How to celebrate International Day of Charity with the Ann Foundation?

Today, 5 September, marks the UN’s International Day of Charity. This day was established with the objective of raising awareness and mobilising people all around the world to help others through volunteering and philanthropic activities.

5 September was chosen in order to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 “for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace”. 

What can I do to support the Ann Foundation?

There are many  impactful ways to support the Ann Foundation:

  1. Volunteer with us! We have a plethora of opportunities to choose from,  including grant writers, curriculum developers, content writers and graphic designers. For details please contact us at info@annfoundation.org
  2. You can make a donation to a cause that is important to you. You can visit our website and pick a cause of your choice that you wish to support. 
  3. You can donate your old laptops, iPads and similar devices to the Ann Foundation.
  4. You can organise a fundraising event for the Ann Foundation (or a specific cause).

What do we do at the Ann Foundation?

We provide ESL and computer literacy classes for disadvantaged children in developing countries. Our goal is to empower as many disadvantaged children as possible, we reach out to the unreached. On this International Day of Charity, join hands with us and make a difference.

You be the change! Make a difference!

www.annfoundation.org

World Youth Skills Day

Today (15 July) is the United Nation’s (UN) World Youth Skills Day. One of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”, and here at the Ann Foundation we support that mission wholeheartedly.

The impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the planet has been devastating, and in particular the lockdown measures have led to the closure of educational institutions across the globe.  Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN found that young people (aged 15-24) were three times more likely than adults to be unemployed, and now that figure looks like it will increase.  Young people must be equipped with the education and training not only to build their own careers, but also to shape the new world that will be rebuilt after COVID.

Education is, and always has been, central to the mission of the Ann Foundation.  Since working at the Helen Keller National Centre for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults, our founder Ann realised that education empowers young people to overcome the limitations they may face due to poverty and discrimination.

As a result of the current COVID-19 crisis, the Ann Foundation is currently working hard to provide children around the world with resources so that they can keep developing their skills during this stressful time.  We are ensuring that children are still connected to their education via programmes such as Google Classroom, Zoom and Skype, as well as developing word games, puzzles and various other activities that children can do at home.

The Ann Foundation envisions a world where every disadvantaged child gets an equal opportunity to write their personal and professional story.  The start of this journey is education and training, and providing young people with the tools to carve their own path.  Please join with us this World Youth Skills Day in supporting young people all over the world.

International Girls in ICT Day

We are excited to be celebrating International Girls in ICT Day today!

The fourth Thursday in April is International Girls in ICT Day, an initiative set up by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).  ITU want to use this day to raise global awareness of women working in information and communication technologies (ICT) and to encourage the next generation of young women and girls to consider studies and/or careers in ICT.

Many of us can see the impact that the rapid development of ICT has had on our lives: we can shop, bank, and study online and we can communicate with friends, family and colleagues all over the world at the push of a button.  However, not everyone has access to this technology.

Providing access to ICT equipment and opportunities for ICT education is particularly close to our heart here at the Ann Foundation. 

In April 2015, the Ann Foundation inaugurated a new computer centre at the Khadijatul Kubra Girls Mission (KKGM), an all-girls educational institution in West Bengal, India.  We donated five desktop computers to the KKGM, providing 147 girls with access to computer classes as well as providing English language lessons remotely via the internet.

The Ann Foundation believes that access to technology is one way to address some of the gaps in educational provision in less economically developed countries.  Often, these gaps disproportionately impact women and girls, and the Ann Foundation is passionate about finding solutions to this issue.

Supporting the education of women and girls in the ICT sector is also an important part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (a list of 17 global goals that aim to “achieve a better and more sustainable future for all” by 2030).  Sustainable Development Goal 5 is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, including through technology.

On this International Girls in ICT Day 2020, let’s remember that equality in industry and in the workforce starts with educational equality.  The Ann Foundation is proud to have been involved with supporting girls in ICT in the past, and looks forward to doing so again in the future.

How can you help out your favourite charity during Covid-19?

It is vital during this difficult time that we all follow the advice of our governments (wherever in the world you might be) and stay home, respect social distancing guidelines, and keep safe.

However, it is still possible for you to help out with your favourite charities remotely during lockdown (although it is tempting to try and watch everything on Netflix!).

