Muhammad Babangida is a committed philanthropist from Nigeria

Tag: Community Service

Small Steps for Community Improvement

Many people don’t have time to volunteer for community projects amidst busy work schedules and family demands. However, even with busy schedules, there are still ways to make a difference in the community. Here are some small steps you can take to have a positive impact on your community.

1. Shop Local

You can also save money by shopping with local businesses. They often offer free gift-wrapping and delivery services, and a portion of their sales go to the local community.

2. Speak Positively of Your Community

Share positive aspects of your community with other people. Doing so will help boost the local economy and encourage more people to shop locally.

3. Attend Local Events

You can also support local organizations by attending a festival or other event. These are usually fundraisers for local non-profit organizations. By attending, you can help raise money for the organizations.

4. Speak Up to People in Power

Write a letter to your local elected officials and encourage them to make good decisions for the community. Doing so will make them feel valued and encourage them to make better decisions.

5. Cultivate Beauty

Put a plant on your front porch to spruce up the appearance of your home. Doing so will make it look better and make the whole neighborhood look more attractive.

6. Be Neighborly

Take time to cook dinner for an older neighbor and deliver a plate to her next door. Doing this will let you get to know the people in the neighborhood and ward off crime.

7. Collect Donations

You can also help the community by participating in school programs that collect toys, clothes, and food for the less fortunate.

8. Embrace Volunteer Opportunities

If your company has a volunteer program, encourage them to participate in local events and join a civic organization. Having employees represent the company at large events will help boost their visibility.

9. Pick Up Trash

Walk around the neighborhood and pick up any litter that’s left behind. This will help build up your energy and get in some exercise while also cleaning up the neighborhood.

Doing our part to improve the community strengthens our ties with our neighbors and demonstrates what it means to be a good citizen.

 

Characteristics of the Best Philanthropists

People who are philanthropists are individuals who want to make a positive difference in the lives of others through the donation of their assets and services. They come from various socioeconomic backgrounds, and there are many characteristics that they share.

  1. Desire to Improve Lives

People who are philanthropists show a deep concern for the well-being of others. They do not expect recognition or compensation for their efforts.

  1. Understand Others’ Struggles

Philanthropists are likely to be sensitive to the struggles of others. They are obligated to do what they can to make them better.

  1. Strong Social Awareness

Philanthropists are also open-minded individuals who are aware of their surroundings. They seek to understand the motivations of others in order to improve their lives.

  1. Future-Focused

People who want to make a positive difference in the world tend to look beyond the immediate issues and focus on the long-term goals of improving society. They realize that it is important to address the underlying issues in order to make lasting changes.

  1. Involved in Government

As philanthropists, they are also advocates for political change. They believe that it is important to advocate for social change in order to make it happen. This is because it allows for progress on a broader scale.

  1. Tackle Individual Issues

Instead of supporting organizations, successful philanthropists seek to support specific causes. They first identify the issue they would like to see change in, then look for organizations that can help make it happen. They then use their own resources and those of other groups to find the best solution.

  1. Utilize Business Principles

Philanthropists typically look at their contributions as an investment in society, and they use the money and resources efficiently. Similar to business leaders, successful philanthropists use their networks to promote a cause. They do not exclusively support nonprofit organizations, but they also support for-profit ventures and legislative initiatives.

 

Growing Community Engagement For Your Small Business

Just as your business is integral to building a thriving economy for your community, a community is vital to succeeding as a business at all. Community involvement allows businesses to build relationships with their consumer base, increase brand awareness, and further their visibility and outreach. No matter how it’s done, business owners should encourage community members to get involved with their business to build customer loyalty and increase the overall benefits for both the community and the business

 

That being said, it’s not as easy as someone snapping their fingers to create an engaged community, nor can a business expect its community to engage with it at every opportunity presented. Business owners need to put in work if they want their community to actively engage with them and further their presence in the community.

 

One thing many business owners forget is that their community is made up of people. Social media makes it easy to forget that a community is more than accounts on a screen; though beneficial, the human aspect of engagement should never be forgotten. This goes for both the consumer and the employees running the social media accounts: everyone is human, so everyone should be treated as such. Additionally, social media takes away the all-important face-to-face interaction that many clients and businesses need to build a lasting relationship. When possible to meet face-to-face safely, encourage in-person interactions, and take advantage of the human aspect of relationships.

 

Engagement doesn’t all fall onto the business owner, however. Employees are just as vital in creating community engagement and connecting with others, so they should be encouraged to become involved with local organisations related and unrelated to work. Connections aren’t kept to one place—they can form anywhere. It’s vital that businesses support their employees, then, so that they can pursue interests outside of work and create these lasting connections.

 

Another way to engage with the local community is by being completely transparent with customers and overcommunicating. If there are big changes coming to the business, communicate those changes and the reasoning behind said changes prompt; if possible, let people know about it in advance. Overcommunicating is better than under-communicating, and customers deserve to know what decisions are being made. If they are kept in the loop, they are much more likely to be supportive of a business. 

 

For the biggest impact on a community, business owners should get themselves involved in community initiatives. These can often be found on the local municipality website; cities, villages, and townships are likely to post important initiatives to their municipality site. If any questions arise, simply talk to the local city administrator or clerk to ask how to get involved.

How Your Company Can Include Philanthropy in its Culture

Corporate philanthropy can be extremely beneficial not just for your community, but for your business’s visibility and reputation within the community you’re located in as well. Whether you’re volunteering in your community, supporting causes you care about, or donating to charitable causes, partaking in corporate philanthropy has an abundance of positive benefits that make it worth considering. You can build a strong sense of community with your employees and customers, give back to your community at large, and become more appealing to younger employees who seek out businesses that hold philanthropy in high regard. 

