Be a Millionaire Day is coming up on May 20. Owning your own business is often a good path to millionaire status. Even those who aren’t millionaires have something to give!
At B Team Solutions, the makers of LiftYourTableⓇ folding table risers, it’s important for us to contribute to our community. We are thrilled our new office is right across the street from our local high school (click for a tour!), because we have big plans to work with students who are interested in entrepreneurship!
The two gifts anyone can give are money (which includes items) and time; both are needed in our community and likely in yours too.
Why should you give?
We know we have been fortunate in what we’ve achieved so far and we are thankful for the growth that allows us to help more and more people and all over the world! We also believe we have been blessed to be a blessing and our heart is to help other entrepreneurs.
We realize not everyone feels that way. But here’s an interesting fact: the human brain releases pleasure neuro chemicals like dopamine when we help others. Humans are social creatures. It’s not just good for the recipient to get the help they need, but it’s good for the giver to give it! (For more information, you can check out this article.)
There are a variety of ways that you can give your time to those who need it. We occasionally teach a class at the local Women’s Business Center. If you’re looking at being a professor you’ll get paid, though not much. Many of your community members could use a free or low-cost class on what you know.
Mentoring younger (or at least newer entrants to the business) is also a great way to pay it forward. As a mentor, you don’t necessarily need to set aside regular times and come up with goals and the sorts of things coaches do.
You’re mainly there as a resource, to help answer questions and to guide your mentee. Which means for an informal program that you don’t necessarily have to set aside hours and hours of your valuable time.
You may also want to serve as a connector, especially if you have an extensive network. You could connect mentees to people who can help them grow. Or you can just recognize two people who would benefit by knowing each other, and introducing them.
And of course, volunteering for a cause that you believe in is another way to give. If the environment is important to you, you might choose a beach or park cleanup in your local area. If you love animals, try spending some time at the local shelter or Humane Society.
You might also volunteer at the homeless shelter. Everyone lines up on Thanksgiving to help serve food to the homeless, so you can have a bigger impact by volunteering on a random Tuesday in June, or whenever.
The great thing about donating time in this way is that in many cases, your children can help out. Depending on age, organizations welcome young volunteers with open arms. If you feel like you don’t have enough time to spend with your kids and you still want to give back, here you go! Just check with the charity to ensure that your kids are old enough for them.
There are plenty of sites on the internet like Charity Navigator that rank particular charities along different factors. That way you can be sure you’re helping a legitimate organization, and not one that’s going to reward its board of directors with your labor.
Having said that, some true charities do spend more money on administration. Sometimes the nature of the work they do requires coordinators, liaisons, staff, etc. Administrative costs shouldn’t be your only deciding factor.
Busy people don’t always have time to volunteer, and most charities need more money. Or you can find one that needs your money and will do good things with it.
Again, it’s a good idea to check the online sites to make sure your charity of choice is up to your standards. A smaller local organization may not be picked up by the ratings sites, and you might have to use your judgment there. You can also ask around your community and see what people have to say about it.
You’re going to have a bigger impact by choosing two or maybe three organizations to give your money to. Giving $5 to whoever’s in front of the grocery store is fine occasionally, but won’t move the needle that much. Decide on a budget for your charitable giving and where the money will go.
For example, if you’ve set aside $5,000 (which is 10% for someone making $50,000 a year), you might pick two and give $2,500 to each. Or you may decide you do want to put aside a little money for the local charities you see at the store, and give the remainder to your “main” charities.
For the most part, money is better than items. Many communities run a canned food drive for the holidays, but the homeless shelters have access to better pricing than you do. And they know what their clients need better than you do, so donating money is usually better.
Though of course, there are situations where items are just fine. Giving your (gently used) furniture to the thrift store while you’re remodeling your home can be a great solution.
Many shelters around the holidays allow you to “pick” a family and buy things for them. Money would still probably be better. But if the kids are about the same age as yours, you’ll have experts in the age group helping you shop, and they’ll benefit from choosing the gifts too.
Or there may be a bag drive for the homeless or foster kids. That way they can have a suitcase or duffel bag to carry their stuff around in, rather than a garbage bag as many shelters can only provide. The organizations don’t necessarily have budgets for these kinds of items.
You don’t have to be a millionaire to give gifts of money and items, and your kids can join in too. Though of course, when you reach millionaire status, you’ll have more ability to donate!
Aware of an organization that uses folding tables and needs some folding table risers? We have discounts for bulk orders, so let us know! Click here to see our full product line.
Lift Your TableⓇ…SAVE YOUR BACK!