This is a really tough time for everyone right now, but charities (especially the smaller ones) are likely to be in a particularly difficult position.  Charities are still working hard to continue to support their beneficiaries, who are among the most vulnerable people in society.

Here are a couple of ideas of how you can help out from the comfort of your sofa – comment below if you think of any we’ve missed!

1. Promote their good work on social media

We’re probably all spending more time on social media than usual right now, and your favourite charities can definitely benefit from our increased screen time.

Use whatever social media channel you choose to re-tweet / re-post items from charities’ own accounts.  This helps to spread their message and let more people know about the excellent work that is still going on

2. Donate (if you can) and encourage others to do the same

Whether it’s by running a 5K and nominating others to do the same (for UK readers, the ‘Run 5, Donate 5, Nominate 5’ challenge is a great way to raise money for the NHS) or simply donating a little bit to your favourite charity, every little helps.

Many people are worried about finances right now and there is a lot of uncertainty for many jobs and industries.  Understandably, donating may not be the right thing for you at the moment, which is totally fine.

3. Volunteer online

Even before the Covid-19 crisis, many charities look for volunteers to help remotely with blog writing, social media, administration, befriending services etc.

Many charities will advertise for volunteer positions via their website – it’s definitely worth a look.

Speaking of volunteering, the Ann Foundation is currently looking for volunteer English teachers (to teach English online to children in India) and to help with curriculum development.  We’re also looking for someone to help with social media!  If any of this sounds interesting to you, drop us an email at info@annfoundation.org

Paving the path for the Dalit children

Marginalised.  Ignored.  Untouchable.

The caste system in India imposes a strict social order which puts the Dalit people at the very bottom of the social pile.  The Dalit are often called the “Untouchables”, because even their shadow is considered polluting if it touches someone of a higher caste.  It is against this background of cruel social injustice that the Dalit people live.  The Dalit people are forced to perform the most menial tasks in society, often at great personal risk, and are treated with disrespect by others.  But each new generation hopes things will be better – and many parents work hard to send their children to school, as education is the route to a better life.  

But even where education is available to Dalit children – and often it is not – they are frequently pushed to the back of the classroom, and bullied by other students and sometimes teachers.  Many Dalit children leave school by age 11, and their future is cruelly snatched from them before it can even begin.  This discrimination means that the cycle of deprivation and injustice remains unbroken.

How old do you have to be before you give up all hope of something better?  Many Dalit children don’t even finish primary school.  That’s when they give up, and give in to the cruelty of the caste system.  

At the Ann Foundation, we believe in creating a better world for everyone.  We don’t believe that anyone, particularly any child, is untouchable. 

We know that education in general, and specifically the knowledge of other languages, can be an invaluable tool to help these children step out of their ‘caste’ and into reaching their true potential.  

We wish to help reduce these barriers to education for Dalit children in seven villages across the Thanjavur District in India.  Our aim is to put twenty computers in these seven villages, and run online English courses for Dalit children.  However computers aren’t the only useful donations – do let us know if you would be interested in donating other school supplies, including uniforms, backpacks, books and stationery, as well as more general items such as shoes and vitamins, can directly send it to the children

These young people have been let down by society and by education.  Our goal is to show them that they are valued, and that there are opportunities in the world for them and a place where they can develop and thrive. 

Lack of Sanitation Facilities Compromises Student Health and Learning

Most adults don’t think of going to the bathroom as a privilege. When “nature calls” we take care of business at home, on the job or wherever we find accessible facilities. But in U.S. schools, bathroom breaks are not necessarily available on an as-needed basis. Frequently, there are no clear school policies about when students can use the bathroom. Decisions are left up to individual teachers, who may be reluctant to allow children to leave class for bathroom breaks because they worry about lost classroom time or misconduct in restrooms. 

However, the resulting wait to go to the bathroom is not only stressful for students; it poses health risks, according to Rebecca Nebel, Ph.D., Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) Director of Scientific Programs. She says that restricting access to the bathroom forces students into unhealthy toileting habits, such as holding in urine, which may follow them into their adulthood.

Restrooms Are a Foreign Concept for Many Students Around the World

Children in the U.S. may suffer from a lack of consistent bathroom policies, but in other parts of the world, school bathroom privileges are a foreign concept. Schools in many developing countries don’t have toilets much less clean water. 

