides being hosted for its cause, these are individually as a Tour de Cure. There are annual rides in 43 states that allow for riders at any skill level to participate and help raise money and awareness for the foundation. It is essential to raise awareness for this cause as diabetes is a disease that affects people of all ages and it can be prevented in a lot of cases. These rides have hundreds of participants each and most of those participating either suffer from diabetes themselves or know someone who does.
The Livestrong Challenge is an annual event held one day a year in San Francisco, Philadelphia and Austin, Texas to raise money for cancer research. There are varying distances offered for riders to accommodate any skill level. All participants must raise a minimum of $250 and pay a registration fee of $50. Austin hosts a special event called the Ride for Roses which allows any of the cyclists who raise over $10,000 to participate and at the finish line all of the cancer survivors are presented with a yellow rose.
The Amgen California Coast Classic is a weeklong bike ride hosted by the Arthritis Foundation to help promote awareness for their cause. The ride is for cyclist of all strengths and is promoted as a week for these bikers to celebrate the sport while getting to know one another and enjoying the great outdoors. The route for the ride is from San Francisco to Los Angeles annually and many of the bikers that participate in the ride end up enjoying themselves and having such a great time that they return year after year to participate and help a great cause.
If you are interested in biking for this cause, you should look up all the possible events being hosted by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Annually they host a wide variety of events nationwide in order to raise money for their foundation. Their particular events are a great option for anyone looking to bike for good because they put together events that cater to cyclist at all skill levels. Depending on your location, you may have the opportunity to participate in half day, day or multiple day trips, whatever suits your personal level of comfortability.
San Diego Center for the Blind
The San Diego Center for the Blind hosts the annual Cycling for Sight, which is a 200 mile ride through southern California that benefits the Center for the Blind. What makes this ride particularly emotional is that there are a great number of tandem bikes that participate in the ride and those bikes generally have a blind person in back and a seeing person leading from the front. Participants are required to raise a minimum of between $100 and $1600.
Hillary Rose is a writer and bicyclist. She works with Racor to find storage solutions for bicycles. When not working you can find her out on the road with her weekly cycling crew.
Charitable giving, like most other things in our modern world, has become a highly complicated and often difficult endeavor given the vast number of organizations and causes vying for your dollar. While simply picking and choosing between them can often lead to regrettable contributions, narrowing your focus to causes and situations that work for you will help you to be sure that your charitable donations are contributing to the best possible cause.
If you're looking to combine sunny fun with thoughtful giving this during the warm months to come, check out these five charity ideas for this summer:
If you're planning a summer vacation that will see you travel abroad, one excellent way to give while saving is to book your hotel with CheapHotels.org. Besides offering some of the lowest hotel rates in the world for a wide variety of locales around the globe, CheapHotels.org automatically donates 1% of each and every booking to OrphanAid Africa, an organization that helps disenfranchised children in Ghana to grow up in safe, secure and loving environments with a focus on education and family stability.
Save money and donate to a worthy cause at the same time - now that's an excellent way to start your summer!
2. Become a Summer Fundraiser
The warm months of summer open up endless opportunities for outdoor fun, making it the best time of year to organize a fundraising event in your own community! Whether you opt for a bike-a-thon, a car wash or a bake sale, heading the effort to raise funds for a worthy cause, whether a local or international one, allows you to offer a helping hand to others while enjoying a fulfilling time yourself.
The Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms organization connects organic farms around the world with people looking to stay and work temporarily to the benefit of all, presenting any able bodied wanderer with a unique way to enjoy a summer vacation! Learn about permaculture and agricultural stability while developing the skills required to grow food, all in a foreign land that offers exposure to exciting cultures and ways of life and helping to further the cause of sustainable growing in the process.
4. Clean House and Help the Needy
There is no better time than summer to take stock of your belongings and reorganize your material life, offering up the items you no longer need to those less fortunate as you go. Whether you choose to donate via a Goodwill foundation or in person, you can take pride and pleasure in the mutual benefit that cleaning house offers!
If you've got some free time on your hands this summer, consider becoming a local volunteer in order to gain valuable experience while lending a helping hand to those around you. With national volunteer databases available to people in most countries, choosing a volunteer opportunity that suits your skills and desires is a breeze, ensuring that you are able to bring your very best to the table each and every day.
Whether you've got free time to kill or a deep, residing passion for helping others, using the time that summer frees up for many of us towards charitable causes is a fantastic way to grow as people, both in skills and life experience, brightening the lives of others along the way. Given the easy availability of opportunities both local and abroad via the internet, becoming involved with a cause that suits your abilities is a cinch once you narrow your focus, leading you to new opportunities and memorable moments that will last a lifetime!
