When it comes to charitable giving, the majority of us are loyal. We go with who we “know” (if not by personal contact, by name), the counsel of friends and family, as well as humanitarian tragedies as they unfortunately occur near and far from our home base. Some choose to give to local religious organizations, homeless or women’s shelters and hospital programs. Others look to donate on a more global scale (big players like Red Cross, the majority of who have local branches). Still others choose a mix of the two. Whatever your personal giving breakdown might be, it’s no surprise that reputation plays a crucial role in charitable contributions.
In the current recession climate, today’s “giver” is fussier than ever – we want to know how, where and why our money will be used. We are often unsure of our options, about how exactly to engage. That’s precisely what the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley’s “Choose Your Impact” campaign aims to do – make the choice that much easier. Those who chose to donate to the year-old campaign – a campaign unique to the Massachusetts’ United Way branch – have options ranging from supporting Haiti earthquake victims to helping a Patriot player’s fight to increase opportunities for youth. It goes further – you can “personalize a cause” to share with friends and family, as well as see where your money is going to help agencies funded by United Way. These kind of flexible, targeted opportunities for giving are here to stay. Let’s not forget the “buy local” trend, which lends appeal to local charities. And what feels better than seeing a donation’s impact?
That’s not all United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley is getting right. The nonprofit was recently featured for its social media prowess in a Boston Globe article on charitable giving. While the article claims that traditional fundraising efforts are still effective (word-of-mouth, traditional media outlets, etc.), social media outreach – everything from blogs to YouTube clips – is an inexpensive no-brainer for nonprofits like United Way to maximize their impact and fund raise on local, nationwide and even international levels.
This season before you donate (and it does feel so good), check out your favorite charities’ websites to see how they are spreading their message of goodwill. Remember: you get to choose.
Wishing all our readers a happy and safe Thanksgiving!