WaterAid, a charity which provides clean water, decent toilets and hygiene knowledge to people who don’t yet have access to them, warned in its “State of the World’s 2018 Toilets” report that 620 million children’s education and health is compromised by lack of decent school toilets. The charity reported that one in five primary schools and one in eight secondary schools do not have any toilets. Where there are toilets, one in three lack of sanitation. Sanitation-related illnesses can result in missed school days and the loss of potential.

The lack of decent toilet facilities is particularly challenging for girls, especially during their menstruation. Among the other findings in its report, WaterAid found that across South Asia, more than a third of girls miss school for between one and three days a month during their period. WaterAid has called on governments to address school sanitation to ensure the specific needs of girls for privacy, safety, and dignity.

Ann Foundation Is Helping to Address the Shortage of School Restrooms in Developing Countries

Ann Foundation has been helping to address the need for proper toilets and sanitation through a number of projects. There the students suffer from discomfort and embarrassment because the only toilet facility is available in the dormitory, which is a distance from the classroom. And they only get one bathroom break a day!

In June of 2018, Ann Foundation built 10 school toilets, five for the girls and five for the boys to help solve this problem. Find out more about the IELC project and how your donation has created a better and healthier environment for the students. 

The global learning crisis

When it comes to global learning, we are losing ground. The latest figures from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) indicate that 617 million children and adolescents lack proficiency in reading and math. The figure includes 387 million children of primary school age (56%) and 230 million adolescents of lower secondary school age (61%). What’s most alarming about the figures is that two-thirds of these children who are not learning are in school!

The economic impact of the learning crisis is twofold, explains the World Economic Forum (WEF). Lack of proficiency in basic skills threatens the ability of individuals to rise from poverty by improving their opportunities for better jobs. The WEF points out that “each additional year of schooling can improve an individual’s job prospects and raise their income by 10-20%, if they gain the required skillsets.”

Also, the jobs of the future with their dependence on technical competency require a workforce that has strong math and reading ability, in addition to being able to problem solve and think creatively to adapt to a rapid pace of change. The UIS figures indicate that on a global level on every continent, children will not be prepared to take on the challenging jobs that will help them thrive individually and advance the communities and countries in which they live.

Technology can make a difference

While technology is not the only solution to resolving the learning crisis (teachers, as well as proven educational policies, re also essential), it is making a difference in classrooms across the globe. Technology through online teaching materials, interactive content, tutorials and practice work sessions can accommodate the individual learning needs and challenges of students. Digital simulations and models help students understand concepts that they otherwise might not comprehend through traditional learning. By enabling students to learn the way “they learn best,” technology also is helping teachers better manage their classrooms. They don’t have to spend disproportionate amounts of time with the students who struggle at the expense of other students.

Lack of access to technology in the developing world

However, in classrooms across the developing world, there is a critical shortage of technology to help students learn as well as acquire the computer skills they will need for the jobs of the future. Providing computer technology is one of the primary areas where Ann Foundation is helping to address the educational shortcoming in schools in developing countries.

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In April 2015, Ann Foundation donated computers and laptops to the Khadijatul Kubra Girls Mission (KKGM), which is home to 540 destitute girls in Kolkata. In February of this year, Ann Foundation donated 10 more new computers and helped furnish a computer lab which was named after the CEO of the Ann Foundation.

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The girls have been enthusiastic and industrious using computers. Contact us to learn more about our work providing disadvantaged children with computer technology to advance learning.

Ten International Charities You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

With Mackenzie Tuttle (Bezos)’s recent pledge to donate half of her $35 billion to charity, many eyes are pointed towards the many billionaires that have taken up a similar pledge. With the millions of charity organizations and non-profit organizations available, it is difficult to stand out as an organization when vying for even a small portion of that fortune or to gain attention from any potential donors. Here are a few non-profit and charity organizations all around the world that may have slipped by your radar.

