Being a successful part of modern society is about more than just the things that you own and the job that you have. Sure, you want to have the money to buy the latest gadgets, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with enjoying a little luxury along the way. But being a well-rounded individual involves devoting a little time and energy to others. You can display this attitude in your home and family life, of course, but contributing to the wider community is important as well. In the area of charity work, even small actions can make a big difference. Here are some useful ways to positively impact the lives of others.
Choose your charity
There are so many charitable organizations or philanthropic organizations operating in the US and globally. Choose a charity that does work that is close to your heart, or that particularly impresses you. A local hospital or community group could fit the bill. The US is also home to some larger-scale charities such as United Way, Feed the Children and American Red Cross. There are also several charitable foundations set up by successful entrepreneurs, such as the Charles Phillips charity set up by technology CEO Charles Phillips, which helps single-parent families and wounded veterans, as well as providing support for children to access STEM education.
This is probably the ultimate in charity work and it won’t be for everyone, but if you can spare the time, then a volunteer vacation to another part of the world, perhaps building shelters or helping out with medical programs, is the perfect way to give back. At the same time, you also have the chance to enjoy some amazing experiences that can make you a more well-rounded, interesting man.
Yes, it is an old idea, but one that remains popular. Whether you are taking part in your local marathon or attempting to scale Mount Everest, sponsored activities are not only an effective way to raise money, but they are also a good way to boost your fitness levels. Whether you are walking, climbing, hiking, hopping or skating, getting friends, family and work colleagues to sponsor you can help to raise dollars for a cause that is important to you. Heck, there are even dedicated charity apps such as Charity Miles available for mobile devices that make it possible for you to raise money for charity every time you exercise.
Technology has transformed our lives in the 21st century, and there are numerous high-tech approaches to charitable fundraising. For example, sites such as GoodSearch will enable you to raise money for a range of charities every time you use the search engine. There are also the round-up apps such as SwipeGood, which rounds up every purchase you make to the nearest dollar and donates the money to a charity of your choice.
Peer-to-peer lending has become a popular investment vehicle in recent years, but a more philanthropic take on the peer-to-peer revolution is the micro loan concept. A micro loan is a small amount of money, sometimes as little as $20, which is given to a small business or organization in a developing country. It could be money to set up safe drinking supplies or for a group of farmers to buy new equipment. There is obviously a small risk that your loan will not be repaid, but overall, micro loans are a good way to make a positive difference and help people to help themselves.
Matching gift programs
One handy way to boost your charitable giving is through a matching gift program. Many jobs will match or even double the amount of employees’ donations, effectively enabling you to give more money to charities. Some companies already offer this program, and your HR department will be able to tell you if yours is one of them, but some charities will also send out gift matching offers, which are a good opportunity to try this form of giving.
Another handy and easy way to contribute to good causes is through online portals such as iGive. These enable you to pass on a percentage of your online purchases to charity. In the case of iGive, over 1,000 stores have signed up to the program, and it is easy to use as it activates automatically whenever you visit the site of a participating store.
When entrepreneurs like Bill Gates and Richard Branson make contributions to charity, they are sending a clear message – that life isn’t just about what you can get, but also about what you’re able to give back. Hopefully with these suggestions, you can help to spread a little joy and positivity and take satisfaction from the fact that you are helping others.