by Brenton Crozier
So philanthropic work doesn’t come easy for all of us. Heck, you may not like doing things like exerting any effort, altering your schedule or you may simply not be able to get around your misanthropic nature in the call of doing good for others. And by “you,” I may even mean me, but let’s not start pointing fingers. Anyway, you will be happy to know that you can contribute through the awesome power that is The Internet [add epic microphone echo sound]!
While working local shelters, conducting food drives and volunteering at your kid’s school are noble pursuits, some foundations, charities or even ideas may just need your efforts by means of opening your wallets and friend lists. Money and awareness are pivotal to the goals of just about any organization and you can easily help by taking measures online.
Nothing can make your reach local like the internet, but hey, focus already will ya? We’re talking about improving Jacksonville. And while your inclination may be to think about charitable means, it’s just as important to focus on the cultural aspects of a city in the context of improving, hence my varied web destinations. So cozy up on your couch and do some improving.
Some of the hardest parts of giving are knowing what causes to give to and avoiding being taken advantage of. There are a lot of places looking for your hard-earned money. The Community Foundation in Jacksonville benefits “nonprofit organizations through the charitable gifts and grants made through the foundation.” In addition to gifts and grants, the foundation shares knowledge, resources and ideas with community leaders. There are more than 280 funds that you can contribute to through the foundation that ranges from just about any charitable need you can think of to awards and scholarships. It’s really simple to contribute directly through the website and you can designate which fund, grant or interest you would specifically like to give to. There’s been lots of phenomenal work done through the Community Foundation in Jacksonville, and you can play a big part in continuing their work, whether it be a donation or spreading the word about their work . . . it’s not like you are using your Facebook to post anything important.
Kickstarter is a “New Way to Fund & Follow Creativity.” This is an insanely cool concept. So anybody can launch a campaign through their website. You can put together a presentation to let people know what you would like to raise money for. Then you have 30 days to raise the amount of your goal. If you don’t reach your goal, you don’t get anything, but if you do reach it within the allotted time, you get all of it save a modest fee that Kickstarter takes. No, this is not Jacksonville focused, but I bring this to your attention for two reasons. First, you can use the search function to find projects based in Jacksonville and support them. You can give as little as a dollar and each project creates incentives for different pledge levels. Secondly, you can use this as a fundraising tool and easily promote it by distributing a link. Kickstarter features numerous types of projects from education alternatives and urban farming movements to bands trying to record their record and filmmakers trying to make their movie.
OK, so this was pitched as a “improve Jacksonville from the comfort of your couch,” but, you may need some fresh air or hate the television lineup for the night. Hands On Jacksonville provides you with a virtual database to find worthy uses for some of your extra time. There are hundreds of opportunities! From volunteer openings to work with children, in education and in health care to working cool fundraising events, animal care and environmental work.