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Help the WorldSometimes, the task of making the world a better place can be overwhelming. On top of our daily schedules and expenses, there are so many causes to devote your time or money to. However, a quest to help the world does not have to involve curing cancer or achieving world peace — it can start with a few simple steps to address issues that matter:

Pick an issue area

The most important step to start improving the world is to find an issue you are passionate about. The more passionate you are about a cause, the more likely you are to enjoy working for it and the more inspiration you will find. The issue could be anything from rhino poaching in South Africa or water safety in Flint, MI to school supplies for children in Brazil.

Remember that there are problems both abroad and in your own backyard. Each cause is important and doing something is more effective than doing nothing.

Raise money

Organizations often need both money and manpower to keep their efforts running. How you want to contribute to a cause is up to you.

But if you are interested in donating or fundraising, there are many different options. Whether donations come from your own savings, running a fundraising campaign or asking family members to donate to a cause in lieu of gifts for a special occasion, the money you give to an organization will be very useful for keeping projects running. Donations do not have to be astronomical to make a difference!

Another way to contribute money is by shopping smart. When you are buying products for yourself or as gifts, try to buy products that give back. To start, you could look at this list from the Huffington Post of gifts that give back. Do research and find products that you love that have an added bonus of giving back.

Online websites also provide ways to give back. If you frequently order from Amazon, the company’s Amazon Smile program donates 0.5 percent of the price of eligible purchases to the charity of your choice.

Volunteer your time

You might also choose to work with a local organization on a regular basis or volunteer for a summer to work across the country or across the world. If you are interested in empowering youth, you could volunteer to tutor or become a mentor. You might also try volunteering to prepare food packages at your local Red Cross Food Bank and sort clothing donations at the Salvation Army.

Technology has opened up endless opportunities to volunteer with people around the world. If you are interested in helping teach English, Pax Populi, an online website sponsored by the U.N., allows volunteers to sign up as conversation partners for students in Afghanistan. This website also has opportunities to apply for translation, editing and research volunteer positions.

Another often overlooked but highly important volunteer position is to advocate for your chosen cause or organization. Efforts such as handing out flyers, making donor calls or contacting government representatives can be crucial in spreading the word.

Asking your Senate or Congressional leaders to support specific legislation is not nearly as intimidating as it may seem. Leaders respond well to requests from their constituents and putting pressure on them can spur change at the state or national level. Check out this page to see how we contact government representatives at the Borgen Project.

Stay connected

Lastly, the most important way you can help the world is to be knowledgeable and active in your community. Try to keep up with news reports and research topics of interest to you.

The world changing every day means the challenges it faces are changing as well. The best way we can help the world is to create a population of caring and active citizens.

Taylor Resteghini

Sources: Amazon Smile, The Borgen Project, The Huffington Post, Pax Populi, UN Online Volunteers
Photo: Voluntariat

Peace CorpsOn Mar. 1, 1961, President John F. Kennedy issued an executive order to establish a new “army” of civilians who would volunteer their time to help underdeveloped nations. This army, as JFK referred to it during his 1960 presidential campaign, was the Peace Corps.

According to Politico, Kennedy wrote a message to Congress stating that the people of underdeveloped nations were “struggling for economic and social progress.” He also went on to say, “Our own freedom and the future of freedom around the world, depend, in a very real sense, on their ability to build growing and independent nations where men can live in dignity, liberated from the bonds of hunger, ignorance and poverty.”

Congress, at first, was skeptical. In response, Representative Marguerite Sitt Church, who had traveled to sub-Saharan Africa, defended the bill by speaking about the importance of on-the-ground work in underdeveloped areas.

Representative Catherine May noted the impact of Church’s words: “You quite literally could see people who had been uncertain or perhaps who had already decided to vote against the Peace Corps sit there, listen to her very quietly and start to rethink.”

The House then approved the bill for the volunteer organization in a 288-97 vote and Kennedy issued the executive order to establish it.

