The novel coronavirus brought along much more than just a health pandemic. The COVID-19 outbreak resulted in unemployment levels rising higher in three months than it did in two years of the Great Recession (Kochhar, 2020). With the rise in unemployment and closing of schools, food insecurity among students will rise to 18 million (Feeding America, 2020). Hospitals are now having to make decisions on who to send home to die due to overburdening. Domestic violence is increasing due to stay at home orders. Mental health concerns grow stronger than ever due to isolation. To put it simply, this pandemic affects many more than those who are sick. For this reason, it is imperative that we do our part to support non-profit organizations. Here are some ways to support while staying safe.
Donate via check or online donation portal
A monetary donation is an excellent way to support a nonprofit organization. Although giving money to support is an age old practice, it continues to grow in popularity within the United States with $410 billion being donated in 2017 alone (Nonprofit Sources, 2018). Generally, many people prefer monetary donations over physical volunteering due to its ease. During COVID-19, monetary donations are much more preferable because of their safety. A donation can be made from the safety of a home without breaking any social distancing guidelines. It is a “win-win” situation for all.
Before donating to an organization, it is important to conduct research to ensure the donation will be used properly. Websites of organizations offer a plethora of information given by the organization itself. You can trust that everything on the site truly represents what the nonprofit stands for.
After checking out the organization from their own page, visit outside resources for insight. The BBB Wise Giving Alliance and Candid charity validators are great resources to find information on the validity of a charity. The BBB Wise Giving Alliance intensively researches a charity and accredits it based on 20 Standards. Candid transparently displays information about a nonprofit ranging from a website address to the nonprofit’s highest paid employee. This website allows a potential donor to see the complete breakdown of an organization and where their money is going.
Check volunteering websites for projects
Many may be surprised by the amount of ways one can volunteer while following CDC guidelines. Organizations have become tech savvy over the past years and now conduct numerous projects online. That means that individuals can volunteer on their own hours from anywhere in the world. Additionally, nonprofits have found unique ways to remain socially distant while still serving the community. If one wants to get involved, all they have to do is look.
A quick Google search will reveal various websites that organizations use to find volunteers and vice versa. There are phenomenal volunteer boards that work for all kinds of volunteers. Volunteermatch.org allows the user to enter in a keyword and zip code and find all kinds of volunteer opportunities within the criteria. Simply direct message the organization via the website to show your interest and wait for a response.
Idealist.org is for those who know more specifically what they’re looking for. Their search engine allows a potential volunteer to narrow down the search results. You can choose the duration of the project, the type of event, and even whether or not it is remote. With thousands of projects to choose from, you are bound to find the volunteer opportunity just for you.
There are so many more websites out there to assist in finding the right project. Simply search and you shall receive!
Contact the organization directly
Sometimes you just know who you want to work with and what specific services you can provide to that organization. If you are not seeing anything you’re passionate about on the volunteer boards or know the specific cause you want to support, finding an organization via Google and reaching out is a great way to help.
Most organization websites will feature a contact page. Use the details featured on that page and send a message outlining why you want to help and the ways in which you can help. Keep the message clear and concise, as you never know the schedule of the person on the receiving end.
This is a very intimate method of supporting a nonprofit, but always make sure that you are helping rather than burdening. It may take more effort to create a way that you can help than worth what you can contribute in the end.
Alone Together has become the slogan of this COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, is the time that we must work together to make sure that no one gets left behind during these unprecedented times. Supporting a nonprofit organization right now can result in a great impact. So whether you’re on a site, volunteering from home, or donating from your bed, it’s important that we all do our part.