How To | August 19, 2022

4 ways to support your favourite charities from home

This is a guest blog post by Wayne Elsey, the founder and CEO of Elsey Enterprises (EE) and a member of the Forbes Business Development Council. Among his various independent brands, he is also the founder and CEO of Funds2Orgs, the leading shoe drive fundraising social enterprise in North America. The company has worked with thousands of partners, including schools, churches, nonprofits and civic groups to help them raise thousands of dollars by having their supporters collect and give gently worn, used and new shoes.

Between the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of hybrid work environments, remote giving has become critical for donors. Alongside in-person events, a new wave of contactless fundraising, volunteering, and support is also becoming essential to the charitable sector.  

Donors benefit from remote fundraising and volunteering because it offers them additional flexibility in getting involved. Charities like it, too, because it allows them to engage supporters beyond those available to participate in person. It’s a win-win!

Consider these 4 ways to support a thriving charity sector, all from the comfort of your own home:

  • Seek out contactless donation drives
  • Create or share a Charity Profile or Giving Group page on behalf of the charity
  • Make the most of remote volunteering opportunities
  • Set aside money for giving with a donor-advised fund, like Charitable Impact

From local school fundraising teams to charities generating change halfway around the world, charities rely on your support. With these tips, you can easily increase your impact and find new ways to get involved that are meaningful and rewarding to you as a donor. Let’s dive in!

Seek out contactless donation drives

You’ve likely heard of—and even participated in—donation drives in which you donate used or new items to a charitable cause. While donation drives are traditionally in-person, many charities are now beginning to invest in contactless fundraising services that pick up donations directly from your home.

Remote donation drives can be an excellent, convenient way for you to: 

  • Directly address the needs of mission recipients.
  • Appeal to your fellow supporters without asking for money.
  • Create unique fundraising opportunities to engage your community.

Moreover, these come in a variety of flavours, focusing on different items common in most households. For example, according to Funds2Orgs’ guide to unique fundraising ideas, one popular form of the contactless donation drive is the shoe drive fundraiser. 

With this fundraiser, you’ll gather your gently worn, used, and new shoes and either drop them off at an organization’s shoe collection location or have them picked up from your doorstep. Your shoe donations will get picked up by a shoe fundraiser coordinator, and your chosen charity will receive a check in the mail in return. 

Ready to get started with a contactless donation drive? You likely have everything you need to participate in this fundraiser already in your home. 

Create or share a fundraising page on behalf of the charity

Whether through peer-to-peer fundraising, crowdfunding, or another donation campaign, creating a Giving Group for a cause you care about is a great strategy to boost brand awareness and raise funds. 

With a Giving Group, you can customize your page and easily share at the click of a button. 

  • Share the opportunity. Share the page with friends, family, and social groups that you know would be passionate about the mission and share it with their networks.
  • Leverage multiple channels. Use social media, email, and word-of-mouth to spread the word about your campaign. To have the greatest chance of engaging donors, post updates regularly. With Charitable Impact, you can automatically share your Giving Group to your social media channels with just a few clicks.
  • Encourage matching gifts to maximize donations. According to Double the Donation’s guide to matching gifts, 78% of match-eligible donors don’t know their company offers a matching gift program. Thus, it’s crucial to remind your donation page supporters to apply for matching gifts from their employers if that option is available. Reach out to Charitable Impact for info on how to start a donation matching campaign.

If creating your page sounds too time-consuming, you can always browse registered Canadian charities and Giving Groups to find charities you might like to support online. To best support these existing pages, give charitable dollars, forward the info to friends, and share on social media. 

Make the most of remote volunteering opportunities

Volunteering can be one of the most rewarding ways to support your favourite charity. But not everyone is able or available to volunteer in person. Luckily, not all volunteering opportunities necessarily involve in-person attendance and manual labour. There are ways that you can provide critical support to charities from afar

In nearly every organization, volunteers can complete many tasks remotely. For example, while essential elements of Fund2Org’s contactless shoe drive fundraiser example—such as picking up donations—may be in-person, many essential processes like marketing and outreach can take place online.

In particular, you might remotely help a charity to:

  • Operate social media marketing campaigns. In our digital age, social media is a vital tool to raise brand awareness and inspire new supporters. Beyond simply posting photos and sharing videos of an event or campaign, you can take things a step further by contacting charity influencers to supercharge your organization’s campaign.
  • Perform admin work and data entry. As long as you have the necessary tools (for example, the internet and a computer, or envelopes and stamps), you can complete many administrative tasks remotely.
  • Create designs for merchandise, web pages, or campaign flyers. If you have design experience and a creative bent, you can volunteer to design merch and marketing materials that will support a charity’s work long beyond its initial creation.

You can likely leverage many of your unique skills and talents to support a charity’s work remotely. Offer your niche expertise—from design to construction to marketing—to help them without the high costs of hiring an external vendor. Like the suggestions above, you can complete these volunteer activities on your schedule while retaining the feel-good benefits of in-person volunteering. 

Set aside charitable dollars in a donor-advised fund

From community charities to foundations, donor-advised funds can facilitate giving to a variety of causes while streamlining tax receipts. With an Impact Account through Charitable Impact, you can create a donor-advised fund from your desktop or smartphone. Here is how it works:

  1. Open an Impact Account with your name and email address
  2. Add money to your account. You can also donate non-cash assets to the fund, including cash, stock, and real estate.
  3. Receive an immediate tax receipt for your donation.
  4. Over time, give to your favourite registered Canadian charities via the online platform.
  5. You can also use an Impact Account to send charitable dollars to encourage others to give, or to rally friends and family around a cause with a Giving Group. 
  6. Continue to contribute to your Impact Account to create a long-lasting legacy of giving.

Ultimately, these funds benefit both you and the charities you support. With donor-advised funds, you can save money and resources by accessing immediate tax receipts, making giving a part of your regular budget, and offering charities long-term remote support.

Not sure about the best way to support your favourite charity? It doesn’t hurt to ask! Reach out to their volunteer or development coordinator to see if there are additional ways you can get involved from home.

Looking for additional information on how to most effectively support charities or causes through charitable giving solutions? Connect with Charitable Impact to access Philanthropic Advisory services. Reach out to Charitable Impact for more info and to get started!

In many cases, local or worldwide charities depend on your support to accomplish their mission and make the world a better place to live. But that doesn’t mean that supporting them should feel like a chore. Following the above tips, you can integrate giving seamlessly into your life. We can’t wait to see the positive impact you make!

 

Don’t forget to download Charitable Impact’s mobile app to keep giving at your fingertips, available for iOS and Android devices. 

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