Along with helping a non-profit, our giving also creates a more meaningful life. It’s important to choose the right way and place to give so you do what matters most to you and what has the most significant impact.
Give Time, Talent, or Treasure
There are various ways each of us can give back to the community by supporting non-profits.
The easiest way is to give our “treasure” simply by donating money to a non-profit. Non-profits constantly struggle to raise funds, and any amount can help.
If you want to add to your impact or don’t have funds to donate, you can volunteer your time at non-profits by volunteering to help with activities. Many organizations have very tight budgets and depend on volunteers to help deliver the services they offer. Giving your time can help make sure they achieve their mission.
While any type of volunteering is beneficial, many non-profits also need specific support for more complex tasks. You can do even more for non-profits by providing your talent. Offering your skills in marketing, social media, accounting, legal work, technology, or other fields can improve how non-profits operate and enable them to have an even more significant impact on their cause.
Volunteer at the Right Level
As part of your decision about giving your time, talent, or treasure to a non-profit, it is also important to look at your giving level. Some people are more comfortable volunteering for basic tasks such as chopping vegetables in a food program. In contrast, others want to work on setting the organization’s strategy as a board member.
There are four levels or phases of contribution, consultant AC Ho explained in Is Giving Worth It. The first phase is when you are a novice and learn about volunteering or offering support that doesn’t require specific skills, such as serving food or cleaning a shelter. The second is when you are a professional contributing your expertise or talent, such as accounting or legal skills. In the third level, you contribute through managing events, coaching, or mentoring. And phase four is when people contribute strategically by serving in roles such as board member, committee chair, or strategic planning committee member.
AC Ho said, “We need to ask ourselves, ‘What is my best level of contribution’,” as well as what we are most comfortable with and what we prefer.
Choose Where to Give
It is also essential to give to an organization that you care about and that matches your interests, preferences, and values. Non-profits support causes ranging from serving the elderly or children to providing services in healthcare, conservation, education, and more.
The first step is to consider your personal preferences, values, interests, why you want to volunteer, and your broader purpose so you can find the right match.
Then, you can use various resources to find non-profits that need help. SG Cares, for instance, has a volunteering portal where you can enter your preferences and receive suggestions. The giving.sg website lists hundreds of ad hoc and long-term volunteering activities. The American Association of Singapore can connect you to volunteering opportunities. Or you can do searches online to find portals or organizations where you can give.
The Benefits of Giving
Whether you give your time, talent, or treasure sporadically or regularly, you will have a tremendous positive impact on the community. Along with helping non-profits, your volunteering can help you, too. The more people volunteer, researchers at the London School of Economics found, the happier they are. Wharton professor Cassie Mogilner found that people who volunteer feel like they have more free time. And research by the renowned Mayo Clinic found that volunteering can reduce stress, decrease depression and give purpose. By helping others, you will support a cause you care about and help yourself, too.