There have been many studies recently that strive to determine the root cause and psychology behind the act of charitable giving. People's attitudes towards altruism and their perceived social responsibility are affected so many different environmental and emotional factors, it's often difficult to ascertain their precise reasoning. But, thanks to a series of studies published by the Journal Of Experimental Social Psychology, we're able to get an insight into the complex motivations people have when engaging in a philanthropic or charitable act. However, it's not as common sense-based as you'd think. Here are three surprising facts discovered through the course of these studies:
More people pay more and produce a greater profit when they're operating under a 'Pay What You Want' scheme
According to a field study conducted in 2010 and co-authored by Professor Leif Nelson at the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, more profit per unit is produced if people are allowed to decide how much they want to pay for goods or services. The study inolved presenting 28,224 participants with a picture postcard that cost a pre-determined $12.95. Despite being told a significant portion of the product would go to a charity, only a few people actually purchased the item, yielding a tiny profit of just 6 cents per visitor. However, when the postcard was sold under a pay-as-you-can method, although the average price paid was considerably lower (an average of $5.33 per person), the amount of people who participated meant that the profit margin was nearly twenty cents to the charity. Interestingly, when people were told that none of the proceeds would go to charity,the amount they chose to pay decreased dramatically. So it appears that a combination of asserting a social responsibility but also giving the donor complete autonomy, it produces the greatest amount of profit and all parties benefit.
People From Lower Incomes Are More Generous Than People With High Incomes
In the findings of a paper entitled “Having Less, Giving More: The Influence of Social Class on Prosocial Behavior” written by a scientific team operating out of University of Toronto and UC Berkeley, it was discovered that people who perceived themselves as of a 'lower class status' were persistently more altruistic in terms of their dealing with charitable giving and compassionate acts pertaining to other volunteers then those who perceived themselves as of a 'higher class status.' This is perhaps not so surprising but what is interesting is that the altruism that both parties displayed was directly linked to the concept of compassion and the participants ability to feel concern for their fellow man. When the higher class participants were experimentally induced to feel compassion by watching a film on child poverty, their prosocial behaviour changed and their actions and decisions fell in line with the lower class participants' actions.
Literally Being on Higher Ground Encourages More Enthusiastic Giving
Occasionally, there are metaphors that are generally accepted across a variety of different cultures and the notion of being 'on higher ground' being associated with a generosity of spirit is one of them. In a series of fascinating studies conducted by a group of social scientists at the Universities of North Carolina and Michigan, it was discovered that in a survey of shoppers who were offered the chance to donate to the Salvation Army, that the people who had just disembarked the upwards escalator donated in significantly larger quantities than those who had travelled on the downward escalator. In another study, participants were offered the chance to pour as much as they wanted of an unpleasantly potent hot sauce into a cup who another volunteer to drink. Participants who were onstage (the upper level) persistently allocated a smaller quantity of sauce then the participants in the orchestra (at a much lower elevation). This demonstrated that the more physically elevated the volunteer, the more likely they were to exhibit compassion for their fellow man. Perhaps there is something to Feng Shui after all!
Citations: Photo credit - ryantron
Barbara Pelvin is an author, speaker and blogs about social issues for Third Sector
Raising cash for charity is a great thing to do and the more funny your method of doing it the more likely you are to gather oodles of moola! What I've created below are some simple variations on regular methods of fund raising to increase the funny factor and hopefully your bank. Which means everyone is a winner!
OK, not the most inventive, but it's how you pitch it. And what you race. Basically everyone likes a flutter. So embrace this and get people gambling. What better way to soften the blow of incurred losses, by knowing your cash is heading to charity rather than the pocket of a bookmaker. So what are you going to race? Snails are good, but that takes time. Cats are awkward to control. Woodlice might work. Be inventive. Ensure that any animals involved are well treated and everyone will have an ace time earning stacks o' green for a good cause. You could opt for a video option too. Footage of camel racing from the Middle East is all over the net. Just make sure you don't give away the results...
Karaoke is fun. Regardless of what anyone says about it, they probably secretly love it. We all get our sing-a-long on in the shower and a bit of a duet going while dusting. Doing this for charity might be the just the thing to quash those concerns about self-consciousness. American Idol in your back yard is a possibility! But how to make it more funny? Add in foreign versions. Obviously doing this for an entire evening might drag a little, but the odd one is always going to create a laugh. Plus anyone taking it on should be given twice the cash for their efforts. And that's going to boost the funds no end!
