National Philanthropy Day: Painless ways to celebrate

By Katy Snyder, JVA Consulting

By now, you probably know that tomorrow is National Philanthropy Day. What you might not know is that there are many ways to celebrate the day, and some that don’t even require opening your pocketbook. In the spirit of giving, we thought we’d share some of our best ideas with you.

Sign up to volunteer at your favorite nonprofit

Whether it’s a one-time gig serving food at a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving or committing yourself to an ongoing mentoring position with local kids, National Philanthropy Day is a great day to commit yourself to getting more actively involved with local nonprofits. Or maybe you would rather stay behind the scenes and volunteer your time stuffing envelopes or helping with administrative duties. Either way, your volunteer hours are priceless to nonprofits and those they serve.

 Work your connections

Whether you work or volunteer for a nonprofit, leveraging your connections is a great way to help your favorite nonprofit, and it’s free. Do you know anyone who is on the board or staff of a foundation or is well-connected socially or politically? If so, it’s as simple as spreading the word about the great work your nonprofit does. While this may not directly lead to a grant, you will at least get your organization on their “radar.” And make sure you have literature from your nonprofit with you at all times so you can pass it on to anyone who may be interested. Even a simple business card with the organization’s name, phone number and website will do the trick.

Choose your favorite charity and make a pledge for Colorado Gives Day, now

Ok, this one, a suggestion from our friend Nancy Cruz at Friends First, will eventually cost you some money, but it’s well worth it. Make National Philanthropy the Day you nail down the organizations that you will give to on Colorado Gives Day (which is December 4). Sure, you can wait until December 4 to make your decision, but why wait? Get in the philanthropic spirit and start researching nonprofits that interest you. Giving First provides a place for you to get succinct info on the programs, financials and staff of over 1,000 local nonprofits so you can educate yourself before you make your gifts.

If you want to learn more about Colorado Gives Day and how to market your own nonprofit, click here to read a blog on the topic, complete with tips from Dana Rinderknecht, Manager of Online Giving for the Community First Foundation’s Giving First program.

Whatever you decide to do on National Philanthropy Day, make sure to make it a day of action. If you have creative ideas for celebrating the day, share them with us in the comments section below.

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