A friend and colleague of mine expressed his frustration this morning on Facebook. Rather than proclaiming that one’s “thoughts and prayers” were with various people, cities, etc. he questioned why responses weren’t more along the lines of “Our money and our votes and our volunteer time are with…” And while I am a firm believer in the need for prayer and good thoughts – I try my best to do both – I agree with my friend. There is a lot more that all of us can do as we contemplate what happened in Orlando this past weekend.
And this is where philanthropy steps in.
If you are feeling powerless or frustrated or angry or (better yet) motivated, do something about it today. Right now. Philanthropy gives all of us that perfect opportunity to make a difference in our very troubled and challenging world. Making a philanthropic contribution is something that everyone can do. Everyone. Philanthropy doesn’t require that you give away your entire life savings. All it requires is that you give. And the best part is – you can give to anything you want!
No matter what has made you angry, upset or motivated in the wake of the shootings in Orlando, there’s a way to address it through philanthropy. There are organizations and causes out there that focus on all of the topics that have been thrust together by this awful tragedy. Reducing gun violence, teaching tolerance and understanding between cultures, emergency medical services, bereavement counseling, GLBT rights, community activism, and more – they all have nonprofit organizations behind them providing services and leading movements to tackle these and other challenging issues.
Make sure you do a little bit of homework. Google a topic that’s of interest to you and see which nonprofits are focusing on that issue. Think about what’s important to you. Take a look at the organization’s website. Feel free to look the organization up on Great Nonprofits, Guidestar or Charity Navigator. Thoughtful philanthropy is usually the best philanthropy, whether it’s for a $10 gift, a $1,000 gift or a $10,000 gift.
So it’s ok to pray. It’s ok to keep the people of Orlando in your thoughts. But let those prayers and thoughts lead you to action. Do something today about it today. Give.
NOTE: The searches in the hyperlinks above were done using Google Chrome, using those exact words as the search terms. You are encouraged to do some exploring on your own for nonprofits that focus on issues important to you.