A theme night relies on its theme unsurprisingly. Obviously if it is well chosen hilarity will ensue. I attended an event that was French themed and the costumes were amazing, fine and regal, think the court of Marie Antoinette. The food and drink matched and the evening was truly spectacular, apart from one attendee, who took the French theme in a more irreverent manner. He arrived on a bicycle wearing a striped shirt and beret with a string of onions around his neck and a baguette under his arm. Very, very funny. Maybe try videogame characters or other good choices are 80s or 70s, or perhaps characters from movies, so action heroes or Star Wars characters. It's really up to you.
If you choose any of these good luck and remember to go wild. While your first priority is to raise a significant sum of money it's closely followed by having fun. Besides if people are enjoying themselves they are far more likely to loosen their grip on their funds...
Always on the lookout for humorous ideas, Andrew Simm can often be found chuckling over funny gifts at Find Me A Gift, the gift ideas people.
How to Get the Most Out of a Charity Silent Auction
Silent auctions can be a great fundraising opportunity for any charity. Pay close attention to the details surrounding the auction to obtain the most benefit.
Choosing the venue
Contact the local chamber of commerce to obtain a calendar of events. Many craft fairs, home shows, and other community events offer free space to non-profit and charitable organizations. Contact each one for space availability and event rules.
Choose which events to attend carefully. Longer events tend to have higher attendance. Home shows tend to have less charity booths than health fairs, which translates to less competition for donation dollars.
Choosing the location
The best space for a silent auction is one in which the tables can be accessed on all sides. If that is not possible, a corner space is the next best option as it allows for 2 sides to display donations.
If there is an option of choosing the location, pick a high traffic area. This can be by the entrance, near the rest rooms, or near food vendors.
Approach local area businesses for donations. Explain what event the silent auction will be at and how their gift will assist your organization. Offer free advertising in return. Request business cards to be placed next to their donation. Explain their company will be posted on a “thanks to our sponsors” board.
If the event you are planning to hold the auction at offers printed programs, explain to potential donors the ad in the program will also list their company name. Be sure to follow through with this, compiling the sponsor list and submitting it to event coordinators by the required deadline.
Setting up the silent auction
Drape table coverings so they just reach the floor on the customer side. Allow plenty of space, at least 12 inches, between each donation if at all possible. Place the auction sheet directly in front of the item, with the sponsor’s business card stapled on the top. Place a pen or pencil on each side of the sheet, with a small stack of business cards above it.
Enlarge each business card on a photocopy machine or scanner to paste on a poster board entitled “thanks to our sponsors”. Create a second poster board that tells about the charity and what it plans to do with the funds raised. Hang both posters on a wall or set them on an easel behind the tables. Each poster must be highly visible and easy to read.
Excellent results are easily achievable with a silent auction. Take the time to research the possible venues and negotiate with corporate sponsors. Pay close attention to details throughout the process to achieve maximum results.
As a writer for Crowdcomms, the author of this piece gets to write about some of the technology they provide to further enhance events such as charity fundraising auctions. They even provide mobile phone apps specifically designed for use at silent auctions.
As a form of socially conscious investment, microfinance is an increasingly popular option for people who want to do something good – and there is plenty of scope to get involved. One study by Unitus found that up to 80% of the potential microfinance market had still not been reached, so there is clearly still a lot of work to be done. A lot of this is due to the fact that the key targets of microfinance charity are primarily poor, rural and often hard to reach.
So, if you are interested in micro loans as a means of helping some of the world’s most disadvantaged people, how can you get involved? One of the main routes into microfinance is to support a microfinance charity or other lending institution . Supporting an established microlending organisation is a good idea as it means the money you put into it is more likely to have a positive effect and reach the people the schemes are intended to help.
There are quite a lot of different microfinance charities around so it is definitely worth doing some research to see which one you’d most like to get involved with. For example, you might like to get involved with a charity that works in a particular country or region of the world, or perhaps a microfinance charity that has a focus on lending to particular types of people, such as female entrepreneurs. It is also worth reading a bit about the background and reputation of the charity you are thinking of getting involved with to make sure it’s the right option for you and has got a good reputation in the industry.
When it comes to donating money for microfinance projects, there are two main ways you can do this. One of the most popular ways is simply to donate money to the cause of your choice, as you would any other charity. This is then used to make small loans to the intended beneficiaries. The other way of donating is by giving money to finance specific beneficiaries – you can then choose for the charity to reallocate the money when the beneficiary repays the loan, or you can reinvest it in someone else. Most people either agree to keep reinvesting their money or simply donate it outright so that it can have the maximum benefit.