#1

Ann Foundation | Georgia, USA

If you love stories of female empowerment and welcome home stories, Ann Foundation is a non-profit organization for you. The Ann Foundation is a non-profit entity that helps children and young adults get the education that they deserve. With its founder, Ann Moideen, originally hailing from India, Ann Foundation’s inaugural missions began in the rural towns of India, providing educational assistance to eager children.  After solidifying its impact in India, the organization has been able to offer assistance in other countries in Africa, providing education and support for the orphaned. Recently, Ann Foundation provided computers for the Khadijatul Kubra Girls Mission, giving girls access to learning through IT technology. Talk about girl power!

#2

Liberty in North Korea | California, USA

With tensions and dialogue increasing between US President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, there is a lot of conversation lately surrounding the current state of North Korea, its politics and its people. Many North Korean defectors are opening up about the challenges that they faced in North Korea and subsequently the need for a movement like Liberty in North Korea became apparent.  Liberty in North Korea, or LiNK, as commonly known, is an organization whose mission is to rescue North Korean defectors and even go as far as to assist in assimilation to their new culture.

#3

Tamar Rescue Foundation | Lagos, Nigeria

Based in Nigeria, this foundation has dedicated itself to helping victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence. They offer to counsel to these victims and teach them ways of empowerment rather than self-destruction in dealing with the trauma that they endured. TRF also addresses the physical health issues of rape and sexual violence, mainly HIV/AIDS. They believe that “To curb these diseases, we need to check the rate of increase of sexual abuse and rape. Just as destructive as the diseases are, so do the emotional and psychological trauma of rape and sexual abuse.”

#4

Leeds Society for Deaf and Blind People | Leeds, England

You may or may not know about the Leeds Society for Deaf and Blind people depending on your location on the globe.  If you are living in its residing city of London, you most likely have come across the name. There is a chance that your parents and even their parents have also encountered this charity organization since it was inducted in 1866. Leeds, as its name infers, assists those on the spectrum of deafness and blindness to lead a more comfortable daily life. They provide lessons in British Sign Language (BSL) as well as merchandise suitable for those with auditory and optical shortcomings.

#5

Liam’s Foundation | Lashibi, Ghana

Although Ghana can boast of cutting its poverty rate down over 50 percent over the last decade or so, there are still millions of Ghanaians well under the poverty line. Liam’s Foundation’s goal is to reduce this epidemic almost to eradication. This organization has realized the connection between disabilities and poverty in Ghana and is actively working to provide housing, health checks, among other efforts to improve the rural communities of Ghana.

#6

Kids International Ministries | Kansas, USA & Cainta Rizal, Philippines

Located in Cainta Rizal, Philippines, Kids International Ministries (KidsIM) believes that there is a difference between poverty and extreme poverty. They have redefined the definition of poverty from “a lack of money” to “a belief… a mindset that [one] is defined by the environment,… family [and] circumstances”. Their outlook on extreme poverty is that it is “a cycle repeated in each generation”. KidsIM is a charity organization that seeks to interrupt that cycle for children and families and redirect the vision of these individuals. They also help underprivileged women, especially single mothers, to have successful prenatal, birthing and postnatal experiences. You can also be active in KidsIM by assisting in their sports or feeding ministries.

#7

The Terry Fox Foundation | British Columbia, Canada

If you have come across the movie, ‘The Terry Fox Story’ or heard the song “Runner” by Ian Thomas, you may be aware of a man by the name of Terry Fox, who despite becoming an amputee due to cancer, ran over 3,300 miles and was a well-rounded athlete. Unfortunately, he died of the disease at the young age of 22. However, many may not know that there is a foundation in his name dedicated to cancer research and providing treatment for the most challenging cases of cancer. This charity organization continues to invest in the ever-improving research in cancer treatments, inspired by Terry’s story and motto: “Even if I don’t finish, we need others to continue. It’s got to keep going without me.”

#8

Diema’s Dream Fund | Moscow, Russia

Diema’s Dream Fund started from the founder’s encounter with a paraplegic toddler named Diema, who in the midst of his improvements was cast among hundreds of disabled persons and lost the focused attention that had proved so beneficial to him before.  This organization allows for mentally and physically disabled children to receive the concentrated attention that they require to improve, whatever may be their disabilities. They also attend to disabled orphans, linking professional development specialists with orphanages struggling to provide the appropriate care to their disabled children.