Since its launch, the Peace Corps has done incredible work. Currently, the organization has 6,919 volunteers and trainees, with over 220,000 Americans serving since it was created.

Volunteers carry out work such as helping build sewer and water systems, constructing and teaching in schools, helping develop crops and teaching effective agricultural methods. A majority of the work is done in Africa but volunteers also assist nations in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the Caribbean, the Middle East and the Pacific Islands.

The Peace Corps celebrated its 55th anniversary at Georgia Gwinnett College, which was selected in 2014 as one of the six universities and colleges for the Peace Corps Prep Program, based on their demonstrated interest in promoting international learning and providing service opportunities to their students.

Students were invited to attend the event to celebrate the anniversary and learn about becoming Peace Corps volunteers, marking the next generation of Americans that will serve with the program and make a difference in countries in need around the world.

Kerri Whelan

Sources: Politico, Peace Corps 1, Peace Corps 2, Peace Corps 3, Peace Corps 4, GGC

Help_Aid_Refugees
The surge of refugees fleeing conflict across the globe reached record numbers and drew widespread attention in 2015. The UNHCR reports that forcibly displaced populations are estimated to have reached nearly 60 million — up 15 million from 2012. Conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan and more than a dozen other regions have all contributed to the climbing numbers.

Forced displacement is rarely short-lived. In the same report, the UNHCR states that on average, refugees will remain displaced for 17 years. For some it will be shorter, others much longer, and for all it will be life-changing. Addressing what the UNHCR calls “A World At War” and what is repeatedly called a “refugee crisis” by the media will also not be short-lived.

Even as articles become dated and tales of flight and hardship are told and retold, the need for aid and compassion has not diminished. For those farther away from the conflict and displacement, here are five ways to help displaced populations and refugees:

1. Contribute to educational opportunities for refugees, displaced populations and populations affected by conflict.

  • Save the Children supports rebuilding and maintaining schools in Syria and neighboring countries. In addition to providing education and health services, the organization strives to create spaces for children to experience a sense of normalcy and achieve their full potential despite the conflict.
  • The Karam Foundation focuses on innovative education projects for Syrian children in Syria and Turkey. Dedicated to “help people help themselves,” the U.S.-based nonprofit allows donors to contribute to specific education projects through its website.

2. Support an organization that is providing aid on the ground.

  • Hand in Hand for Syria is working on the ground to provide emergency aid for Syria. The organization hopes this strategy will prevent people from fleeing and fill the void created by shattered infrastructure, especially health services.
  • The International Rescue Committee is responding to the climbing numbers of refugees on multiple fronts from the Middle East to the Mediterranean and even with resettlement programs in the United States.

3. Help to improve refugee living situations.

  • Shelter Box provides emergency shelter and essential supplies to help displaced populations. The organization is currently active in Syria, Lebanon and Iraqi Kurdistan to name a few.
  • Oxfam America provides clean water, sanitation and other vital supplies to combat poverty, hunger and social injustice. Active in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, the organization also helps connect refugee families with medical and legal services.

4. Support medical services for displaced populations.

  • Medical Teams International sends teams of volunteer medical professionals and provides medical supplies to people in need. Long term, the organization supports health initiatives and collaborates to ensure its impact is sustainable.
  • Doctors Without Borders is a well-regarded organization that provides medical care to populations who need it most, including those fleeing their homes. Doctors Without Borders sets up hospitals for refugees and provides essential maternal and pediatric care for displaced populations.

5. Volunteer locally as part of a global effort.

  • You could become an online volunteer for UNHCR. The program connects volunteers online with organizations seeking to maximize the impact of their development work. Volunteers can connect with organizations based on their skills, preferred development topics or regions of interest.
  • Consider volunteering through an International Rescue Committee local office. The IRC operates 26 offices throughout the United States supported by volunteers who mentor refugees and assist them with their transition.

