We survived our fourth nor’easter, and the snow is starting to melt. With sunshine and warmer days right around the corner, spring is a great time to think about giving back to the local community. There are so many ways to get involved in Brooklyn and to bring that springtime warmth to our neighbors. With over 130 nonprofit organizations registered with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, there’s no shortage of ways to get involved. Check out a few ideas below, or use one of our tips to support a cause that’s close to your heart!
Host A Fundraising Event
Nonprofit organizations are only able to run their programs because of generous donations from the community. Thus, one of the best ways to make an impact is to host a fundraising event. There are so many creative ways to fundraise that allow to tailor an event to your community to get maximum engagement. Think about using a fundraising ticket platform to sell tickets to your event, manage attendance, and track your progress. You can also reach out to the organization you’re raising funds for to ask them to promote your event. Here are some deserving Brooklyn organizations that might inspire you to host your own fundraising event:
This wonderful organization provides the opportunity for children of low-income families in Brooklyn to attend sleep-away camp. Since they were founded in 2002, Camp Brooklyn Fund has been able to send over 3,000 kids to camp. They recognize they way that a sleep-away camp experience can transform the life of the children they serve, as well as their families and local communities. $750 sends one kid to sleep-away camp for two weeks, so it’s easy to measure the impact of your fundraising event!
Services for the Underserved has providing support to those in need in our community since 1978. Their programs are expansive, ranging from intellectual and developmental disabilities to housing to urban farming. Consider hosting a fundraising event specific to one of the organizations many services and donate the proceeds to support that initiative!
Organize A Drive
Many organizations are in constant need of supplies that support their programs. Another great way to make an impact is to host a drive. See if a local business, church, or school would be willing to partner with you, and then designate that location for people to drop off their donations. Be sure to promote your event to the local community. Consider hanging fliers, posting on local Facebook pages, and asking community leaders to spread the word! Get inspired by these two nonprofits who are in need of supply donations:
Extreme Kids & Crew uses arts- and play-based programming to help children with disabilities and their families, connect, create and learn together. Since its founding in 2010, it has expanded their offerings to include an after-school program, a summer camp, family programming, parent support groups, and other monthly arts-focused events. Their Amazon Wishlist is full of creative products that will help them better serve the community, making them a great fit for a supply drive!
This Brooklyn based nonprofit has addressed unemployment, homelessness, childcare, hunger, teen pregnancy and literacy in our community since 1979. More specifically, the food bank provides food for approximately 4,000 people per month, and distributes food twice each week. Consider partnering with a local grocery store to encourage shoppers to purchase and donate a few cans of food while getting their weekly groceries to make an even bigger impact.
Volunteer Your Time
Volunteering is another excellent way to give back to Brooklyn this spring. Many nonprofits are in need of extra help, and you may have a specific skill set that they will find valuable. In addition, volunteering can have many positive effects on the volunteer as well feeling valued as part of a team, increased self-confidence, learning new skills, and making new connections in the community. Consider volunteering at one of these Brooklyn-based organizations:
GallopNYC uses therapeutic horsemanship empower the lives of children and adults with disabilities and special needs, including veterans and at-risk youth. The organization is looking for volunteers who are able to commit two hours per week and are passionate about working with those with special needs as well as with horses. The best part is that no experience is necessary! GallopNYC works with up to 500 riders per week, and each rider needs three volunteers, so there will be plenty of demand for your time.
This organization has been using arts education as a vehicle for social transformation. Since 1994, it has provided in-school, after school, and community programming to transform Red Hook, Brooklyn through the arts. There are numerous opportunities to volunteer, including helping at the annual Red Hook Fest, sharing your career success story in the entrepreneurship/media class, or speaking about your personal journey from highschool to adulthood to In Transition students.
Whether volunteering your time, organizing a drive or fundraiser, or sending a personal donation to a local organization, think about how you can help give back to the local Brooklyn community this spring. If we each commit to help, we can make a big impact!