Friday, July 13, 2012

More than Writing a Check: Making Philanthropy Fun

Summer is the ideal time to make charitable giving fun through fundraising activities that will motivate you to get outside. If you are looking for ways to enjoy the warm weather and support your favorite organization, here are some ideas to help you make a difference.

In addition to raising funds for an organization, fundraising events help charities raise awareness for their cause. By getting involved through action, engaged donors, like you, can feel more meaning and connection to an organization.
There are some things to consider before you sign up for an organization’s bike-a-thon, car wash, or plan your own fundraising activity. First, you should research if that the organization has been reviewed by the Charities Review Council. You can visit our Charity Search to check and see if the organization has earned the Council’s Meets Standards seal (earned when an organization meets all 27 of the Council’s Accountability Standards). If the organization is on the Council’s list of Most Trustworthy Nonprofits, then you know the charity’s operations and policies meet the accepted standards for accountability and transparency.
If the charity hasn’t been reviewed by the Council, here’s a great list of questions you can ask the organization directly to get a better understanding of how they use contributions and evaluate the effectiveness of their work.
If you find a charity that you want to support, check out the events calendar for the organization for ways you can get involved through a fun activity. For example, the March of Dimes will hold a carnival to support the Needs For Our Pre-Me’s team on Saturday, July 14, at the Richard Walton Park in St. Paul. There will be music, games, and food for you to enjoy, as well as silent auctions and prizes.
Another creative approach to encourage philanthropy is to start a giving circle among your friends to raise a certain amount for an organization. Or, do you have stuff taking up needed space in your home? You can organize a yard sale to clear out the clutter and use the money raised for your favorite organization. To take advantage of the beautiful summer weather, you could host a water-themed party with slip n’ slides, kiddy pools, water balloon fights, etc. and then provide activities such as sale of snacks, raffle prizes, and games to raise funds for your favorite organization.
Hopefully you’re inspired to not only enjoy the remaining months of summer, but to also try making philanthropy fun!
By Bridget Deehr
Marketing and Communications Intern

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