Every year, every week and every day millions of brave American soldiers put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms. Unfortunately in the line of duty, many soldiers get injured and are in need of help when they return to civilian life.
The same can be said of military families, who need help supporting their loved ones when they return home. Fortunately, there are many reputed non-profit organizations who can help military families. Organizations like Operation Homefront, Give an Hour, the Wounded Warrior Project and Purple Heart Pickup are just a few who accept donations. When it comes to donations for non profit organizations, the Purple Heart Foundation alone helped nearly 20,000 people last year and secured $200 million in benefits.
When it comes to donations, especially donations for non profit organizations, a little can go a long way. You may not think so, but donations of food, clothing, money and other items are well received and much appreciated by veterans.
There are plenty of good reasons to donate to charity and make donations for non profit organizations. But before you do, stop for two seconds. Think back to all the commercials you see on TV for different charities. Now think about all the news stories you here about charities swindling people out of money.
The point is that when you make donations, you want to be smart about it and these four steps can help you do just that.
- Get passionate: If you’re passionate about helping veterans and military families, find reputable charitable organizations that help them. If you donate to and help charities that are involved in causes you’re passionate about, you’ll feel good about donating your time, household items or money. You’ll feel a strong connection rather than just throwing money in a collection box or signing a check.
- Charity as investment: Think back to the previous tip; you know you’ve given money to a charity (maybe around Christmastime) and never thought about it again. Again, there’s nothing wrong with donating to charities, but when you think about your donations as an investment, you get an entirely different perspective.
By establishing an on-going dialogue and honest relationship, you’ll have a vested interested in the success of the charity or charities of your choosing. If you’ve got a relationship with an organization, you’ll jump immediately to lend support. Keep in mind too that you should be making donations because you want to and not necessarily for credit or for tax reasons.
- Do research: If you want to donate to military families or make donations for non profit organizations, it pays to do a little research. As mentioned above, there are plenty of organizations out there that do a lot of good for military veterans and their families and it can be hard to know what each of them does. Get online and do some research. Look at a charity’s mission statement. Call a charity and get more information on who they are and what they do. Look at accountability sites and look at a charity’s finances. By putting a little bit of time in, you’ll be able to find charities that align with your values and you’ll be more enthused about helping them and donating to them.
- Only donate in person: When it comes to actually making donations (especially money), a good rule of them is to only ever donate in person. This way you’re dealing directly with people who work for the organization instead of just talking to a random person on the phone and possibly making a donation that won’t be used for its intended purpose.
In 2014 alone, charitable giving was more than $350 billion and there are plenty of reputable charity organizations out there doing a lot of good work for a lot of good causes, especially when it comes to donations to veterans. By doing a little research and thinking of your donations as an investment, you’ll have an entirely new outlook on donating and you’ll be more apt to help those in need.