This post was sponsored by Johnson & Johnson as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Until last year, I had worked in the non-profit sector for my entire adult life. I’ve been on both sides of the donation and volunteer equation. I’ve been the one sorting baskets of donations and collecting money. I’ve been the one dropping things off and volunteering my time. I’ve learned that if you’re thoughtful about it, even a little time or money can go a long way when it comes to making a difference!
Think before you donate.
With the new year comes a new flood of resolutions revolving around organization. While purging is great, don’t make your trash the thrift store’s problem. When you donate items that are torn or damaged it takes away valuable volunteer hours that could be put to better use than sorting through your junk. Make sure anything that ends up in the chairty bin is actually reusable and something they can sell.
Your time is invaluable.
You might not have a lot of spare money to donate to your favorite causes, but I bet you can carve out at least an hour or two of your time. Non profits and charitable institutions have volunteer needs year-round. Find a cause close to your heart and ask how you can help. Many organizations even post their volunteer needs and schedules online.
Gift from their heart.
You might be tempted to donate in a friend or family member’s name as their gift for the holiday season. Remember, though, that your friends and family might not have the same passions and beliefs as you when it comes to charitable giving. Do your research. Make sure your charitable gift is going to an organization that the gift recipient supports and believes in, not just one that means a lot to you.
Don’t miss the opportunity to make your donations grow.
Does your employer offer matching gifts? Make sure you investigate before you write that check. You might be able to make your gift go twice as far!
Check their lists.
Almost every food bank and shelter has a list of items they need, as well as items they cannot accept. It would be a shame to donate to your local food bank only to find out they’re not allowed to take those glass jars of sauce you purchased because glass is on the banned list. When you look at the list you’re also likely to find items that they need that you never would have thought of on your own.
Ready to do more?
With so many ways to give back this holiday season, don’t forget one of the easiest ways of all. When you use the free Donate A Photo app, Johnson & Johnson donates $1 to one of its trusted non-profit partners, chosen by you. The app makes it easy to share to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This allows you to spread the word and encourage your friends and family to donate, too. Since the app’s launch in 2013, 1.5 million photos have been donated with over 179,750 people contributing!
One of Johnson & Johnson’s longstanding global partners is Save the Children. Not only can you donate to them via the app, you can also show your support by purchasing a gift from their “Gifts of Joy” holiday catalogue. When you purchase a gift, Johnson & Johnson will match each donation, up to $450,000. This is part of their three-year, $10 million commitment!