Thanksgiving is just around the corner. And like Wilderness Explorer Russell who just needs to help out the elderly (Carl) in UP, we all are getting in the spirit of giving. The holidays have become a time where every where you turn there is an ask for help.

There are literally thousands of non profits and some really tug at the heart strings. Cures for diseases, dogs and cats who need homes, disaster relief, the arts, and the list goes on and on. Some things to consider:

1. Make sure as you are giving you know how you are giving to. Visit CharityNavigator.org and see what rating the organization has including how much money is allocated to the actual cause you donated to. Yes there are charities out there where less than five cents for every dollar makes it to the cause.
2. You can’t save everyone. There are groups, especially with animals that are doing good, but so much good it is actually bad. If you are looking to donate to an animal group it is important to know how they do business. Some people foster animals but it ends up as more of a hoarding situation. A good animal rescue has a capacity limit and there should be a revolving door of adoption. (also- remember pets are not gifts they are commitments for the duration of the pet’s life!)
3. Make it a team effort. Lots of charities have lists of what they need to be successful or lists of items they would like to gift to selected kids. Perhaps your corporate Christmas tree can have gift tags with these items for employees to select and fulfill. Seeing that pile of gifts is a great morale boost to any workplace.
4. Make it a challenge. Consider having a food drive challenge between departments. You can compete in the most weight donated, the most items, etc. Contact a local food bank and see what items they need and as a company you can feed families over the holidays.
There are so many ways to make a difference. Need help finding a charity, organizing the giving campaign, or managing the entire activity? Fun-Nominal Events & Marketing would love to help you make a difference.

Oh- and the next three items in this email are great ways to give back!