قالب وردپرس درنا توس
Home / Insurance / How to help nonprofits beyond donating money

How to help nonprofits beyond donating money

With inflation on the rise and a recession imminent, consider donating your time and skills instead

Colleagues talk with documents standing in a meeting room.

As inflation rises and talk of an impending recession continues, many feel they can’t certainly give as much money to nonprofits as they’d like — but they still want to contribute.

Volunteering is a logical start, but even that requires planning – it may seem obvious to physically go to places where help is needed, or to start collecting things you think others will need, but this is rarely a good idea (as we will get) below).

To find out what a person can and should do when their desire to help a nonprofit organization exceeds their financial resources, we asked Kevin Scally, chief public relations officer of the charity rating organization Charity Navigator, for some tips.

In this article:

Remember, every bit helps

Scally’s first piece of advice concerns a distinction between not being able to give at all and not being able to give much: “People should feel good about giving, whether they can give $5 or they can give $5 million,” he says. “And frankly, if everyone who said, ‘No, I can’t give at all,’ actually gave $5, it would add up to millions of dollars. It really makes a meaningful difference to things that people care about.”

Replace the “$5” with the amount of time and effort you can afford to give, no matter how small, and you get the same idea for your non-donation contributions as well.


“If you can’t give up taxes, give up time and talent,” says Scally. “Volunteering is a great way to give back, and sometimes it can be invaluable to organizations. So if you think about something like a traditional volunteer model of food redistribution for example [such as working at a soup kitchen]many charities really rely on volunteers to do what they do.”

For many of us, helping nonprofits is a good and cost-effective place to start. But there are more specific ways we can be of service, which Scally helped us outline below.

Use your talents

If you have what Liam Neeson might call “a very special set of skills,” then “there are volunteer opportunities that a lot of people probably don’t think about,” which can be of great value to a nonprofit, Scally says.

“People often think of the standard ideas, like ‘I’m going to go work at a soup kitchen on vacation,’ but there are other ways that you can give back by using your passions or your talents or your career,” she says. “You might be a graphic designer or have TikTok skills; you know how to create videos for organizations; or you are really passionate about writing. These are volunteer opportunities that many people probably don’t think about.”

Mention your skills and any relevant experience when you contact an organization you support, so the nonprofit can try to use them in a way that benefits everyone.

Your time is money

Nonprofits have the same needs as other types of businesses — legal advice, accounting, graphic design, communications and more. “So if you have a certain skill set or a network that you can tap into, donating that to a charity can really advance what they can do programmatically,” says Scally.

“I would encourage people to reach out to the organizations they’re interested in and say, ‘Here are some of the things that make me unique and my passion, my skills. How can I contribute to your organization?’

“You’d probably be surprised at some of their needs,” he adds. “You may not be able to give $100 to the organization, but if you can give them an hour every week, it can actually be much more valuable than if you could get the hundred dollars.”


“During the holidays, or on your birthday, or if you’re getting married, instead of asking for gifts, you can ask people to make a charitable donation in your honor to an organization you support,” says Scally. You can do this on various donation platforms — for example, you can use the Charity Navigator Giving Basket.

“You can put in the individual’s name and their email address and they’ll get a notification that a gift was just made to a particular charity that a loved one supported,” Scally says. “I think it’s a very mature way of giving: “When I get older in life, I have everything I need. I don’t need more stuff, but I’d like to see the world made a little brighter.’”

This doesn’t just apply to gifts – you can even give larger items, such as a vehicle, to the charity, which it can then use or resell.

Make a legacy donation

“Most Americans don’t have a will,” Scally says. (We can help with that, through wills and trust services provided through our Haven Life Plus rider, available to eligible Haven Term policyholders.) “And a really great way to give back and leave a legacy is by naming a charity in your estate plans. . Charity Navigator has a free resource on our website that can help you do that.”

We should add that if you have a life insurance policy, through Haven Life or elsewhere, you can designate a charity as a life insurance beneficiary, as a way to help an organization even after your volunteer days are over.

What not to do

In short, don’t make an assumption about how best to help a nonprofit. If there is a humanitarian disaster somewhere in the world, for example, don’t guess what might be needed, whether that disaster is in your proverbial backyard or halfway around the world.

“Let’s say a hurricane hits Haiti, something people often do is donate goods,” Scally says. “While it’s certainly a valid way to give non-monetarily, when it’s not effective is if you’re giving goods in a time of crisis when the people who are actually on the ground haven’t articulated what their needs are.”

He cites the war in Ukraine as an example, where people donate things that may or may not be useful to people caught up in the conflict. In those cases, it’s probably better to give money to organizations that have experience working in a war zone, or to ask such an organization what they might need from a volunteer with your background.

How to choose a charity

Whether you’re donating money, time, skills or goods, how do you make sure you’re donating to a charity that’s effective and reputable? That’s what Charity Navigator is for, helping you research charities and evaluate tax-exempt organizations beforehand so you can find effective charities for your volunteer work.

“We rate 200,000 charities using a 0 to 4 star system,” says Scally. “So three- and four-star organizations are the organizations we can say you can give to with confidence. We don’t charge charities to be rated and we don’t charge donors to access the ratings, so the ratings are completely unbiased.”

The organization has four different assessments that it uses to weight the organizations. “It’s based on standard methodology documented on our website,” he adds, including impact, results, an organization’s financial health, strategy, leadership and more.

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency supported and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe that navigating life insurance decisions, your personal finances and overall well-being can be refreshingly simple.

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency supported and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe that navigating life insurance decisions, your personal finances and overall well-being can be refreshingly simple.

Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not endorse the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less difficult if they fit your situation.

Haven Life is not authorized to provide tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide and should not be used for tax, legal or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to obtain advice from their own tax or legal advisor.

Our disclosures

Haven Term is a term life insurance policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in some states, including NC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in some states, including NC) issued by CM Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Police and driver form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.

MassMutual is rated by AM Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is valid from 1 April 2020 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other credit rating agencies.

Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name for the Plus rider, which is included as part of the Haven Term policy and offers access to additional services and benefits at no cost or at a discount. The driver is not available in all states and is subject to change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual is responsible for the provision of the benefits and services made available under the Plus Rider, which are provided by third party providers (partners). For more information about Haven Life Plus, visit: https://havenlife.com/plus

You may also like

  • Lessons from Martin Luther King Jr
  • haven life plus aaptiv
  • Beautiful young girl holding pilates mat in pilates studio and talking with her two beautiful friends

Get our most read stories, twice a month

  • My experience with Haven Life has been nothing short of amazing from start to finish. After working tirelessly with brokers and receiving quotes that were complicated to understand online, I found Haven Life and I’m very glad I did. Haven Life’s respectful and understanding approach to issuing something as important as life insurance and doing it in such an easy way is why I would recommend Haven Life to both my loved ones and friends.

  • Excellent and very intuitive experience! Highly recommended!

  • The application was easy and got a big approval for life insurance without a medical exam within 48 hours. Good follow up and easy process.

  • Easy Breezy Wanted to get this done for a while and this was the easiest experience I could find. I feel good knowing there is some protection for my husband and likely dogs.

  • It was an easy process. The turnaround was also doable.

Source link