#9

Children’s Bereavement Center | South Miami, Florida

Children’s Bereavement Center (CBC) addresses a problem that has long been present in families of color but has not been sufficiently discussed: mental health. In many black and Hispanic communities, mental health and therapy is still a taboo topic, thought of as unnecessary or weak. This unique charity organization has opened up the discussion by providing group sessions and events for families, especially in the Hispanic community, that have suffered a loss in the family. Their goal is ‘Healthful Grieving’, to help children and adults, alike, to deal with grief and loss in a healthy way.

#10

Angel House | Seoul, South Korea

A recent article revealed that 60 percent of Koreans are distrusting of charities.  Koreans distrust of these charity organizations may explain why Angel House is hidden deep in the rural areas Seoul, an over 30-minute bus ride from any subway station. Even so, this organization provides a home for the disabled and abandoned. As Korea’s disabled and elderly welfare system is still developing, Angel House’s existence is much-needed for those who are unable to be employed or who have been abandoned by families to get better care.

Donating To Charity: The How to Get Interested and Involved Guide

In today’s society, the donor and the charity have become extremely distant. This is not to say that there is no transaction in place, however, with the colonization of technology, social media, and other mobile tools, it has become easier to give but more inconvenient to participate. In order to get more participation from donors, charities use an array of attraction campaigns, creative ways to get the donors active and emotionally attached to the cause. This does not refer to just company donors or large-sum donors but also includes the $10, $5, and $1 donors. Charities are dependent upon the activeness of those that support their cause, especially financially. However, although foundations try numerous ways to engage their donors, prospective and current, the act of giving may become boring, burdensome or inconvenient for them. So, if you are one of the persons who are aching to donate to a charity or maybe you already are an active donor, let’s find ways to make your donation experience a more interactive and meaningful one.

Research

First, if you are a novice to donating to charities, it is important that you do your research. Find a charity that connects with you, one that you may have a personal connection with, whether through experience or personality. There is an insurmountable number of charities all across the globe, and they are all competing for your attention, your awareness, your time and your donation. How is one to choose to feed one child or the next?  Or to give an education to one girl over the next? It is an impossible and heart-wrenching decision to have to make; however, doing your research carefully can make the decision that much easier to make.

One effective form of research, arguably the most effective, albeit time-consuming, would be to physically visit the offices of the foundations (Video calls or text messaging may be just effective at times).  Connect with the owners and employees. Understand their motive and their goals. Which avenue are they using to get to their goals?  For example, you may wish to donate to a charity foundation and connected with one that helps abused and abandoned animals. How are they helping these animals? Which part of the process of rescue do they invest in the most heavily? Are they rescuing the animals? Are they grooming and feeding the animals? Finding them foster homes? Do these align with the part of animal rescue that sparked your heart into donating? All of these are important questions to answer and to pose to your prospective foundation.

When visiting a charity foundation in person is inconvenient or impossible, do some online research. It is the most convenient as this can be done in the comfort of your own home or office at your leisure. There is also the advantage of being able to scour through multiple charities at a time. At the same time, this may also be a bit time-consuming and inundating, with the endless ads and suggestions being given in just one search phrase. With just one search of ‘donating to charities’, you can be flooded with hundreds of thousands of prospects, all vying for your curious cursor to take a click into its contents. Additionally, Internet consumers rarely search beyond the first page of any search engine results. The first page of search engine results usually includes ads paid for by the foundations and companies, and the most popular foundations, causing smaller and lesser-known foundations to be widely overlooked by the interested public.

Why Should You Donate to Charity?

It is impossible to count all of the reasons why one should get involved in charities, and difficult, at best, to explain the rewarding feeling that accompanies these acts. However, for the sake of the skeptics or the hesitant, here a just a few reasons why donating to charity should be a part of your schedule.

  1. It helps.
    1. It helps a child get the treatments he needs to survive and experience becoming an adult. It helps a mother to experience seeing her daughter off to school to learn. It helps rebuild a home after typhoons and floods have carried with it all of its walls and half of its occupants. Donating to charity helps people that would have otherwise suffered greatly without it. Many people in need to see charities as a sign that even through tragedy there is support, a sign of hope, a sign of life. A donation is also an effective way to show empathy or sympathy toward a person’s situation.
  • It is infectious.