– Cara Kuhlman

Sources: Doctors Without Borders, Hand in Hand for Syria, The International Rescue Committee, Karam Foundation, Medical Teams International, NY Times 1, NY Times 2, Public Radio International (PRI), Save the Children, United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Volunteers (UNV)

Photo: Flickr

Ways to Help the World's Poor

Ways to Help the World’s Poor

Do you want to know some easy ways to help the world’s poor? Well, here are 10 simple ways to help the world’s poor, which can often be done without even having to leave your home!

 

1. Donate

One of the quickest and most obvious ways to help the world’s poor is to donate to charity. Click here to donate to The Borgen Project.

 

2. Call Congress

This way to help the world’s poor is surprisingly simple. Every person in the United States has 3 representatives in Congress (2 Senators and 1 Representative in the House). By calling these 3 peoples’ offices each week, individuals can show the Congressmen the issues that they care about. Calling your Congressmen is a simple process. Generally, an intern will answer the phone, or you can leave a message after hours.

The message you need to say is simple: “My name is ___, I live in ___, and I want to raise the funding for helping the world’s poor,” or something similar. As few as 7 people calling in can make a Congressman change his mind on a bill: Congressmen want those they are serving in the U.S. to be happy so if you let them know what you want, they are more likely to listen. Go here for more detailed instructions.

 

3. Inform Yourself

This is one of the simplest ways to help the world’s poor, and also it helps you to do the other things more effectively. Basically, all you need to do is stay informed on the issues. Pay attention to what is happening in Congress and read up on current poverty-related events. It may surprise you to find out that poverty has made some great strides in the past few years. Indeed, in the past 20 years, the world’s undernourished has decreased by 50%. Life expectancy has also increased by 1/3.

(Browse The Borgen Project to find out more interesting facts about poverty).

 

4. Build Buzz/Raise Awareness

Now that you’ve done your research, you can use your new information as tools to build buzz or to raise the awareness of those around you. If you care about the world’s poor, you can be sure that other people do too, but may just be unaware of how they can help. You can share info on different poverty-fighting organizations with your colleagues, family, and friends (see 1. Donate for ideas). You can also call into radio shows, write to editors, speak locally about the cause, send ideas to the media, or anything else that may bring the idea of helping the world’s poor to the forefront of people’s vision and thoughts.

 

5. Social Media

Recently, social media has become one of the most fantastical ways a person can help the world’s poor (among other ventures). This is perhaps the easiest way to help, as well. Many Congressional leaders (your members of Congress) have Facebook pages, Twitters, or websites. All you need to do is either post on their pages to bring up the idea of helping the world’s poor, or post on your own about the various issues. Also, you can easily follow many different organizations, including The Borgen Project, and retweet them or post about them on Facebook or other websites. Overall, your voice will be heard. (The Social Media of Congress can be found here and here). (Also, follow us on Twitter!)

 

6. Get Political

Although you can call Congress or post on their Facebook pages, there are other ways to help the world’s poor and to “get political.” If you are willing, you can always arrange a meeting with Congressional staffers to tell them what issues (like reducing global poverty) you are interested in. You can also mobilize those around you; just one person calling into Congress will make a difference, but if multiple people in an area call Congress about the same issue and around the same time, there will be a bigger effect. Finally, you can “bird dog” Congress, which means to go to where a legislator is speaking, and ask them publicly about poverty (For example, “What are you doing to help poverty?” or “Will you support helping reduce global poverty?”, etc).

 

7. Fundraising

Another one of the ways to help the world’s poor is fundraising. Contact people about various organizations to donate to, or use sites like Crowd Rise to start a campaign. You can also run marathons or accomplish other feats as a way to raise money, as long as you ask people to be your sponsor. You can also ask for donations to different charities rather than receiving gifts for your birthdays, weddings, or other events.

