Charity Advice

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Charity And Community Service Task Force General Advice Page

Pointers and items to keep in mind when working charity events or otherwise supporting a charity

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These are just a few things to keep in mind when dealing with Charities and other such persons. If you have anything you'd like to add or feel that doesn't belong here please email Field Marshal Trenin Anara aka Christina Doane at VIC (At) maquis dot com.

Suggestions For Charity Work

Always investigate the Charity in question before donating money or time. In addition to checking for a Charity's legitimateness (grin) you should check to see if its the kind of Charity you want to support, example if you're looking for supporting blood drives, the saving greyhounds group may not be for you. And that it offers something you can do, example if you are looking for something you can volunteer time for, a group that only takes money may not be what you need.
The point is to make sure that before you confirm yourself or your Chapter to a Charity or Charity Event that you make sure its a good fit for you. Some Chapters will get together and decide what they can do first then go and look for the Charity that fits that, whatever works for you. Each Chapter will be different, if you think you need help please feel free to contact the COS or anyone listed in the Community and Charity Task Force Committee page off of the Charity Main.
Once you have chosen a charity, make sure to stay as professional as possible. Items like keeping your promises, always good. It looks good on you, your Chapter, Zone, and MFI in general. An important thing to note is that if you have a good working relationship with one charity group, they can reccomend you to others if you wish. And perhaps they in turn can help you when you have a charity event you wish to do. Don't forget to make sure you ask all the questions you need, a good charity group will be happy you are interested and answer all of them.
You should make sure you know what the event coordinators will be supplying your people and what you need overall so you will know what you or your shipmates will need to provide yourselves. If you are dealing with money ensure that you know what you are to do with it every step of the way as most charities will have that information available. There may even be paperwork invovled. Communication is important not only will you need to make sure that your Chapters concerns/questions are addressed by the charity people but that the charity peoples information is past down to your Chapter. I know some of this is pretty basic but thats the point to help make sure new supporters of charity aren't left hanging. Some day if there is enough information here the Community and Charity Task Force will write a Academy course for now though we will endeavour to put out as much information as possible that our members may find useful.

Give a Little Charity: An Article

Give A Little Charity
By Brian Pickett and Phillip Buff

We hear it every day, “How Can We Help?” Many of us want to find ways to make the world a better place. But what does it really take to make that happen? What steps are there in the process of taking up the task of providing the needed materials and donatable goods to allow a charitable organization to keep running? What happens when problems arise, conflicts of interest or time commitments, or other situations that might sabotage your efforts to make such an impact in your community or the world at large. Here are a few questions you can answer for yourself that will help get the ball rolling, and determine what type of help you might be best able to give.

1. What, when you look out at the world we currently live in, do you feel you most need to set right? Or, what do you feel is important to put your time and energies towards trying to help make better? Give some thought to why such things are important, and be sure to be honest with how important this really is to you. Finding a charity isn't the hard part, finding one you're passionate about genuinely making a difference for is. A good, very comprehensive list to help choose a charity is at the following website:

2. Skills – Is there anything that you can offer to a group that needs assistance? Of course, there are myriad ways to help others. Try to think outside the box! If you are great with numbers, maybe donating a couple of hours a week or month to a local branch of your Volunteers of America's accounting department might be an option you can consider and speak with them about. Or perhaps you love to bake or do crochetting as a hobby, many schools and churches gain extra funds for their extra curricular activities through sales of such goods. And military folks who are overseas love to receive home-made scarves, hats and socks for those colder climates! Again, the key is to think about what you can do – and more importantly like to do – that can benefit others in a way that allows you to feel like you're doing something good without making it feel like a chore.

3. Logistics – Do you have constraints on your time, already? Are there financial issues to consider? Are you physically unable to do certain things do to mobility, dexterity or allergy-related issues? Is there a problem with transportation to a given charitable establishment, or being able to haul goods collected to the organization's nearest branch? These are all things that must be considered, when choosing a charity to work with and ask them questions about, when beginning your endeavors to help out. But just becaue the choice of charitable organization won't work out for you due to one (or more) of these complications doesn't mean you should give up. Keep at it! Look for other organizations where these challenges won't be a problem; remember that they are just that, challenges, not baracades from helping out at all. If all else fails, perhaps forming a new charitable organization might be an option. Remember, there are always possibilities when you look for them.

4. Contact information – Many organizations want to have a way to get ahold of you when they have a need for your particular skills and abilities. Do you work in a place that won't allow you to receive phone calls while on shift? Are you unavailable every Wednesday due to an appointment with your Chiropractor or Physical Therapist? Have you had problems with too much e-mail circulating in your personal (or work) inbox? Perhaps having a free e-mail account set up to work with the charity you contact might be in order, or offering a website link showing hours/days you are available to help out, along with your (and your fellow crew members wanting to volunteer) skill set and range of capabilities and logistic information is in order. Again, think outside the box! Be creative, have fun, and this will allow you to find ways that not only gets your group the notice you want from these organizations, but be remembered, too.

Return to Charity Task Force Project, Main Index

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