 

How can you start getting involved in corporate philanthropy?

 

An easy way to start on your business’s philanthropic journey is to offer volunteer time off to your employees. This will give your employees time to support organisations and causes that they hold dear to their hearts while not having to worry about using up precious PTO or taking an unpaid day off to get involved. Having volunteer time off, or VTO, will encourage your employees to become socially responsible and dedicate their time to charitable causes. It will also help attract and retain talented employees for your business.

 

More internally, corporate philanthropy should start with ethical labour practices. You must adopt fair pay for the work your employees put in—their time isn’t worth nothing, after all. Once you adopt ethical labour practices, you can go to your company’s social media pages and encourage your followers and other industry leaders to follow in your footsteps. You can even take it a step further by creating and hosting events that surround this topic for other companies.

 

Perhaps your product or service will be beneficial to others when offered charitably. Businesses can participate in philanthropy by offering their services to others pro bono; ideally, you’ll be offering these services to organisations that are involved in charity work. It’s a great way to build awareness for a cause you care about while helping those around you by doing something within your field of business.

 

Lastly, you could partner your business with a charitable organisation that means something to you. This will offer ongoing opportunities to become involved in philanthropic deeds and show your community that your business is committed to giving back. Charitable organisations can become an integral part of your business model and give new meaning to yourself, your products or services, and your efforts at large.

How to Give Back to Your Community

Residents and businesses of a community make up the network of safety nets that give help and support to adults and children. There are no limits to how essential services to the community can be achieved. Just look at your neighbors, young and old, and the need will be visible.

Food Donations

The holiday season should not be the only time that food care packages be distributed to families and the elderly population. Once or twice a month, anyone can set aside a small amount of money to take advantage of nonperishable food sales, in their local grocery stores, to create a food basket that will help with daily meals throughout the year.

Form a Literacy Club for Children

You don’t need to be an expert in child education to start a group for children that provides books, tutoring, and writing contests for the development of reading and writing skills. Books can be bought for minimal amounts at thrift stores and a creative mind can organize writing competitions with prizes and awards.

Personal Care Kits for the Homeless

Personal hygiene items may seem basic to someone with a steady residence, but to homeless individuals, a bar of soap and a toothbrush help someone maintain their dignity. The supplies for a personal care kit can be easily purchased at dollar discounts stores. Once assembled, these packages can be donated to shelters, group homes or any other places where people reside in a group setting.

Don’t Forget Our Fury Friends

Pets give love and companionship to so many people who do not have human companionship. Pet animal hospitals and veterinarians can offer a lifeline of treatments, medications and shelter to low income families that may be forced to surrender their pet because of lack of money.

Improve the Quality of Life of the Elderly and Disabled

Individuals or employees of companies can create a lottery system to offer their services for simple tasks around the homes of elderly and disabled residents. Washing windows, shampooing carpets, trash removal, simple sewing tasks, and organizing closets and living spaces can make someone’s home clean and inviting.

Visit the Sick and Lonely

Nursing homes and assisted living centers house many people who do not have families that visit frequently so holidays and birthdays go uncelebrated. Greeting cards and sweet treats, in dollar discount stores, are in abundance for someone who would like to brighten the life of a person who may not receive anything on special occasions.

Giving Back To The Community

Our immediate or extended environment is a source of success, happiness and much more. Whether one owns a business or works as a salaried person, he or she is largely dependent on the society for fulfilling his/her professional and personal needs.

Hence It is rather imperative and necessary that we share some part of our success, happiness and gains with the society. While many would see it as a nice gesture, the value that “giving” towards non-profit reasons would generate is priceless.

When you want to do something for your immediate or the larger society, there is no dearth of opportunities. Below are a few tips and ideas that will help you be happier, valued and reputed through the act of giving and donation-making.

In-Kind Donations

There are many things and items that we do not need, and they are there occupying our precious space. The best way of getting rid of such items is to donate them to those who can actually use them or to someone who is in need of them. Clothes, utensils, old electronics… the list of items that you can dispose at this very moment can be extensive if you could just look for them.

Fundraising For Solving A Crisis That Affects A Society

The recent trend towards societal donation now is to solve an actual crisis faced by a community. Many different organizations (both “for” and “non” profit), community members and groups and even public agencies collaborate and link with each other and do the fundraising rounds. The cash and resources generated are used in order to solve a problem or crisis that one segment or the whole of the society faces. While you need more efforts, planning and time here, the results have far-reaching consequences.

When you want to make it short, you can also indulge in the shorter “donation drives” and can generate some donations at the public and private functions by having your own private stall or canopy.

Prizing Those Who Deserve It

Donation can also be made towards the meritorious scholars, police/fire/ military/ health care and other staff and members and other personnel and agencies that have done some extraordinary work within the society. Those who indulge in the disaster-relief operations also need more resources, and you can extend your charity towards the victims of flood, earthquake and other disasters as well.

Financial Philanthropy

Both businessmen and individuals can actually donate cash and can indulge in financial philanthropy if their needs have been fulfilled and there are humongous profits and gains respectively.

For businesses, this gesture can be very fruitful in the long run as the society views the organizations favorably who actually do something for the poorest that also make a part of it. The business that donates cash will get an instant media coverage, an excellent PR coverage, and will be better involved within the community. Finances can also be donated to a charity organization or a local NGO (Non-Government Organization).

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