Why Nonprofits Matter

screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-12-31-10-pmOriginally published in Huffington Post 12/6/16
By Shane Power, President of Watertree Health, and Lisa Chau, Communications Manager of Watertree Health

December_Thought Leadership_<span class='notranslate'>Watertree Health</span>

Nonprofit organizations have a long history of addressing issues not tackled by the government; problems that have become their causes: homelessness, poverty, hunger, climate change, education, animal cruelty, gender inequality, etc. They can be local or national in scope, from a neighborhood health clinic to the American Red Cross.

Nonprofits are all around us and touch millions of lives each day. You would be hard pressed to find anyone who has not been touched in some way by a nonprofit organization, whether they knew it or not.

But the work of nonprofits is far from done. The sad fact is, typically the issues don’t lessen, as amNewYork’s Sheila Anne Feeney reported,

A new study issued by the Food Bank of NYC “Hunger Cliff NYC: Bridging a City’s Monthly 5.3 Million Meal Loss” found an uptick of visitors seeking food from nine out of ten food kitchens and food pantries. In September, the shortage of food in these organizations meant that over a third of people did not receive the assistance they sought.

Giving our money and time to nonprofits matters because these organizations are crucial to sustaining healthy societies that continue to grow.

The National Council of NonProfits reminds us that,

Nonprofits embody the best spirit and values of our nation. They help millions of individuals and families daily. They protect, feed, heal, shelter, educate, and nurture our bodies and spirits. Nonprofits also give shape to our boldest dreams, highest ideals, and noblest causes. They turn our beliefs into action – as promoters of democracy, champions of the common good, incubators of innovation, laboratories of leadership, protectors of taxpayers, responders in times of trouble, stimulators of the economy, and weavers of community fabric.

Millennials have embraced the power of social responsibility and they will be the driving force in pushing and growing the future of philanthropy. They want purpose in the workplace and they are volunteering their way to better mental health.

The strength in organized, committed numbers means that nonprofits are forming new alliances for even greater effect. “When we come together around shared purpose, we see opportunities instead of problems. When we share our strengths, our actions are amplified and impact becomes investments in others,” says Tim McDonald, Co-Creator of CreatingIs, LLC and LIFEworking.

It’s important to remember that the end of the year is important to nonprofits. Monies they raise now will help determine what and how many programs they can fund next year to address their cause. Go to Charity Navigator and find a nonprofit whose mission speaks to you. Donate and/or fundraise for that organization. Also consider volunteering for them.

Nonprofits matter, and what you do matters. You can make a difference.

Co-authored with Shane Power, President of Watertree Health, where Lisa works in communication and business development.