Overall, microfinance is definitely worth getting involved in as it has the potential to turn lives around – if you’re looking for a charity donation with a difference, this could be a really good option.
Guest Post on behalf of World Vision microfinance charity.
If there's a charity that's close to your heart, you've probably put at least some thought into raising money for it. Sadly, in today's economic climate, it's hard to find people willing to donate to good causes. It's not that people don't want to help - but there's not much in the way of spare money floating around these days, and people are constantly being bombarded with requests to sponsor charity runs, donate to raffles, pledge on someone's JustGiving page, or sign up for a monthly direct debit to donate to a specific cause.
If you want to persuade people that your cause is worth donating to, then you'll need to get creative.
Do Something Different
The secret to getting people to donate isn't to try to persuade them that the cause is worthy - guilt trips will lead to resentment, especially if the person you're asking simply doesn't have any money to donate. Instead, you need to do something unusual. Lots of people do charity runs - so why not do yours backwards, or in fancy dress? If you can make people laugh, or impress them by doing something difficult or exciting, they'll be more likely to donate to your chosen charity.
Here's a few wacky fund-raising ideas to help you get brainstorming:
- A martial arts competition: Last year, one martial arts group did a "crescent kick, jumping crescent kick" competition, in fancy dress - all the club black belts lined up and competed to see who could do the most of these moves - each move requires a 360 degree spin, so there were a lot of dizzy and rather sweaty martial artists at the end. It was funny to watch, and so impressive that some people who pledged per spin doubled their pledge at the end.
- A sing off - in a foreign language: Do you know the words to Perfect Welle or Heir Kommt Alex? If not, that's great! Hold a Rock Band Sing Off at your local community centre. The more embarrassing, the better.
- Snail Racing: This is an oldie, but a fun one. Be sure to carefully put the snails back in the garden afterwards.
- Fancy dress runs - let people vote on the costume for your next charity runs - or run as a team all dressed as characters from one TV show.
- Cake baking with a difference - if you're really good with marzipan, why not make some fruit cakes with extra-special decorations. Custom designed cupcakes are big business these days, and sell for a lot more than your average bake sale produce. You'll need some skill to pull that one off, though.
Whatever you decide to do for charity, try to be understanding when you go around asking for buyers or sponsors. Remember that some people in your office may have already been asked for sponsorship money by several other people - especially if they have kids in junior school, where sponsored events seem to happen every term. If someone says "No" to your sponsorship request, that doesn't mean they're being stingy, they could be genuinely broke this week.
This article was written by James Harper on behalf of The Poppy Run, organisers of 5k charity runs in aid of The Poppy Appeal.
In order to be competitive nonprofit organizations, just like any other business, must develop and cultivate an online presence. The internet has become an integral part of daily life to almost everyone. Nonprofits now have unprecedented opportunity to recruit supporters and cultivate loyalty to their respective organizations. Because the internet has provided these vast fundraising and marketing opportunities, it’s critical that nonprofit organizations embrace technology and develop a strategic plan for an online presence immediately.
New nonprofits should begin developing a strategy for online presence as early as possible. An ideal date to begin is when the entity is beginning the process of choosing its name. The choice of an organizations name is part and parcel with developing an effective online presence. The process of securing an appropriate domain name also coincides with the choice of a nonprofits name. It would be disappointing to choose and publicize a name for an organization only to discover that any and all possible domain name options that closely match the organizations name choice are unavailable. Choosing a domain name that matches the organizations name as closely as possible will allow potential donors to find the organizations website more easily.
Well before launching a website a specific objective should have already been determined. The sites purpose should be clarified as to whether the intention is to solicit donations, recruit clients or volunteers, or provide information to the general public. Whatever primary objective is selected will determine the focus of your sites design and focus.
Whatever objectives an organization hopes to achieve, the website should always include a clear and concise description of the organization, its mission, and who or what benefits from the organizations work. An opt-in email list is a great way to keep interested viewers informed of the organizations activities and events as well. Including statistics, program details, and various anecdotes demonstrating the work the organization does are also great hooks to maintain the interest of web surfers and ensure they come back.
Once the organizations website is launched the real work has just begun. While the organizations web address should already be publicized efforts at search-engine optimization should still be attempted and maintained perpetually. SEO efforts should be targeted to enhance its position under certain relevant search terms in order to drive traffic to the site. Not everyone will have an organizations web address handy while searching the internet and in many cases potential donors and volunteers use search engines to locate unknown organizations for opportunities.
