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Why Volunteering is Important

Posted on . Filed under: Charity, Engagement, Volunteer.

Volunteering is a win-win. It provides valuable service to the cause, and you enjoy many benefits, too! It’s fun, grounding, and rewarding.

Volunteering

Volunteering” by  Daniel Thornton, found on flickr.com under license CC BY 2.0.

Some may see volunteering as a chore. If this is true for you, maybe you’re doing the wrong type of service or you’re not getting enough out of it. It’s possible that you would feel better doing a different type of volunteering, or it’s possible that you could use a shift in perspective. I believe that it should be an integral activity in life to do alone, with friends, and with family. Many people choose to volunteer abroad, but it’s easier to volunteer in your own community.

Above all, volunteering should feel rewarding. Whether you take a shift at a soup kitchen, help clean up a public park, tutor high school students in math or adults in English, or volunteer at larger charities, it should make you feel good. Volunteering is not all about helping yourself, however, helping others is a positive experience that gives you a sense of satisfaction in knowing you contributed to another person’s life. You don’t have to do it alone – volunteering in a group is a great way to change up your routine and your usual family get-togethers. And, when kids are exposed to volunteering early on, they might be more inclined to participate on their own, later in their lives. Nowadays, students often participate in community service as a way to boost their resumes for getting into college, or because it is required by some high schools, but fulfilling these purposes shouldn’t be the primary reason for helping others.

If you want to volunteer but hate doing it, there’s something wrong. Maybe cleaning up a park isn’t your cup of tea – so try something else! There are tons of ways to help others. If you like one-on-one interactions, try tutoring. If you like cooking, make dinner for a nearby shelter or community center. Capitalize on what you like to do so that volunteering is not only rewarding but also fun, whether you do it alone or with others. If you aren’t doing something you enjoy or appreciate, you won’t feel that you’ve made a difference and you won’t keep up the habit.

Another benefit of volunteering is that it’s incredibly grounding. It’s easy to get caught up in daily life, and everyone needs a reality check sometimes. Getting this broader perspective through volunteering can make you feel more grateful and more positive. Not everyone is as fortunate as you are; there are many people who could use your help. It might not seem easy to work volunteering into your busy schedule and to find the type that makes you feel most helpful and most happy, but the world could be a better place if everyone contributed a little bit more time, when they could, towards helping their community.

Ultimately, I firmly believe that incorporating volunteering or community service into your life will help others and help you. Consider it next time you have some time to spare, or schedule ahead by setting a plan with family and friends.

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Tip 8: How To Create a Marketing Toolkit

Posted on . Filed under: Crowdfunding 101, How To, YouTube.

Anyone who has ever run a crowdfunding campaign knows that the key to success is all in the prep. That’s why we created our How To Prepare to Launch a Crowdfunding Campaign YouTube series. This week, we discuss what materials you need to have in your marketing toolkit. 

Tip 8- How To Create A Marketing Toolkit

Video Highlights:

  • Your marketing toolkit consists of marketing materials that you need to create in advance of starting your campaign so that you don’t just fly by the seat of your pants.
  • The key components of this toolkit include: pre-written follow up and thank you scripts for donors, blurbs you can give to key advocates to share on social media, a pre-written press release, and a roadmap outlining how you want your campaign to progress and a weekly schedule.
  • While a marketing tool kit gives your campaign structure, it also allows you to be nimble during the campaign process because you’re giving yourself time to create things on the fly when necessary.

Press play above to learn more about assembling your marketing toolkit, and be sure to read next week to find out why you need to have an appreciation strategy before you launch!

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Support These 2016 #GivingTuesday Campaigns!

Posted on . Filed under: #GivingTuesday.

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Check out some campaigns raising money on the Deposit a Gift platform that have been taking off! If something speaks to you, show ‘em some love — even $1 makes a difference. We’re waiving our platform fee today, so your donation goes that much further. Want to see a constant stream of participating campaigns? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Why Thanksgiving is my Favorite Holiday

Posted on . Filed under: Family, Holiday.

 As a college student, I come home pretty often. I come home any time I have a four-day weekend or longer since I’m lucky enough to be just a two and a half hour train ride away. But without a doubt, I look forward to coming home for Thanksgiving the most. I’ve always loved this holiday, but being away from home has made me appreciate it even more.

Neha Thanksgiving

 My Thanksgiving!

Everyone celebrates Thanksgiving with different people, but for me, it’s the most important holiday because I celebrate with my immediate family and my cousins every year. It’s a tradition that we go to my cousin’s house and sit at their fancy dining room table, the only day of the year we do this. My aunt prepares the turkey, and my mom brings the side dishes. Everything is the same every year – we value tradition. And since it’s only once a year, we never get sick of this. This is a holiday that no one in the family can miss, and we even had a new addition of my cousin’s newborn.

I’m the youngest of the cousins who attend, so I finally understand what it feels like to be at college and return for Thanksgiving and enjoy the holiday. It feels secure and welcoming to be with family and follow traditions, since college life can be busy and crazy all the time. My first Thanksgiving back home made me appreciate having two worlds that I can feel a part of – home and school.

Amidst family reunion and familiar practices, I love the essence of the holiday. Thanksgiving kicks off the winter holiday season, so you know that you’ll start hearing Christmas music on the radio and seeing fancy store displays as soon as its over. You know that the year is coming to a close and New Year’s is right around the corner, so you start reflecting on the almost-completed year. And of course, there’s an essence of thankfulness. My family has a tradition that before we start eating, we sit around the table and everyone states what they’re thankful for. The youngest goes first, and since the newborn can’t speak yet, I’ve been the starter for as long as I can remember. All day I brainstorm what I’m thankful for and what to say at the table, but in reality I’m thankful for everything, including being able to celebrate Thanksgiving in the same way every year.

I try to embrace change, but how we celebrate Thanksgiving is something I never want to change. It brings back only wonderful memories and warm thoughts of home and family. I picture doing it the same way long into my adult life, though so many other parts of my life will be different.

And, of course – who doesn’t love all the delicious food? I would eat stuffing and mashed potatoes all day long if I could!

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Tip 7: How To Manage Your Online Street Team

Posted on . Filed under: Crowdfunding 101, How To, YouTube.

Anyone who has ever run a crowdfunding campaign knows that the key to success is all in the prep. That’s why we created our How To Prepare to Launch a Crowdfunding Campaign YouTube series. In the past weeks, we have taught you about finding and using your key advocates. This week, we talk about how to manage these key advocates, the people who make up your online street team.

Tip 7- How To Manage Your Online Street Team

Video Highlights:

  • During the preparatory period of your campaign, you need to think through what in particular you want from each team member, so that you can manage each team member’s expectations.
  • For key advocates you are counting on to be big contributors, explain to them when during the campaign you would like them to donate.
  • For key advocates with large social media presences who you’re counting on to share your campaign, explain to them at what times they will need to share and how to share.
  • It’s critical to maintain consistent communication throughout your campaign, but not all of these communications should come from you. Adding different voices to your cause adds value to your marketing.

Press play above to learn more about getting your online street team to understand what you need to push the campaign to the best of your ability. Also, be sure to read next week to find out how to assemble a marketing tool kit.

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