 

8. Be a Consumer with a Cause

One of the surprising ways to help the world’s poor is simply by being a consumer, or something who buys things. This can be done by buying products from websites that donate a portion of their proceeds to charity, or from nonprofit organizations that sell shirts or other merchandise to help the cause. The Borgen Project even has a Visa Card that has no annual fee, and some unique card designs. Basically, when possible, buy from places that will help the cause.

 

9. Arrange Events

One of the harder ways to help the world’s poor is arranging events. Of course, this does not need to be too difficult: you could host parties (or movie/TV show marathons with your friends!) and have a $5 (suggested donation) to get in. This can be done by living your life as normal, but adding in charity donation so that everyone can get involved. On the other hand, you can also host poverty-based events or parties with the pure purpose of raising awareness on poverty and discussing its issues. Finally, you can have a “non-event” event, where instead of going out that night, everyone donates a certain amount and stays in.

 

10. Volunteer

Finally, one of the most difficult (but, arguably, most rewarding) ways to help the world’s poor is through volunteering. This can encompass many different things: volunteer for a political campaign, volunteer for a nonprofit organization, volunteer for a movement to fight poverty or grab an internship. Personally, I am an intern writing for The Borgen Project; I do not get paid, but it helps get the message out to the world. Overall, you can find volunteer opportunities online (for example, through Idealist), but there are also local opportunities that may be available if you ask around.

To see even more easy ways to help the world’s poor, look here.

– Corina Balsamo

Source: The Borgen Project
Photo: Flickr

get_involved
Compassion is the emotion that forms out of concern for others. For many individuals, this is easy to feel, but harder to put into action. The desire to do good, but not knowing where to start and how to help are common roadblocks.

Luckily, this block is easily overcome. Whether you are young or old, well off or just getting by, there are ways to help and get involved with causes that matter to you.

1. Educate yourself

Getting involved doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be an expert, but it’s good to know at least the basics. Good questions to ask before getting involved may include: what is their goal, how are they working toward that goal, which route of involvement works best for your lifestyle, etc.

One worthy cause has shared, “Read, check out documentaries, listen to podcasts on your way to work – whatever you can do to learn the most that you can about your cause will only help… by giving you the knowledge you need to educate others and ignite change.”

2. Use your own unique skills

One of the beautiful things about the world we live in is how individuals are able to get together with varying skills in order to accomplish a similar goal. Getting involved with causes works the same way.

The key is to figure out what you can offer to your cause of choice. “Identify your skills—whether you’re bilingual, you have some teaching experience, or you’re skilled at communications and marketing—and volunteer them for an organization you care about. More importantly, use it as an opportunity to learn more about the issue and advocate for it.”

3. Social media

In the world that we live in, technology can be an incredibly easy way to promote a cause. Whether it’s a quick photo, a shared article, or a hashtag there are ways to share with your friends what matters most to you.

There are several ways to share information and raise awareness through social media. Get creative and try things out. You never know how much impact your post will have.

4. Get political

This one is often seen as the most daunting way to get involved with a cause, but it doesn’t have to be.

For individuals that don’t feel comfortable meeting with congress members, there are other ways. One that doesn’t take much time, yet accomplishes a lot, is sending a quick email. If you know of bills that are in congress that relate to your cause, let your leaders know that it matters to you.

At The Borgen Project, encouraging individuals to call or email congress members is a main aspect of the job, but why?

“Congressional staffers keep a tally of every issue that voters call, write and email the leader about. This information goes into a weekly report that is viewed by the Congressional leader. Your one email will get the issue or bill on the leaders radar.”

For those that are comfortable with putting themselves out there, lobbying, bird dogging and sending YouTube videos to congress are all excellent ways to share your support and get involved with your cause.

5. Volunteer/Fundraise

These two are usually the first things that come to mind when we think of personal involvement in a cause of our choice.

For many, a personal block is the feeling that small contributions don’t really help. “But you don’t have to be raking in thousands to donate to a cause—every little bit helps and you can start small.”