Social media marketing efforts are a great place for an organization to raise awareness of its work and to solicit donations. Facebook, Twitter and other social networking hubs provide a vast array of opportunities for organizations to advertise. In many cases the advertising is completely cost free.
One of the most important reasons organizations should develop their online presence is that it is now very easy for an organization to solicit donations online. Reaching people from the comfort of their homes and inspiring them to participate in organizations efforts has never been so easy. Small organizations now have access to the type of ad campaigns that multimillion dollar companies paid millions for. Nonprofit organizations have everything to gain from developing an online presence and so much to lose if this valuable resource is ignored.
10 Biggest Givers in the Corporate World
by Kristy Ramirez
When it comes to corporate philanthropy, there have been a lot of complaints from the workforces in this country that the highest income earners and corporations aren’t paying their fair share, so to speak. Especially in an unsettled economic climate; are businesses still donating to charities and other philanthropic organisations despite the drop in their overall profit margins? Luckily, the statistics prove that yes, millions- even billions- of dollars are still being given away by community-conscious corporations all over the world each year.
The following is a list of ten companies that really know how to give. The first seven are globalised companies, while the final three slots are focused on domestic companies- banks- that know better than anyone where their excess profits should go: right back into their communities.
Despite its glaringly low prices in stores, Walmart is the biggest philanthropic company in the world. Last year, at a time where most corporations were scaling back on their donations to needy organisations, Walmart took their giving a step further and donated over $500 million worldwide. They primarily focused on fighting hunger through donations of cash as well as supplies from their store chains. This includes over 127 million pounds (US measurement standards) of food and safe drinks. Not to mention the 90,000+ bottles of fresh water, 27,000 tents, 23,000 blankets and 20,000 units of medical supplies donated to victims of the earthquake in Haiti. These are just a few examples of Walmart’s philanthropic ventures, topping out our list of companies that know how to give.
Everyone knows that billionaire computer mogul Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, give away millions of dollars from their own personal fortune each year, but what about his company? With over $113 million in cash and technology donations in 2009 and millions more in 2010, it’s safe to say that Microsoft is just as philanthropic as its founder. Each year, Microsoft donates millions of dollars to not only improve the quality of technology in classrooms all over the world, but it also provides funding for technological support and gives out free software.
AT&T is one of the most philanthropic corporations in the world, near Walmart in terms of giving numbers. Last year, AT&T gave over $148 million to charitable organisations. AT&T primarily focuses on schools and student-based giving, with donations ranging from technological improvements to grants for new classroom equipment and even scholarships for academically successful university students. Not only that, but AT&T also financially supports an emergency telecommunications organisation, Télécoms Sans Frontières to the tune of several hundred thousands of dollars per year.
Like Walmart, Target is an international superstore chain with a giving record as big as its inventory. A whopping 5% of Target’s income goes directly to charities. How many other companies can claim to give away that much to non-profits? Very few, indeed. By 2015, Target hopes to have given over $1 billion away to primarily educational foundations across the globe, with a heavy emphasis placed on books and reading programs.
To date, the Coca-Cola Foundation has given over $355 million to charity. Their focuses lie in global sustainability- reducing water wastage and increasing recycling worldwide- but they also have several educational grants and scholarships available. They also support HIV/AIDS preventative programs and supplies in impoverished nations in Africa and South America.
Boeing’s CEO, Jim McNerney, believes in the power of community support. As such, he not only volunteers in various non-profits along with several other executives in the company, but financially, Boeing has donated over $100 million to date. It extends its giving all over the world, from health and human services (such as building wells and constructing pumps) in Africa to educational programs for girls in the Middle East, to providing funding for Australia’s Learning for Life program.
As a global coffee company, Starbucks wouldn’t be where it is today without the help of the members of its community. Each year, Starbucks donates over $12 million for various educational grants and youth programs to boost participation and volunteering in their customers’ communities. Current goals include: contributing over one million hours of community service by 2015 and engaging over 50,000 young people to actively get involved in the development and improvement of their communities.
So we can see from the above, there are a lot of global corporations with giving hearts, but what about Australian philanthropy? They may not have millions of dollars to give away, but they are still making a difference in the lives of countless Australians each year.
Commonwealth Bank Staff Community Fund
In 2011, the Commonwealth Bank Staff Community Fund had $650,000 available for grants to those organisations that applied. Grant amounts can range all the way up to $10,000. Past grant recipients have been organisations that help children with developmental disabilities and schools looking to help the environment from the classroom.
