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Promises to myself: Giving back

By Christen H. Duhé, president and executive director, Gulf Coast Community Foundation

There’s no wrong way to give back, whether it’s in the form of monetary donations or volunteering your time. Here are five tips on how to focus on you and your community in 2023:

  1. What are you passionate about? Let’s face it, you could support many amazing organizations, but which ones speak to your heart? Sometimes it feels like everyone is asking for your time, money or both. Do your research and support the organizations that are most in line with your values and passions.
  2. Many charitable organizations rely on social media to tell their stories because it’s inexpensive and relatively easy to navigate. The easiest way to support your local nonprofits is to like and share their posts. In doing so, you are increasing their reach and exposing their brand to a wider audience. Use the time you already spend scrolling through social media to help nonprofits get the word out.
  3. Do you want to make an even bigger impact on a cause you believe in? What if you and your friends teamed up to support the same organization? Instead of buying each other birthday or Christmas presents, put that money towards a local nonprofit. You can donate as a group and make a bigger impact. You and your friends also may want to consider starting a donor advised-fund with your local community foundation.
  4. Nonprofits usually are short-staffed and lack the funding needed to fill some positions. If you’re skilled in a certain area, you could offer free or discounted services. Giving back doesn’t always mean writing a check or serving on boards; you can support these organizations with your skills and talents.

    5. It’s OK to say “no.” In 2023, I want you to thrive, not just survive, and you can’t do that if
    you’re trying to be all things to all people. Pick one or two organizations to support, maybe three if you’re feeling sporty, and focus your time, energy and money there. Sure, you could give 20 different organizations $50, but you would have a bigger impact giving two organizations $500. As
    for volunteering, there are not enough hours in the day to support everyone. You also must support yourself, and if you keep pouring into other people’s cups, what’s left for you?

    What are you waiting for? Set aside some time this week to consider which organizations you’d like to support and how you plan to help them. Whatever you do, no matter how big or small, will be appreciated.

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