Whatever your cause is, check out the site and look for opportunities to volunteer or fundraise. Doing such is a great opportunity and often very rewarding.

The take home from this is that there are ways to get involved for everyone; no matter what lifestyle you live, there are ways to contribute.

Katherine Martin

Sources: One Green Planet, The Muse, Borgen Project
Photo: Wikimedia

Voluntourism Q & AWhat is voluntourism?

Voluntourism (volunteer tourism) is a growing travel trend. It involves trading a typical vacation for an experience volunteering in orphanages and communities in poorer regions of the world. It is an opportunity for others to assist women, men and children in need.

Who participates in voluntourism?

Typically, privileged Americans and Europeans are participants in voluntourism. Most volunteers are women between the ages of 20-25. In some cases, colleges and universities offer volunteer travel courses that replace “fun and sun” spring break trips.

When did voluntourism begin?

Voluntourism began in the 1960s when the Peace Corps was founded. Since then, the number of those volunteering as a form of vacation have steadily increased. Each year, about 1.2 million volunteers participate in voluntourism.

What are the positives associated with voluntourism?

 Traveling volunteers have the ability to engage others with important world issues. For example, after helping in Ghana, a person can return to the U.S. equipped with knowledge and stories that engage advocates. By speaking about their experience, they interest others in the cause. By doing this, more people can strive to make a difference in the lives of others. In addition, they are deepening their understanding of humanity, which contributes to a desire to create a better world for all.

What are the criticisms of voluntourism?

The biggest criticism of voluntourism is that it is a form of narcissism that allows travelers to make themselves the superheroes, the ones who “do good” for people who are impoverished. This idea can be seen when people post photos of themselves with children (that they do not know) or with people who they are helping. By posting these photos, volunteers are showcasing suffering and glorifying themselves.

For those who plan to participate in voluntourism, how can they truly have a positive experience?

The people who participate in voluntourism are by no means malicious. The problem comes when travelers are beefing up their resumes or adding a million pictures to Facebook. Voluntourism is not about self-fulfillment. For more meaningful work, leave IPhones at home or take pictures with the people you actually know. At the end of the trip, the experience isn’t really about making travelers feel good, but about donating time to help those who need it most.

Kelsey Parrotte

Sources: The Guardian, Huffington Post 1, Huffington Post 2, NPR, Pacific Standard Magazine, Responsible Travel Report
Photo: Flickr

Golden Temple in India Feeds 100,000 People Per Day
Every year, thousands of tourists line up to see the Taj Mahal in India, which is the most popular tourist destination in the country. In Amritsar, India, a Golden Temple serves 100,000 meals to the hungry every day, which is more people than the Taj Mahal attracts in a day.

The Sikhs believe the langar is a symbol of equality and not just a place for people to come eat for free. The kitchen needs an extensive number of ingredients each day, including 12,000 kilos of flour and 13,000 kilos of lentils. Most of the food is paid for up to two years in advance through donations.

At the langar, everyone gets a free hot meal regardless of their socioeconomic status or their religion. There are 450 people running the kitchen with the help of hundreds of volunteers. Over 300,000 plates, spoons and bowls are washed each day.

“There are only three things in our religion,” says a Sikh volunteer from California. “Chant the name of God, sing religious hymns and volunteer. I work as long as my legs allow me to stand.”

About 15 percent of the people in India are undernourished and 194 million people are hungry. This means a quarter of the undernourished people in the world belong to India. Also, India’s population is one of the fastest-growing populations in the world; it will one day become the most populous country.

More than 3,000 children in India die every day from illnesses related to poor nutrition. Hunger in India remains an alarming issue due to rising food prices and available agricultural land. While food grain production is increasing, it hasn’t been sufficient enough to feed the entire population.

Volunteering goes beyond the Golden Temple: donations from around the world help reduce hunger for thousands of people in India. Akshaya Patra, an NGO in India, feeds 1.4 million schoolchildren every day.

