Here at New Why – we love nonprofits. In fact, one of our “whys” as a company is to help nonprofit organizations and other companies “doing good work” succeed and thrive in online marketing. To that end, we not only have all of our usual services available to nonprofits (at a discount, too!) but will also apply for and manage Google Ads for nonprofits.
Our employees are all passionate about many different causes. They care about everything from abortion rights to animal sanctuaries. If you’re like us, you probably have a lot of nonprofit organizations and foundations that you care about too. And especially now, at the end of the year, you’re probably receiving all kinds of requests for tax-deductible donations.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret about the New Why Team. None of us are made of money. Shocker. I know! But because of this, we can’t all give money (or at least not a substantial amount) to all the organizations we care about. But we can still give.
Nonprofit Donations: Time, Treasure and Talent
If you’ve spent any amount of time in the nonprofit world (or a religious institution), you’ve probably heard the phrase “Time, Treasure, and Talent.” It’s usually talked about when someone is trying to get one of the three from you. But I’m here to share how you can use that ubiquitous phrase to have real meaning and give to nonprofits.
Nonprofit Donation #1: Time
Many people think about the word time when it comes to a nonprofit as volunteering. And few among us have the time to set up regular ongoing volunteering commitments. So if you don’t have the time (or energy) for a regular volunteering commitment, consider things you can do once a month, once a quarter, or even once a year and commit to that.
Here are a few examples of ways you can donate your time to a cause you support:
- Make/Drop off food for an event (e.g., bake sales, meetings,
- Make an in-kind donation (nonmonetary donation of goods or services)
- Participate in an annual event (e.g., gala, 5K, etc.) either as a participant or volunteer
- Help facilitate a zoom meeting or training
- Just Ask! Nonprofits often need volunteers to help with something so even if it’s not today, there may be a task that you can volunteer for down the road.
Nonprofit Donation #2: Treasure
So when it comes to treasure, we’re talking about, as Wu-Tang Clan called it, “Dolla Dolla bills y’all!”
But you don’t have to be Warren Buffet and give away 99% of your wealth. Small donations are significant too. I like to call it the Obama Effect. In 2008, President Barack Obama’s campaign funding was driven by small donors; 90% of his donors gave $100 or less. Over time that turned into 600 million dollars.
Especially now, with inflation and the cost of everything through the roof, individuals and nonprofits are feeling the pinch. So there’s no shame in the game in donating $5 or $10. Most nonprofits will tell you that every bit counts. And if you can, maybe even set up a recurring donation of $5 or $10 every month, quarter, or year.
Another option, if you don’t have the money to give, is to set up a fundraiser for your favorite charity. Facebook and Instagram all have fundraising options built in for verified nonprofits. But you can also just set up a fundraiser on your own or directly through the nonprofit.
Finally, the Amazon Smiles program is another great way to donate to nonprofits. Although qualified nonprofits receive a teeny weeny fraction of the costs of each purchase you make through Amazon Smile, something is better than nothing.
Nonprofit Donation #3: Talent
I love the alliteration of “Time, Treasure, and Talent,” but of the three words, talent is kind of the odd man out. When we think of talent, we think about talent shows – singing or dancing. Or maybe someone’s inherent talent in a sport or art. So it’s hard to relate how these “talents” are helpful to nonprofits.
However, if you ignore the alliteration, think of talent as another way of saying skills. So, for example, I wouldn’t say I am talented in blog writing, but I do have some skills that I can share with a nonprofit organization. See the difference there? Semantics? Perhaps. But not really.
Talent implies something that you’re great at from an objective standpoint. Skills indicate something you know how to do. I think I am great at blog writing, but maybe you disagree. (My feelings are hurt, but we’ll move on.) Regardless of our differing opinion, it doesn’t change the fact that I know how to do blog writing. So maybe I can offer my services to train someone at my favorite organization. Or perhaps I can offer to do blog writing for them a few times a year. Do you smell what I’m cooking here? (And it’s not just curried chicken!)
The talent part of this trifecta is about showing up and offering your know-how in something to your favorite organization. You don’t have to be an expert. Just good enough to be able to help out!
A great example of this is Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity uses volunteers to help build houses. These folks are not builders or architects. But retired school teachers and college students. But they get it done because these folks have the basic know-how. They can swing a hammer. Or help lift a 2×4. And at the end of the day, that’s all it takes. (Plus, maybe some expertise from an architect or two!)
How can you give your talent to your favorite nonprofit organizations? First, don’t ask yourself what you’re good at. Instead, start by asking the organization what help they need. Maybe they just need someone to come in and address envelopes. Or maybe they need help adding alt-text to their website images. You catch my drift.
So when you add this all up, there are loads of ways to give that aren’t just cash. We didn’t even get into estate planning and donor-advised funds, which are another ball of wax!
So yes, you can give to all the nonprofits you care about. Maybe not all at once. But over time, yes, and in a multitude of ways.
Nonprofits touch all of our lives in so many unique and incredible ways. And the people who work for them are often underpaid, underresourced, and underappreciated.
So, however you decide to give, we hope you keep giving.