So many of the institutions that support our communities depend on generous gifts, financial and otherwise, from their donors. These institutions provide education, opportunities, and much-needed help in all forms for the people they serve.

All types of nonprofit institutions and organizations rely on financial support from their communities. These recipients who benefit from your gifts include:

  • Museums
  • Art galleries and performance spaces
  • Animal shelters
  • Historical preservation groups
  • Hospice care providers
  • Groups that provide services for individuals with long-term illnesses, such as cancer and PTSD
  • Crisis hotlines
  • Services for individuals with physical and mental disabilities
  • Nature centers and preserves
  • Medical clinics
  • Women’s shelters
  • Homeless shelters
  • Food banks
  • Senior services
  • Colleges and universitie
  • Religious organizations
  • Community centers

Donating to charitable organizations is not only good for them; it is good for you. Studies show that giving to charity can lower your chances of developing depression, lower your stress and blood pressure levels, and ultimately raise your self esteem level and sense of satisfaction with your life.
There are lots of ways you can give to the institutions in your community and encourages others do so so as well.

Encourage and Inspire Others

When you give, others will notice. And they will want to give, too. Being a leader means taking charge and setting an example for others to follow. Don’t just send your donation and forget about it – spread the word! Use social media and word of mouth to tell your friends and family members about how you have served your community and ways they can serve their communities as well.

Build Your Community

Without generous donations from donors, many of the aforementioned institutions could not continue to provide their services to your community. In fact, many might not exist at all. As a donor, you are one of the individuals that lays the foundation for these organizations and builds them to the point where they can provide their support and services to the community.

Make a Difference for Others

This is why you give: to make a difference in others’ lives. This may be through providing free food to those who can not afford to buy groceries or by helping a deserving student pursue a college education. As a community leader, this should be your top motivation. Giving to charity is so much more than a way to show off or gain others’ approval – it’s your way of giving to those in your community who need your help.

Don’t wait for somebody else to tell you how to donate your time or money to charity. Be the leader that others can follow. You can find great ways to give back to your community by searching for them on the internet or simply asking around among the people you know. You can start in your church or neighborhood and build a giving plan from there.