National Australian Bank
As one of the most consistently-ranked “Most Ethical Companies” in the world, NAB Group is also quite charitable. This past year alone, they have donated millions of dollars for disaster relief victims in Australia and last year they donated millions of dollars in educational funding to help schools and university funding for students.
The Westpac Foundation
Another “Most Ethical Companies” award recipient, the Westpac Foundation has donated over $20 million for 136 programs and charitable organisations since the foundation’s inception. The primary focus of the foundation is social improvement in disadvantaged communities.
As we can see, even in a world where the world economy is crumbling, there are still several organisations going beyond the call of duty to continue offering financial support for their communities. Whether they’re worldwide or domestic, many corporations are big givers and have even higher expectations for the next fiscal year.
Kristy Ramirez is a debt free and frugal personal finance writer for Life Insurance Finder where she helps people to compare life insurance quotes and select the best policy to meet their needs at the best possible price.
Whether it’s a bad day at work, the weathers getting you down or you just feel like you’ve had a pretty bad year, making yourself feel good again is hard work. A nice hot bath and chocolate used to do the trick but nowadays you’re craving something a little bigger.
To help you find something that will improve the way you feel on a bigger scale, check out a few ideas below:
Whether it’s pampering yourself, new clothes, or indulging in an expensive slap up meal, why not attempt to change your lifestyle all together? From the way that you look to who you hang out with, try and start to experiment to see what makes you feel happier.
There’s always a reason to treat yourself, however this time make sure you use the excuse ‘because I deserve it’.
Warning: treating yourself can result in only a temporary feeling of goodness and you may want to check your bank balance before you start splashing out.
Find some volunteer work abroad
Volunteering isn’t all about living in a jungle and shovelling elephant dung into buckets, there’s some great opportunities to get your teeth into.
From childcare work in Thailand and building projects in Costa Rica, to sports coaching in South Africa and medical volunteer work in India, there are plenty of opportunities all over the world. The best part about it is that you can volunteer abroad in any country you wish and for however long you want, to suit your own interests.
There’s no better feeling than experiencing a demanding, rewarding and inspirational trip to some of the most beautiful but deprived communities, who need your help.
Clear out your house
Everyone has clutter that builds up over time so why not stop, dedicate time to clear out that rubbish and make your house beautiful. Then once you’re done collecting things you don’t need anymore, you could give it to someone who does?
There are plenty of places who would welcome your gifts such as charity shops, websites like www.freecycle.org even the local animal centre if you have appropriate things for them. One person’s junk is another’s treasure and giving away your things is guaranteed to make you feel good.
Start a new hobby/exercise class
Doing something you enjoy always makes you feel good, whether it starting a jewellery making course, or hiring a personal trainer down the gym. It’ll get you out the house, introduce new faces into your life and help to change your lifestyle for the better.
Try any of these options for just a week to start with and see if they begin to have a positive effect on your happy levels.
Janet has a passion for helping to improve peoples lifestyles and encourage them on the road to recovery.
These are straitened times we live in. Petrol prices are increasing, unemployment is higher than it used to be and it costs more money to do the weekly shop. It is a difficult environment for businesses that sell things to the consumer and charities are finding it even harder. After all, charity begins at home, right?
Well, there are several reasons why fitting charity work into your life one way or another can bring you benefits. Even if you think you don't have enough time or money, there are things that you can do to give back, that will also help your own life out.
Volunteering at a Local Charity Group
Studies have shown that taking time each week to help those less fortunate than yourself can improve your mood, as it helps you to appreciate what you have in life. It is easy to get bogged down with negative thoughts even when we have everything we need. Breaking the routine by helping out at a social club, meeting new friends by working in a charity shop and being genuinely thanked by those you help can make a world of difference. If you should find yourself between jobs, charity work is an ideal way to learn new skills and improve your CV.
Clearing Out Your Wardrobe
If you have clothes you once loved but which no longer suit you, or the kids have outgrown theirs, you should collect this together and donate it to charity. Of course, only clothing in good condition can be used. This means that people less fortunate can wear the clothes you no longer need, or they can be sold with the proceeds going to a good cause.
Pop Up Charity Boxes
These nifty little boxes are ideal for the kitchen or work place and are the ideal way to lighten your purse or wallet of small value coins. Just fill the box, then use the free post return address on it to send the money back to charity. This takes care of making donations to charity and reduces the number of pennies and two pence pieces lying unloved on the kitchen windowsill.