India hosts a large number of mega kitchens that feed people all over the country. Despite the rapidly growing population, the percentage of people who are undernourished and hungry is declining.

Donald Gering

Sources: Al Jazeera, Good News Network, India Food Banking, India Times, Social Progress Imperative, UNDP, WFP
Photo: SkitHub

Peace_Corps
Founded by President Kennedy in 1961, the Peace Corps has enabled thousands of Americans to serve abroad. If you’re thinking about a commitment to the Peace Corps, here are five reasons to sign up.

To Help Others

Peace Corps volunteers are driven by the need to serve others. They are typically placed abroad for commitments of 27 months, during which volunteers assist in local development projects.

These projects may deal with issues of food security, global health or gender equality. Volunteers partner with NGOs to ensure measurable results in the communities that they serve.

For example, one of the Peace Corps’ global health initiatives is the Stomping Out Malaria program. The initiative seeks to halt the spread of malaria through Africa. Volunteers partner with organizations like Malaria No More to support those who are endangered by the deadly but preventable disease.

To See the World

The mission of the Peace Corps is to promote world peace and friendship. Volunteers serve as citizen diplomats abroad and encourage international cooperation. For those who want to see the world, the Peace Corps offers a unique opportunity to live and work abroad.

Peace Corps volunteers spend several months overseas. Almost 150 countries have received volunteers to date and there are 64 countries that partner with the organization today.

Applicants can select up to three preferred locations and work sectors. It is also possible to select a “wherever I am needed” option that places volunteers in a location that would benefit the most from a Peace Corps placement.

After 27 months of service, volunteers are also given an $8,755 stipend (before taxes). This money can be used for travel once the period of service has ended.

To Grow as a Person

Peace Corps volunteers gain many different skills during their time of service. This can be useful for both personal and career development.

The Peace Corps opens new doors to other cultures that would be difficult to experience otherwise. For example, the organization provides instruction in a wide variety of languages.

The Peace Corps is also a great way to build a career. Volunteers learn leadership and teamwork, which are invaluable in almost every professional setting. Employers value cultural awareness and the ability to adapt to difficult situations.

For those looking to start a career in international development, the Peace Corps can be a great way to gain experience and make connections abroad.

To Help Defer Student Loans

Most Peace Corps volunteers are college graduates, which means a lot of volunteers will have some student loan debt. Those who serve in the Peace Corps are still solely responsible for these loans. However, they may qualify for a deferment on federal loans while serving in the Peace Corps.

Additionally, students with Perkins loans may qualify for a partial cancellation of these loans, depending on the length of their Peace Corps service as well as other considerations.

To Join a Growing Network of Returned Volunteers

The benefits of joining the Peace Corps don’t end after 27 months. Returning volunteers join a network of over 200,000 people who have completed their service.

This network can be used to keep in touch, meet other volunteers or to assist with reintegration back home. Returned volunteers who are looking for a job will find the network helpful as well.

– Kevin McLaughlin

Sources: Peace Corps 1, Peace Corps 2, Humanitarian Jobs
Photo: MIIS Communications

community_service
In order to fully comprehend poverty on a global scale, one first must understand how it affects his or her own backyard.

The only way to do that is to go out into a community, talk to members of that community and volunteer. Local volunteer work serves as the stepping stone to understanding the root causes of poverty at home and around the world.

Stacie Nevadomski Berdan and husband Marshall Berdan, authors of the book “Raising Global Children,” highlight the importance of introducing American teenagers to the world of service.

According to their book, the local service teenagers perform allows them to “develop key life skills such as empathy, compassion, negotiation skills, teambuilding and communication.” Similar skills are needed to work with people across all cultures in different situations.

There are some nationally-renowned organizations in the United States that are always searching for volunteers, especially from the middle and high school demographics. Participating in the local chapters of some of these organizations can be a springboard to completing international service trips, mission trips or even internships with NGOs.

