Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ways to give, without opening your wallet.

Hi All,

My name is Rebecca Konstatzky and I am the Fundraising Coordinator for Spinal Cord Injuries Australia. As the Fundraising Coordinator, you’d think that I’d be running up and down the halls of Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA) screaming “SHOW ME THE MONEY!”. But giving is not all about flashing the cash, despite what Cuba Gooding Jnr’s character in Jerry McGuire says.

I don’t know about the rest of the community out there, but my money is precious. Don’t get me wrong, I am not poverty stricken. I can afford to live in a nice apartment, buy new clothes, put food on the table and pay my bills; but by the end of the month I don’t have a lot left over. So when I donate to a cause or charity I am quite discerning. Who do they help? Does it fit in with my values? Where does the money go? And how much of it goes to where they say it is going to?

I know from my experience working for a charity, that every dollar donated counts. No matter how large or small the donation, it really does make a difference. But donating is not just about the difference it makes to the organisation you are giving to or the people they are helping; it’s a little more selfish than that. It’s about the difference it makes to us as individuals who are doing the giving. Giving a gift is not just about the receiving experience, it’s about the experience, emotion and value that you get out of giving it in the first place.

I recently donated my time for a friend’s small not-for-profit organisation that put on a gala ball. I gave up one night of my life to manage their volunteers, but what I got in return was so much more than I could have ever expected. Now, this blog is not about the value of volunteering (as valuable as it is), but about a giving of a different kind.

I recently came across a website called the ‘Give List’. It listed 71 different ways to give without getting out your wallet. This appealed to me. For me, I love the feeling of giving my time and expertise to a charity or non-profit. I instantly get to see how I have made a difference and I gain an experience that I am richer for. Going through this list of giving, I realised that there is so much more I can do to really make a difference than just giving time or cash. So below I have picked out a few that might help SCIA or someone with a spinal cord injury. For the full list see the Give List website

Giving without getting out your wallet.

  • Running in a marathon or fun run? Do it for a charity and get your friends, family and work colleagues to sponsor you. (We have a team in the City 2 Surf called the Winning Wheelers. Join the team or support the cause at www.everydayhero.com.au/winning_wheelers_c2s )
  • Have too many frequent flier points? Donate them to a family so that they may have respite from caring for their injured loved one.
  • If your favorite charity has a blog, a Facebook page, or some other form of social networking – leave a comment or post on their wall, invite your friends to like them or just send them an email telling them what you love about that organisation (We have 2 Facebook fan pages Spinal Cord Injuries Australia and Walk On).
  • Have season tickets to sporting events or the arts. Give a few away to someone with an SCI to help them get out and about.
  • Write a post on your blog in honor of someone you love or a cause that matters to you (like SCIA) and dedicate it.
  • Volunteer your time as a fundraiser, designer, accountant, web developer, board member, mentor, pie baker to a non profit. We always need someone with different skill sets.
  • Record a video about what a cause or charity means to you and publish on YouTube, etc. with links to cause or charity site.
  • Add a community service project to your work conference or event.
  • Add a walkathon or other charity fundraiser to your next conference or event.
  • Magazine junkie? Donate them once you have read them to a hospital family visiting/waiting room.
  • Work for a big corporate company? Get them involved with a non profit to set up work place giving, corporate sponsorship or volunteering days.
  • Include a charity like Spinal Cord Injuries Australia in your will.

So go on, get out there and give with a difference!

Rebecca Konstatzky rkonstatzky@scia.org.au


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