Helping the Kids Hold a Cake Sale
This can usually be arranged quite easily at your children's school and helps them to learn about charity giving, as well as how to run a simple stall. Arrange for your child and a few others to bake some cakes- childhood favourites like fairy cakes, rice crispy cakes, cookies and more – and set up a few tables to sell them at break time. The cakes don't need to cost more than 5p each and in my experience they are a lot of fun. What better way to spend a family afternoon then baking delicious goodies? And children love to play "shop". Then simply donate the proceeds to a charity of your choice.
So there you have it. If there is a way to introduce charity work into your own and your children's lives, grab the opportunity and enjoy the benefits.
The first step to donating your car is to select a worthy charity. This is very much personal preference, but a good place to start is by thinking about others who have influenced your life in a positive way. Have you ever had surgery and needed blood? Consider the Red Cross as a possible charity, as they save lives every day with much needed blood donations. Do you have a pet or pets that you particularly adore? Perhaps the ASPCA would be a good choice. They rescue thousands of animals that would otherwise have died or lived their lives in misery.
Whatever charity you choose, once you have made your selection, make sure your car is able to be donated. To donate a car, it must be completely paid off with the title in your name. Even if you have only a few payments left, the bank will not allow you to donate a car that it legally still owns. If you have the title of your car in your name, you are ready to go.
In a few cases, the charity you have selected may actually have its own car donation program. Some of these include military veterans associations such as Purple Heart or other groups like Habitat for Humanity and The American Diabetes Association. If you have selected one of these charities, they will assist you with the donation process and most of the time come to your home to pick up the car.
However, if the charity you have chose does not have its own donation program, you can still get your donation where you want it to go. You will need to find a car donation program that has connections to multiple charities. These companies allow you to designate the proceeds of the car sale to go to the charity of your choice, minus a certain amount of overhead. Research these companies carefully, as many are not true charities and take an extremely high percentage of the money made from the sale of your car. Check with the IRS and their Publication 78 to ensure that the donation company is reputable.
Finally, you can claim your donation on your taxes, helping you out at income tax time. Just remember that the deduction is for the fair market value of your car. This may differ from the Blue Book value, so check IRS Publication 561 and 526 to figure out what the fair market value of your car is before you donate.
Raymond blogs for cash for trucks, and is a strong supporter of car donations.
Maybe you’re just after an extra notch on your C.V. to get the tactical advantage on the competition in your next job interview. Or maybe you’re just looking for that feel good factor, that courses through your veins when you help someone in need. Although your reasons for being there are not important as the outcome is the same either way.
By using your free time to volunteer abroad you can be sure that you will take in life changing experiences. Nothing opens your eyes to the world more than being ripped out of your comfort zone and going to a polar opposite culture and way of thinking.
Options for the Career Driven
An open mind is open to fresh ideas and creative solutions to difficult problems. Your perspective employers will love that you’ve experienced a wide variety of cultures and new ideas. It’s a competitive world out there and when you’re fresh out of university or even changing career we all know how difficult it can be to get the experience necessary. This is why employers are falling on back on applicants with more life experience.
A great option for you to achieve this life experience is to work abroad in Kerala, India. Here you will work with small staff of Nuns who work incredibly hard to keep over 70 children with learning difficulties educated. During your time in Kerala you’ll meet a multitude of different people from a wide variety of different backgrounds and cultures. By helping others and immersing you in widely different cultures, you just know you’ll come back a much wiser and open minded person.
Options for the Karma Seeker
With a world full of problems there is no shortage of places to volunteer abroad. Helping hands are needed everywhere and why shouldn’t one of them be yours. Options open to you include helping children with disabilities, conversation projects, building projects or even sports coaching.
One particular volunteer opportunity that stands out is the Build for the Future project in Khairahari, Nepal. You will certainly have your work cut out for you during this trip, as you help to build, maintain and renovate schools for children. Of course it won’t be all hard work. With stunning views of the Himalaya’s filling your peripheral vision and the children’s smiling faces as you literally build them a better future.
Hi I'm Max and I enjoy writing about travel and sharing my experiences from around the globe
Travelling, what an amazing experience. Visit all the places in the World which you have always wanted to see in one big trip. Whether you go for a full blown gap year or just six months you will have the trip of a lifetime.
Unfortunately, and it really is unfortunate, not everyone is in a position to take a career break or can take a year out between College and University, or University and work. Luckily for the unfortunate majority there are now loads of adventure travel, work abroad and volunteer abroad trips which you can do for one to four weeks. This means that you can have several holidays over the next few years which would equate to the same as having been on one big gap year. Plus, you won’t have to lug a year’s worth of belongings around the World with you and you will be able to save up cash between trips so you can be a bit more extravagant than you may be able to be doing it all at once.