Habitat for Humanity – With more than 1,400 chapters around the U.S., Habitat for Humanity is one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the country. For high school students, it means there are a plethora of opportunities close to home to help build a home for someone in need. Habitat also has a presence in more than 70 countries around the globe, making this organization a nice transition for students who want to do service abroad with an organization they recognize.

Girl Up – The United Nations Foundation created this campaign in order to equip and empower young women to fight for the rights of other women around the world. There are 750 Girl Up clubs across thirty-five states and forty-five countries. Anyone can start a club using the Girl Up guide, begin to advocate for women’s rights, educate about the plight of women around the world and fundraise for U.N. projects and their partners.

Boys and Girls Club of America – The BCGA was founded to provide after-school activities, tutoring, leadership training and life skills programs to students who come from impoverished areas of the U.S. without a safe place to go when the final bell rings. There are 4,000 clubs around the country with opportunities to mentor young students, to tutor or to help run camps and other activities.

Feeding America – This organization is the leader in alleviating hunger in the U.S. It is a network of food pantries that help feed more than 46 million Americans who suffer from varying degrees of hunger. The Feeding America website has an easy-to-use navigation system to find the closest food pantry. Volunteer opportunities are not limited to serving meals or packaging. Volunteers also help deliver meals, work “farmers’ markets” and grocery stores, and tutor.

Salvation Army – The Salvation Army touches upon almost every kind of service. They work with veterans, freed prisoners looking to get back on their feet and families without homes or food. They, too, have an international component. Volunteers can choose to sponsor Salvation Army projects and kids in need around the world.

By participating in service on a regular basis, high school students can expand their world view and begin to grasp what poverty must be like outside of the wealthiest country in the world. This profound realization will make them want to help not just those within their neighborhood, but also fellow human beings.

– Morgan Abate

Sources: The Salvation Army, Feeding America, Boys and Girls Club of America, Girl Up, Habitat for Humanity
Photo:Flickr

How_to_start_a_non_profit
History has shown that nonprofit organizations often arise out of the passion of young adults. Clint Borgen, for instance, began The Borgen Project as a sophomore in college. So what does it exactly take to start your own nonprofit organization?

1. A Cause

Having a passion for a global issue sparks the fuse to do something. The cause can spark from war, from pictures, from personal experience and in so many other ways. It all starts with an action or occurrence that leaves an impact on others, an impact strong enough to want to make a difference.

2. Gathering the Right Materials/Volunteers

Find volunteers who are as passionate about the cause as you are. Volunteers are what make the organization grow. They are the ones who push the idea far enough to make a difference. A committed volunteer will do wonders for the cause and those volunteers will help your nonprofit organization grow. With volunteers comes technology. You need the right apps, software, materials to keep everyone connected. Communication between all members is extremely crucial! Being aware of what others are doing and how everyone is contributing to the cause is an important attribute to the organization. Keeping everyone up-to-date with how things are done within the group and what everyone’s role is keeps every volunteer in the loop.

3. THIS IS WHAT WE DO!

As Katy Perry said, this is what we do! Let the world know what exactly you do. Be proud that you’re with an organization that supports a change in society. Spread the word and spread the cause. The more you teach, the more will learn, and therefore the more of a difference will be made. Be innovative with what you have to offer. Creativity is a key factor in making a difference. There are many nonprofit organizations that stand up for a lot of great causes and are successful because they have original ways to show what they stand for. Also make sure to network. It’s all about who you know and how you can connect with them and make a difference.

The road will only get tougher when starting an organization that has so much meaning to you and others. However, it only takes one person to make that step into changing the world; soon enough, others will want to join in the march to a difference. If the cause is strong and your passion is stronger, you too can make a change for the better.

Monica Franco

Sources: Huffington Post 1, Huffington Post 2, Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
Photo: Arizona State University