Many people feel that they would like to give back to their local communities, but they are unsure where to start. Community organizations like schools, sports teams, churches, and homeless shelters need volunteers and donations to serve the population.

George Russo, an entrepreneur from Queens, NY, shares how you can provide valuable assistance to deserving community organizations.

Volunteering in the Community Center
photo credit: RODNAE Productions / Pexels

Volunteer

Even if you do not have the cash to make donations to local organizations, you can give these organizations the gift of your valuable time. Organizations of all kinds need people to run their programs and provide important support on the frontlines.

If you are interested in supporting children, you can become a Scout leader or coach a sports team. The amount of time that you need to donate to these organizations varies, but it usually amounts to several hours per week.

You can sign up to tutor children in difficult subjects like foreign languages, science, and math. You can also provide career guidance to older students who need to know what they should do after graduation to succeed.

Homeless shelters and women’s shelters also need volunteers of all ages. They need help with workforce entry programs, housing, cooking and serving food, and managing other community assistance programs.

If you are religious, your local church may need help as well. Community outreach programs like food pantries and thrift shops are often run by church communities, together with daycares and preschools. All of these programs may need your help.

If you are interested in local politics, you may volunteer to sit on a community board or run for office. These boards often cover sustainability, education, and other issues. This is also where you would need to donate a significant amount of your time, but the rewards are many.

Donate Goods

One type of support that is relatively easy to give is donating goods to local organizations. You can buy groceries, diapers, and other necessary items for food pantries. You can also donate items you may otherwise discard, like clothing, furniture, shoes, and general household items. Many organizations collect these items, sometimes reselling them in a local thrift store and sometimes donating them overseas. You can also buy computer equipment or other items for local schools depending on their needs.

Donate Funds

Every community organization requires monetary donations. Many business owners choose to become philanthropists, providing generous support to community organizations. All of the community organizations previously mentioned in this article would probably welcome monetary donations.

Monetary donations can be large or small, as every dollar counts when balancing an organization’s books.

Provide Free Services

Community organizations often need services like marketing, advertising, bookkeeping, tax preparation, and management. Rather than hiring their personnel, some choose to allow skilled volunteers to handle some of their internal business. Donating your time as a qualified professional can save community organizations a great deal of money and time.

Support Community Events

Sponsoring special community events like fundraisers and festivals is also valuable. These events frequently benefit the organization or town, but they also benefit the company because they can enhance their branding and public image by becoming associated with philanthropy.

Volunteering at a public park
photo credit: Daniel Thornton / Flickr

3 Reasons to Help The Community

In this article, George Russo has provided many ways to help the community. If these initiatives do not interest you, there are still many reasons to donate money, time, goods, and services.

Here are three of the top reasons to share your time and resources:

1. Serving More People

When community organizations receive help, they can serve more of the population with their assistance programs. For example, donating food or money to a food pantry means giving away more meals and help to prevent hunger issues.

2. Supporting Your Public Image

As mentioned above, volunteering or donating can enhance your reputation as a business or individual. People are happy to know that their colleagues and service providers are interested in supporting the community. Companies can enhance their branding through their association with good works.

3. Personal Satisfaction

Having a strong connection with the community is beneficial for everyone involved. Helping others in your community can bring a strong sense of personal satisfaction and fulfillment. Giving is often its reward, and generous people can feel good about themselves with their time and money.

Taking the Time to Give Back

When individual philanthropists and entrepreneurs take the time to give back, they can enhance the quality of life in their local area and make sure that everyone has what they need. Housing, education, religious organizations, children’s sports, and other initiatives can all help to strengthen the community.

George Russo believes that people who donate their money and time will receive many intangible rewards, including a comfortable sense of having done the right thing.