There is a reason why most ads use storytelling as the base of its campaign. It is because it works. Humans are enthralled by the narrative. It allows them to connect emotionally to the character or theme of the story. The same goes for donating to charity. When you tell friends, family or coworkers of your experiences donating, the people you’ve helped, the new perspective that you’ve come to see, it makes them more interested in being a part of what you are involved with. It sets an example to those observing you and encourages them to donate in their own ways or, in the very least, makes them aware of the initiative.

  • It can improve your environment.

Have you ever looked in your neighborhood and wished that some parts were better, that some parts were revived or replenished? For anyone that has had these thoughts creating or donating to a charity can help you improve your own immediate environment. Donating to food drives in your neighborhood can help.  How about community improvement foundations? Giving five dollars to the homeless can help one person momentarily, but giving that five dollars to a charity every so often can help dozens over a longer and more steady period of time.

  • It may just help you live longer.

Numerous studies have shown giving to be healthy for the donor. There are multiple health benefits, especially mentally, that range anywhere from lifting self-esteem and self-worth to lowering depression and blood pressure. These can be beneficial to living a longer and more fulfilling life. There are few things that can be compared to donating to a charity that simultaneously helps the giver and the receiver.

Get Creative with Your Donations

Of course, charities need money, but they also need people. Interaction and networking opportunities are irreplaceable to charities. A monthly donation helps but it can also become a subscription to the donor, instead of a conscious donation. So why not get more creative in your donations.

  1. Buy memorabilia.

Many charities and non-profits have merchandise that their donors can have as keepsakes.  These may come in the form of t-shirts, wristbands, activewear, etc. These are sometimes more important than just a simple monetary donation because of its concurrent capability to be an advertisement to others that their donors may come into contact with while being worn. So, go ahead and invest in some merchandise!

  • Participate in events.

Get in shape at a Fun Run/Walk. Take your kids to enjoy some face painting at a fair. Join a few popup events. These are all great ways to get active in the non-profit and charity communities. Turn your monthly donation into a monthly outing. Participation shows your charity that you are involved in supporting its cause. This also helps to create buzz for your charity.

Donating to charity can be a blast! You can improve yourself and improve the lives of others at the same time. There is no limit to who and how you can help. So, get researching. Get creative. Most importantly, get involved.

Non-Profit Organizations Donations

As ironic as it may seem, non-profits need money. Although they operate as non-profiting entities, they require quite of bit of financial backing to get started and to sustain their efforts. From wages to advertising to supplies, the list of expenses for a non-profit can climb well into six-figures, with most of its resources usually going back into fundraising. However, these foundations still face many challenges raising financial support for their initiatives.

To get a better understanding, let’s look at ways that non-profits are currently receiving funds.

Grants

If you are looking to start a non-profit, the first thing that you will probably look to apply for is a grant. Grants are a terrific boost when starting a new non-profit or initiative. These grants may be attained through the government or privately owned foundations and are intended to be used as a stepping off point for awardees. These usually assist in getting the wheels turning in a non-profit or help kick start a new initiative in an already established non-profit. Although a great avenue to obtain funding for a project, the process to obtain a grant may take an upward of 12 months, from application to deposit of funds. Additionally, the process of applying and being approved for any grant is highly competitive and not guaranteed.

Loans

Loans are another route to obtain funds for non-profits; however, the chances of being approved for a loan may be slim for many non-profit organizations. For any lender, reimbursement of funds is a key determinant in whether or not funds will be distributed.  Non-profits pose a very high risk, as it’s motivation does not reside in making money. Many non-profits, like any business seeking a loan, will have to provide proof of income or revenue as a prerequisite to being approved for a loan. Therefore, many non-profit applicants rely on other sources of income, not only for themselves but also as proof of credit history.

Donations

Donations are the most important aspect of non-profit fundraising. Non-profit organizations live and breathe through donations from corporations and individual donors. It is the lifeline of these kinds of organizations. However, this is also the area that proves most troublesome for non-profit organizations. Often, unless secured with a corporation or regular donors, fundraising can prove to be an almost fruitless endeavor. Therefore, non-profits are almost completely at the whim of their donations. Whether through recurrent donations or one-time donations, this is unequivocally the most effective way to help any non-profit. It also shows belief in their mission and your support in achieving of the organization’s goals.

