While the holiday shopping season constantly bombards us with advertisements and big store sales, more and more shoppers have begun to buy locally and simplify their holiday experience. In turn, the local shopping trend has reinforced the importance of local giving.
There are so many organizations to consider giving to this season, it’s almost as tough as finding “the perfect gift.” With countless worldwide and national charities worthy of donation, it’s hard to narrow it down and choose just one or two.
If you’re finding it difficult to choose just one organization, it may be time to simplify and focus primarily on local causes. When you choose local giving, you help limit your list of potential organizations while choosing a cause that directly affects you and your community.
The benefits of giving locally are similar to those of shopping locally. By giving locally, you promote your community’s well-being, keep funds in your local economy, improve your neighbors’ quality of life, and inspire the spirit of philanthropy in others.
Finding the perfect local charity isn’t as complicated as it seems. If you’re giving in Saratoga, research your area’s charities and non-profits. Keep in mind that many familiar non-profits have branches in or around Saratoga as well. Take a look at the Saratoga.com holiday giving guide for inspiration.
Still stumped? Below you’ll find some more local giving solutions that put a unique spin on the tried and true monetary donation.
Revolutionizing Local Giving
The Wilton Food Pantry is a perfect example of a local non-profit changing the holiday donation scene. This year, they are running a $1 Donation Drive through the Google app “One Today.” The app is the result of a Google non-profits grant that allows the WFP to use certain Google products. The One Today app aims to revolutionize collecting donations by digitizing the process, limiting the donation amount to just $1, and encouraging social sharing.
Wilton Food Pantry organizer Dennis Towers explains why WFP chose to use the Google App, saying, “I really like the $1 aspect. It allows virtually everyone from anywhere to be part of this home-grown solution. Neighbor helping neighbor; the way it should be. Click, type, $1, share, done – less effort and expense than a cup of coffee or a bottle of water.”
The Wilton Food Pantry’s $1 Donation Drive is just one example of how big companies like Google can help local communities. When you use social media to share your donation, one dollar can easily become hundreds.
Giving “Outside The Box”
If you’re trying to think outside the box, try attending a fundraiser event. You’ll get to interact with the people behind the cause and get to know the organization from a personal standpoint. Plus, you’ll have a great time doing it. Downtown events like SantaCon – which benefits the Franklin Community Center – rally the community together to help a great local cause and have fun at the same time.
Another alternative is to give to local arts organizations and nonprofits. This way, you support the arts and enrich your community’s culture. Theater groups like Home Made Theater and foundations like Saratoga Arts provide integral cultural and educational experiences to the Saratoga community.
Finally, make the commitment to give all year round rather than just once during the holiday season. It may seem easier said than done, but if you donate your time and energy in addition to or instead of funds, you’ll find the rewards are endless.
With these live local, give local tips, you’ll simplify your holiday giving and know that your donation will directly support the Saratoga community.
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Because there are so many charities and nonprofits in need this season, we’d love to hear your picks! Do your research and comment below with your choices for giving local this holiday season! We’ll keep you updated with holiday and charity news on the Saratoga.com blog.
I’m giving to the Backstretch Employee Service Team or B.E.S.T. This organization provides support services to the people who care for the horses at Saratoga Race Track. Without them we couldn’t have racing and you can figure out all the downstream economic benefits.