Thursday, March 19, 2015

How to Raise Money for Nonprofit Organizations

Nonprofit organizations rely on passionate volunteers to help raise money for their charities in creative ways.  For many people it can be hard to continuously come up with interesting ways to fund these organizations, but rather than using boring fundraising techniques, thinking of unique ways to engage a crowd will undoubtedly result in more followers and an increase in funds.  Here’s a list of some ways you can creatively get your community involved with donating to a good cause:

First, organize a competition.  This idea is broad, so you can cater the competition towards something people in your community will be eager to participate in.  It can range anywhere from food to fashion, just make sure you are fully aware of the local regulations when it comes to competitions before you start planning one.  People who register to be in the competition should pay a fee and collect donations that will all go to the nonprofit organization you are raising money for.  Make sure you notify people at least two months in advance so you can get a grasp on what kind of audience will be in the crowd and how much you should sell tickets to the competition for.  In addition, it’s a good idea to sell food as another fundraiser on top of the competition.

Gift wrapping is another great way to help fund a nonprofit organization, especially if it’s close to the holidays.  Cliff Kimani, featured writer for Udemy blog, suggests, “Organize a group of volunteers to wrap gifts for shoppers at a store for a small fee… This is a life-saver during the holidays, and many shopping centers or malls will be happy for you to set up show,” (Kimani, Nonprofit Fundraising Ideas).

Lastly, try to make children active participants in the fundraising.  Children are energetic and have the ability to change the way people think, especially when it’s for something they understand and are enthusiastic towards.  Regardless of the event, making children a part of the target will help get parents, grandparents, and friends involved with charity donations and involved with the event.

The Benefits of Being a Volunteer

These days it may seem like it’s hard to find time for yourself, let alone for others.  But, in this world it’s important that we find the time to give back to others and volunteer for organizations we are passionate for.  The benefits of volunteering are abundant, and if you’re not currently involved with some sort of philanthropy, there’s no better time than now to join one.  Here’s a list of just some of the ways volunteering can better your own life (not to mention all the people you will be helping):

First, volunteering is a great way to make connections and build relationships with others.  Most people find volunteer work within their own communities to help better the lives of those around them and make a difference in a place that’s close to home (quite literally).  So, when you’re looking for an organization that needs help, or just a place to volunteer at for a few hours per month, try focusing on what’s going on in the city or town that you live in because you’ll be making a difference for not just any community, but the one you belong to.  Volunteering in close proximities to where you live helps you make new friends that you can easily stay in touch with, and also helps to expand your professional network and social skills.

Volunteering also has positive effects on your mental and physical health.  To start with, volunteering can help boost your self-confidence and overall life satisfaction.  When you know that you’re doing good deeds for others, your brain registers this as a natural sense of accomplishment and you will often develop a positive outlook on your own personal goals.  Physically speaking, volunteering is particularly beneficial for adults.  According to an article published on, studies have shown that those who volunteer “have a lower mortality rate… and show lessen symptoms of chronic pain or heart disease,”(, Volunteering and it’s Surprising Benefits).  

Another great benefit, and perhaps the most important, from volunteer work is that it brings fulfillment to your life.  Volunteering helps people recognize what they are passionate for; so doing work that is means something to you is enjoyable, energizing, and motivational.  You can explore an entire new side of your own persona that is not affiliated with your day job, but can help build certain skills and vision towards enhancing your professional career.  In an article about volunteering’s effect on happiness, explains “When researchers at the London School of Economics examined the relationship between volunteering and measures of happiness in a large group of American adults, they found that the more people volunteered, the happier they were,” (, Volunteering and it’s Surprising Benefits).  

In conclusion, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t volunteer.  So get out in your community and dedicate your time towards something you are passionate for.  If you need help finding organizations to volunteer for, check out's article about the positive effects of volunteering here.

The Elderly Entrepreneur: It Is Never Too Late

A single narrative tends to dominate the modern entrepreneurship conversation. We tend to love the teenage tech genius who closes deals for billions of dollars while eschewing a suit in favor of flip-flops and a sweatshirt. Now, the image of the internet wunderkind makes for great movies and is partly representative of the boom in startup activity among the younger generations of Americans, but it doesn’t come near to capturing the full picture. For as young as Michael Dell, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg might have been when they started their companies, the advantages of youthful enthusiasm and unlimited energy do eventually give way to something just as (if not more) valuable: experience. (Clifford, Entrepreneur)

You will never be too old to leverage your wisdom and ingenuity into a potentially phenomenal business venture. Having spent more time in the workforce actually provides you with a much clearer perspective. Professionally, you may have developed decades worth of insight into how to do something better and revolutionize a good or service. Personally, the passing years have afforded you the time to stabilize both your finances and relationships. These factors, when combined with a passion for whatever it is to which your business venture pertains, can lead to untold success. And, contrary to what many people may assume, passion is not a resource owned only by the young. If you have a dream, seize it! History repeats itself and you would be joining very good company.

Charles Flint was 61 years old when he founded IBM. That is just one year older than Amadeo Giannini was when he began Bank of America. Just a little bit of digging reveals just how common it is for many of the most influential industry leaders to have built their dream companies once they were “over the hill.” Gordon Bowker of Starbucks, Joseph Campbell of Campbell Soup, Chung Ju-yung of Hyundai Motor, and the eponymous Estée Lauder were all in their fifties before they started businesses that would come to be globally recognizable market leaders. These mavericks illustrate a uniquely inspiring reality: it is never too late for you spring into action.

Are You Secretly an Entrepreneur?

We are born to be different. People often say variety is the spice of life and diversity proves to be a valuable asset in any endeavor. In the workplace, however, one type of personality never seems to fall into line quite as wholly as the rest. Some of us simply march to the beat of our own drums. 

Learning to recognize and embrace certain traits can draw many unhappy office drones away from the monotony of jobs they do not love in favor of starting business about which they are truly, deeply passionate. Are you denying yourself the fulfillment that can come from such a liberating transition? (Rampton, Entrepreneur)

Perhaps the most obvious characteristic of an entrepreneur is a natural knack for leadership. Beyond charisma and charm, a true leader also inspires optimism in his coworkers to see the joy in working hard for change. Your passion has nothing to do with your salary, and it’s not just constant, it’s infectious. Because above all else, an entrepreneur is never satisfied with the status quo. If you always ask questions and look for ways to do something better, then you would make an excellent addition to any team. If you are the first to take action and always willing to work long hours to lead the charge in doing whatever is necessary to create real change, then you may well be an entrepreneur at heart.

An entrepreneur sees opportunities everywhere. If you are happy to let your passion projects consume you, then trading stability and defined work hours for the opportunity to work towards your goal won’t really bother you. When you go out to a café, do you immediately look for which table has access to a power outlet, so you can keep working instead of taking a break? Do you prefer working towards a goal over taking a day off? That kind of drive is insatiable, and it might indicate you have a entrepreneur inside begging to be set free and allowed to pursue his or her ambitions. Starting a company is not for everyone, but those for whom it is meant often agree there is little in this world more rewarding than fighting for your dreams.