Outside of funding the initiatives of the organization, non-profits must also reserve funding for staffing, advertisements, housing, and fundraisers. There are numerous unseen expenses that go into upholding non-profit and many founders subsidize these expenses with their own money, which is soon stretched thin across the many needs of the organization.

Thankfully, with the rise of social media and crowdfunding, there are more avenues now than ever through which non-profit organizations can fundraise and receive donations.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding has brought a new wave of life to non-profit organizations, in its donations and fundraising.  Crowdfunding websites, such as GoFundMe, Kickstarter and Indiegogo have become the newest platforms for non-profits to reach out of for donations. This avenue of fundraising helps significantly, especially with smaller or one-time initiatives.  The biggest benefits of online crowdfunding are its time and cost-effectiveness. With a short introduction, a description of the project and the click of a button, a non-profit initiative can be broadcasted to millions of willing patrons, all around the world. There is no upfront payment or tireless man-hours that are required. On the other hand, this is not a long-term solution to a non-profit that may be looking for a more stable source of revenue. Also, there will most likely be a need to do some additional advertising to bring attention to the initiative’s page on the crowdfunding website, as patrons are inundated with countless petitions everyday. Furthermore, even though it takes no time to post your cause, it may take a while to gain the funds needed. To top it all off, if you do not meet your goal, you will not receive any portion of the donations, so budgets must be well within reason when setting a target figure.

Advertising

Many people grapple with the argument of whether or not non-profits should be allowed to advertise for donations and fundraising. No matter which side of the argument you may support, it is undeniable that no one can know about something that they were not made aware of. Likewise, no business, organization, for-profit or non-profit can expect to gain donors without informing the public and potential contributors to its existence and purpose.  Over the years, non-profits have used various means of advertising to get their mission in front of the right eyes and ears. From emails to fun run/walk events to bake sales, nonprofits have enacted the use of countless avenues to bring attention and awareness to their initiatives. Though in recent years, social media has arguably been the most effective form of advertising for non-profit organizations.

Social Media

As demonstrated through the massive success of the ALS Association’s (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease) Ice Bucket Challenge took over the internet in 2014, social media can have an unbelievable impact in creating widespread awareness about any cause.  The Ice Bucket Challenge, as simple as its concept may have been (pouring a bucket of ice water on the challenged individual on camera), rounded up a mammoth $100 million within the first month of it’s going viral, and exceeded that amount in the days and years to follow. For reference, the ALS Association reported a total of an admirable but incomparable $19 million in donations for the entire year of 2013.

The audience has relocated to platforms like Instagram and Twitter and so non-profit organizations are also forced to reposition themselves where they can be seen. However, these platforms have allowed non-profit organizations to become an influencer and a trend, in all the right ways, from its former place of seeming like a beggar of sorts. It also keeps the non-profit organization relevant in the eyes of its followers and donors.

Even temporary video platforms, such as Snapchat or Instagram stories allows non-profits an opportunity to show rather than tell their daily struggles and achievements.  For no financial expense, these organizations are able to clearly exhibit the impact of their donors’ contributions on the non-profit and subsequently, the impact on society and the individuals involved. This also builds trust between the viewer and the non-profit, as there is a feeling of transparency.

Video advertising has been a leading choice for many non-profits. With one line of Sarah McLachlin’s Angel: “In the arms of the angel…”, one is almost automatically brought back to images of one-eyed cats and seemingly terrified abandoned dogs. Why? As a renowned author, Mary Catherine Bateson summarizes, “The human species thinks in metaphors and learns through stories.” And one thing that all non-profits possess innately is a story. No matter the cause, there is undoubtedly a story that has fueled the inception of the organization or a story of someone that has been impacted by it. Many people are moved through tear-jerking or powerful imagery and video has proven itself as the most effective for non-profits.  However, this form of advertising requires funding, sometimes massive amounts of it.

Therefore, it is empirical to bring awareness to the organizations that not only bring awareness to the problems in our society but also take the extra step to invest in and correct such problems. Non-profit organizations are an essential element in the betterment of our societies. From missionaries in underdeveloped countries to activists peacefully making change one picket fence sign at a time, they all have one goal in mind: making positive change.