Whether it’s your favorite animal rescue, food bank or children and family services organization, everyone has a charitable cause close to their hearts. This Giving Tuesday is a perfect time to revisit some of your passion projects, volunteer your time or donate money to help philanthropic organizations across the Valley.
With Giving Tuesday right around the corner, there are many ways to get involved, make an impact in the community and benefit from giving back.
Ways To Give
All forms of giving back are beneficial to nonprofits, whether you are interested in donating funds, volunteering time or raising awareness for a cause.
Volunteering time and energy is not only a great way to support a local nonprofit, but it helps individuals connect with the community and see first-hand the impact they can make. It is also a bonding experience if companies, families or friends decided to volunteer together.
United Cerebral Palsy of Central Arizona, a nonprofit serving hundreds of Valley children and families with motor disorders by providing physical, occupational, speech and feeding therapies, relies on volunteerism to accomplish their mission.
“Volunteers are invaluable to the work we do,” said Camille Ridley, UCP of Central Arizona director of marketing & development. “From Breakfast with Accessible Santa in the winter and adaptive water events in the summer, we appreciate all the support we get from the community to help our kiddos and adult members live a life without limits.”
If volunteering isn’t an accessible option, donating funds can also impact nonprofits greatly. For local charities working to make a global difference, monetary donations are the best way to support. Hope 4 Kids International, a nonprofit providing food, water, medical resources, and education to impoverished countries, relies on donations to ensure families across the world have basic resources.
“By working internationally, the U.S. dollar goes much farther in these poverty-stricken villages,” says Mark Sorensen, senior development director of Hope 4 Kids International. “We have a deep focus on providing food for the communities across the nation who do not have access to nutrition. The donations we get on Giving Tuesday can help feed families all across the world for years to come and we are so grateful for those who give.”
Giving Tuesday is also a unique day where many nonprofits will match donations. For example, donations made to the Boy Scouts of America’s Grand Canyon Council will also receive a 100% match thanks to the generosity of an individual donor, Dave Alexander, a local businessman, Distinguished Eagle Scout, and Scouts supporter. This is a great opportunity to double the impact of your giving and ensure your money goes farther.
Benefits of Giving
There are a multitude of personal benefits to giving back to the community. If helping nonprofits cater to those in need is not convincing enough, the mental health benefits and financial benefits will certainly seal the deal.
Studies have shown volunteering decreases stress levels, depression, anxiety and boosts overall health. It also helps with isolation, confidence, self-esteem and overall satisfaction in life.
Another benefit is the ability to claim the State Charitable Tax Credit for the donations given. The State of Arizona has a unique program that allows dollar-for- dollar tax credit if money is donated to a Qualified Charitable Organization.
“This year the state increased the amount that will be credited which means individuals can donate up to $421, and those filing joint taxes can donate up to $841 and receive a tax credit,” says Beth Fiorenza, executive director of Nourish Phoenix, a food and clothing bank in central Phoenix. “Tax credits are so helpful to the individuals donating and to the Qualified Charitable Organization, like Nourish Phoenix. It is a real win-win!”
Where to Give
With over 20,000 nonprofit organizations registered in Arizona, it can be hard to determine who to support on Giving Tuesday. Always do your research prior to donating money or time to make sure the nonprofit is accredited and is following through on their mission.
It can also be more meaningful to volunteer or donate funds to a nonprofit you feel particularly passionate about. For example, if you are someone who loves animals, it may be a good idea to give back to the Arizona Humane Society or other local shelters. If choosing one specific nonprofit to support is overwhelming, donating time and funds to an organization like Valley of the Sun United Way is also a great choice. Valley of the Sun United Way partners with over 100 nonprofits in the Valley and through their strategic collaboration, can make a community-wide impact.
Regardless of how you give or which organization you give to, contribute in some way, big or small, this Giving Tuesday. Every act of generosity makes a huge impact to the nonprofits and the people they serve.
Reader reactions, pro or con, are welcomed at AzOpinions@iniusa.org.