As a young professional with a family and many personal commitments, I find that there never seems to be enough time or money to pursue all of the activities and goals that I’ve set out to accomplish. It is for this reason I find that being philanthropically engaged in community organizations can be challenging at times, even overwhelming, despite how important it is to me and my family to be involved and to give back. Despite these challenges, I have made a personal commitment to give back to my community no matter how small the contribution.
In addition to donating my time to community organizations, I make regular financial contributions to the nonprofit organizations I support. The amounts of my contributions are certainly not enough to warrant much in the way of recognition, but, for me, the important thing is that I know the gifts I make are supporting the organizations whose missions achieve and uphold my personal values.
I find that donating through pledges is a perfect way to make a lasting impact with small financial contributions and relatively little effort. Many nonprofits provide the option for donors to make a pledge and pay it down in small increments over a 1-5 year period.
If your employer provides the option you can make small charitable donations through payroll deduction on a bi-weekly or monthly basis. Some employers even match charitable donations to various nonprofit organizations. By making gifts through payroll deduction, I make sure that the charities I support receive a small contribution from me before I even see the deduction on my payroll receipt.
I’ve found that participating in local fundraising events is another excellent way to give back. Whether it be purchasing a ticket to a nonprofit gala, donating auction items, sponsoring a team at a charity golf tournament, or volunteering time to support an organization’s special event, these activities all help promote philanthropy and strengthen the community.
I look forward to the time in my life when I am financially able to make significant monetary contributions to my chosen nonprofits. However, I’m not waiting for that “perfect” time to begin giving back, because there will never be a perfect time and there will always be a need.Which nonprofit organizations are upholding your values through their charitable work? Ask yourself this question today, and then ask your chosen nonprofits how you can make a difference in their world. Join me in the comfort of knowing that our charitable gifts, no matter how small, add up in a big way.
Hannah Dorn is director of development for the Fremont Area Medical Center Foundation. She also is a member of the Fremont Area Philanthropy Group committee.