This summer you could jet off to Thailand, Cambodia, Costa Rica, South Africa and so many other amazing destinations and get involved in helping the local communities when you volunteer abroad. You can sign up to a one or two week volunteer programme and then add an extra few days or a week on the end to have a well-earned relax before heading back to work. What better way to find out about your holiday destination than to spend time getting to know and help the people who live there?
Volunteering abroad is such an emotionally rewarding and fulfilling experience that it is definitely worth sacrificing a week or two of ‘relaxation time’ for. You will most definitely get a much needed break from your everyday life and whilst you may have to do quite a lot more than eating, drinking and sleeping you will get a much longer term benefit than the aforementioned brief respite.
So, who will you help?
Once you have made the decision to volunteer abroad you need to consider; are you going to a particular place and then finding volunteer work or are you going to pick a volunteer programme and then see where you can do it? These factors will determine who in the World you are going to directly help. It can be pretty daunting if you don’t know where to start so here are some volunteer programmes you might like to consider.
Volunteer Work Abroad With Children
If you are good with children then there are loads of volunteer trips where you can directly improve the lives of underprivileged youngsters. This trip type is also available all over the World as unfortunately there are many troubled Countries with limited resources for child support and development. Would you prefer to teach in Thailand? Or do orphanage work in Cambodia? Or maybe you would like to be a community development volunteer in South Africa? If you know that you want to volunteer with children then then the next step is definitely to pick your destination and then work out the type of volunteer programme you can do in that destination.
Medical Volunteer Work
There is so much that we take for granted in the UK, such as clean running water, Council run doctors and the NHS which developing Countries simply do not have. Medical volunteer work can make a huge difference to communities who would otherwise have no medical guidance or equipment which is key for survival. Some of the medical volunteer work projects require a level of medical training but others are tailored for people who have not had any formal training but want to make a difference. These volunteer programmes tend to include some introductory training and will not expect any further skills than those taught. You could work in a South African hospital or a Malawian orphanage and quite literally save someone’s life.
Volunteer Building Projects
Whether your building experience comes from lego, home renovation or a building site you will be able to get involved in developing actual towns for people unable to do it for themselves. The projects range from house building which is available in Costa Rica and Guatemala to School and Community building renovation in places such as Thailand. Whether you build a family home or a community School I am sure you can see the value that one or two weeks of your time could add to a community.
Whoever or however you choose to help people this summer you are guaranteed to get some well-deserved self-satisfaction from it and if you choose to embark on a volunteering project abroad then you will also get a unique look into the lives of others and a wonderful holiday.
My names Joel and I've been traveling the globe for the past three years. I love to write about my experiences and enjoy sharing pictures, advice and travel tips from my world adventures.
You can't do everything that needs to be done. You can only do so much. This applies to your home life as well as charitable deeds. However, some people take this to mean that they can't do anything in the way of donating to charity because their financial resources are so limited. Fortunately, there are ways we can help that don't require money.
Time can be as valuable, if not more so, as money.
Sometimes all the money in the world won't have the same result that taking a little time to spend with a person who is lonely or hurting will. Many charitable organizations, in fact, are constantly asking for donations of time or services so that the specific needs that only true face-to-face interaction can give. So, next time, instead of reaching for the checkbook, why not reach for the car keys and go spend your time instead of your money.
If you decide to donate your time, you can make this have a dual advantage by finding something that will allow you to use your special skills, also. This can be anything from tutoring a child to helping build or repair a home to providing free counseling services, if you are eligible for this.
Make Your "Net Surfing" More Profitable
Many websites get their donations through "clicks". That is, each click made on an advertiser's website counts as a monetary donation. Charity Click Donation, at Charity Click Donation, will help you find charities that use this method of collecting donations.
If you are concerned that donating through clicks will cause you to get a lot of unwanted e-mail, check to see if there is a way you can specify that you only wish to donate, you don't want to receive e-mail from any advertisers.
Donate Your Wheels
Some websites accept donations in material goods rather than money. In some instances, the website requests a specific donation, such as a car.
This organization accepts monetary donations as well, but is set up to help make it easy for you to donate your vehicle.
So, remember, you can't do everything, but you can do something. These ideas can help you get started on some ways you can be of service. So, give time, give services, or give your car. Just so you give something. And, just like money, it doesn't have to be much, because every little bit helps.
Jessy is a frugal and sustainable writer for Sell My Timeshare blog, the one-stop guide for an responsible traveler.