When we think about charitable giving, the word “creative” doesn’t necessarily pop into mind first. But, acts of supporting our communities and the causes we care about don’t need to be limited to tearing off the bottom of an “ask” letter and including a check. Need some inspiration for other ways to make a difference? Start here.
1. Donate your unwanted stuff. Clear out your house or office and help someone in need. Win-win. Check out Habitat for Humanity ReStores that are located around Oregon. They accept a variety of new and reclaimed building materials, furniture and appliances in good working condition. Or look into a Buy Nothing Project in your community. The group accepts clothing, food and even services to meet the needs of other members.
2. Give gifts that give back. Who needs another set of dish towels or new t-shirt, anyway? Consider making a donation in honor of someone special to pay tribute to their celebration. On The Oregon Community Foundation website, you can search funds that may resonate with the recipient and do good for a cause they care about. Access to higher education important to them? Check out the scholarship funds and help make a student’s dreams come true.
3. Dedicate your hobby to charity or get fit for a cause. Photographer, knitter, multi-lingual? Donate your services or products to an organization that could really benefit. Or if you want to sweat it out, run or walk for a charitable “thon,” or use the Charity Miles app on your phone to make each mile a charitable gift.
4. Leverage matching gifts. Many employees don’t realize that their employers will match their charitable gifts, making the donation go even farther. Check with your company to see if they support this kind of philanthropy and if so, take advantage of it to stretch your contribution. Run your own business? Think about the legacy and cycle of philanthropy you can create.
5. Join with others in your community and friend group and donate to a pooled fund at The Oregon Community Foundation, where your dollars will go even further to support causes you care about. Consider the OCF Leadership Fund that supports the critical issues in our state, including education, access to health care and economic vitality.
At the end of the day, finding a fulfilling way to engage with your community and the causes you care about is all that matters. For more information about making your mark in Oregon, visit oregoncf.org.
About The Oregon Community Foundation: The mission of The Oregon Community Foundation is to improve lives for all Oregonians through the power of philanthropy. OCF works with individuals, families, businesses and organizations to create charitable funds to support the community causes they care about. Through these funds OCF awarded more than $108 million in grants and scholarships in 2016. For more information about OCF, please visit: www.oregoncf.org.
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