by Lise-Marie Keyser, Marketing Coordinator at Nation Builder
Many of us recognise the incredible work NPOs are doing in our nation and would like to get involved, but do not have the budget to do so on a large scale, or cannot afford to make a longterm commitment. Find your perfect way to effectively support NPOs – without donating money – from these seven options.
1) Volunteer your time or skills
Volunteering your time or skills to an NPO brings you into direct contact with a passionate group of people who are making a difference in their communities. As such, it can be an incredibly rewarding and educational experience, and can open up other opportunities that you might not have been aware of before experiencing the NPO in action. Volunteering is also based on your availability – which means it can be anything from a once-off project to a longterm commitment. Just keep in mind that you should meet the actual requirements of the NPOs that you want to support, and follow their lead.
2) Exchange products or services
Bartering is the exchange of products or services without exchanging any money, for example, you can provide an NPO with office space, in exchange for their administration services.
3) Donate raw materials or other items
Donating surplus raw materials or items that you no longer need, is a straight-forward and easy way to help someone else while also helping yourself. But before you donate, please make sure whether or not the NPO i) wants the materials or items, ii) can afford to maintain it, and iii) can repair it if it isn’t in good working condition.
4) Do pro bono work
Pro bono work is professional work – such as medical, accounting or legal services – provided without payment, or at a greatly reduced fee. It differs from volunteering because it is a service that provides specific professional skills to those who are unable to afford them. This can also be based on your availability, and some of your expenses could be tax deductible.
5) Buy their products
Buying products from an NPO supports it financially and strengthens its sustainability. Whether you do this from an individual or a business perspective – for example, you can buy handcrafted items at a market, or allocate a contract to a local NPO as one of your business suppliers – it is a great way to extend dignity to people, and empower the entrepreneurial spirit.
6) Use their services for a fee
Similar to buying their products, paying for an NPO’s services can range from an individual, once-off event, to concluding a legal contract for providing a specific, regular and longterm service to your business. This option is especially effective when the services provided are aligned with the NPO’s mission and furthers its primary aims.
7) Provide training or mentorship
Training and mentorships can help the NPO workers – and/or their beneficiaries – to expand their skills and expertise. This could include developing much-needed operational skills that drives efficiency in the private sector, and can even become part of your HR recruiting strategy!
At the end of the day, having a positive social impact isn’t about money – it’s about people.
Nation Builder is a platform that equips and inspires businesses to have a positive social impact in South Africa. As part of the Mergon Group, they collaborate across sectors to co-create resources that assist businesses in their social development work. They host regular events that bring together people who are committed to using their business as a force for good, and their continuous research is aimed at supporting business to partner well with non-profit organisations and the government, in order to build a prosperous South Africa. Contact them for more information, or join their community for free by completing an online social impact assessment.