How To Plan a Community Service Project

If you have been tasked with organizing a community service project within your workplace or organization, you probably need some basic advice to get things moving. Today’s article is just that: a rough outline of the things you’ll need to do to help ensure a successful project.

 

Gauge Interest in the Project

Excitement and enthusiasm are vital elements of any service or outreach initiative. If you can’t find enough people who want to work on your project, don’t try to force things forward. Step back and come up with another plan.

 

Offer A Few Options

Once you have a clear gauge of the type of project that appeals to the majority, offer a few options, and let your volunteers decide which one(s) most of them prefer. Make the decision based on overall interest and the most immediate need.

If, for example, your goal is urban renewal, what sort of project do you want to pursue? Will you spend a week cleaning up graffiti from public buildings? Will you adopt space in your local park to maintain? Will you organize a block party to facilitate tighter community bonds? Go with majority rule and start planning immediately.

 

Organize Your Team

Determine which of your team members will best fill the various roles in the planning and execution processes. If necessary, interview your volunteers to determine where they will fit in best. Keep it informal, but don’t be afraid to ask important questions.

 

Secure All Necessary Permits and Permissions

If there is any chance that your project will interfere with local businesses, it is necessary to reach out to those businesses and communicate what will be happening. Take any strong protests seriously and try to work out reasonable solutions. The response is bound to be very positive, and you might even get a few sponsors along the way.

Also, be sure that your activities won’t require special city permits. If it turns out, they will secure them. Above all, do your prep at this stage well ahead. Three months out is a good median, but shorter notice can also be worked out with a bit of finesse.

 

Follow the above advice at the planning stages, and your event will be set up well for success. When the day (or first day) of your event arrives, the confidence in your own good planning will be a huge motivator to the rest of your team.

 

Community Service Ideas For College-Bound Students

For some college students, community service will be a prerequisite for graduation. Others might enjoy volunteering. Regardless of the reason for their participation, community service opportunities for college students might include:

 

Campus Initiatives

Typically, numerous campus-based volunteer opportunities will be available. Common in-house activities can include anti-bullying campaigns and mental health counseling for students dealing with emotional, personal, or academic struggles.

 

Helping The Homeless Or Poor

Unfortunately, regardless of where a student attends college, there is a good chance that the city or town has homeless or impoverished people in need of assistance. Community organizations charged with helping struggling populations can typically benefit from eager and enthusiastic young people seeking to help their fellow man.

 

Working With The Elderly

Facilities housing persons of advanced age can usually be found in most communities. Working with elderly people can be quite rewarding for young people. Older individuals appreciate the time youthful persons take to spend with them. In turn, sage subjects can impart a great deal of wisdom that can benefit college students as they progress in their lives and careers.

 

Becoming Involved With Various Houses Of Worship

Houses of worship encompassing many religious denominations will often be found in a college student’s new community. Churches, synagogues, and mosques often oversee or sponsor a plethora of charitable endeavors and are always looking for eager volunteers to help perform various essential tasks.

 

Organizing Environmental Improvement Projects

Regardless of where people relocate, the environment always plays a vital part in their life. Dirty, damaged or tainted lands not only renders impacted locations aesthetically unpleasing but could ultimately threaten the health and safety of those who reside there. Therefore, many college students choose to participate in environmental improvement projects. One such simple effort is to gather a group of people to clean a public area such as a park.

 

Helping Young People

Many communities have a certain percentage of at-risk youths who could benefit from a college student’s influence. Some university students opt to join mentoring programs in which they spend a bit of time each week (or whenever the schedules of mentor and mentee permits) with youth in need. They provide advice, answer any questions they may have, and serve as their advocate.

 

Tips For Planning a Community Service Project for Your Office

Carl Turnley Planning a community Service project for your office

Community service projects are great incentives to help make a difference in the society while also winning the hearts of the locals. As a company, it is important to consider organizing an event where the company and its employees focus on giving back to society. The success of every corporate-organized community service project is dependent on how well-planned the entire event is. Here are some tips on what to focus on when planning for such a day for your office.

 

Choosing the Right Cause

As a company, you probably have existing social goals and values that you stand for. When organizing for a community service project, you should endeavor to choose a cause, that matches your internal objectives. For example, if your company appreciates and upholds the importance of environmental awareness, then you may choose a suitable project, such as cleaning the neighborhood and planting trees. Choosing the right project ensures that you fulfill what your company stands for.

 

Setting the Right Date

When setting a date for your company’s community service project, you should always try to select a day that is favorable for all workers associated with your company. Setting the right date ensures that most of your employees are available to dedicate their time to work on the community service project. Certain days of the week, such as Fridays and Saturdays, can work best. 

 

Gamifying the Project

Employees value community service projects because they get an opportunity to interact and work outside the office environment. To increase employees’ morale and ability to benefit from the project, you may choose to gamify the entire social event by setting different teams, which engage in small competitions.

 

Setting the logistics right

The success of a community service project is highly dependent on how well-planned it is. The logistical aspect of the planning process is perhaps the most challenging. To ease your work, you may have to allocate different responsibilities to different employees. Finding workers who are passionate about community service and giving them responsibilities to organize the project increases the chances of success.

When allocating additional responsibilities to the employees, it is important to leverage their passions and skills. For instance, allowing workers from the finance department to handle the project’s financial aspects enables them to put their skills to good use.

 

How Has Philanthropy Changed Over the Years?

carl-turnley-charity2During the last decade we have witnessed the beginning of a financial crisis occurring around the world as well as a recession that seems to be impending. This has started to cause a major drop in resources that could be available for both grant makers and grant seekers. Within these ten years we saw the first-ever smartphone appear and changed the way we seek information, communicate, and how we would eventually use it to give to others in need.

Ever since, it seems like technology has grown past what was originally thought of it, causing many impacts on charities and their administration, as well as their ability to fundraise one day and then create grants another day. With many natural disasters occurring and not to mention the economic, political, and social turmoil, there have also been big changes in communities and the way they organize and how donors now respond to the many needs. This is giving new light on the way giving and support occurs.

An Impactful Focus

Many grant makers have turned their focus toward an approach that is more strategic for their giving causes and guided by the effect that their impact will have on the support they give. With a high desire to have grant seekers set goals to achieve and present various programs but to also dedicate any resources to have programs evaluated so that results can be justified for continual investments.

Grant seekers have now begun to grow worried because of this and have expressed that they are no longer able to report on just the amount served but also what life changes occur because of it. This requires an increase in staff, resources, time, support, and expertise.

Relationships Changing

Generally speaking, the atmosphere between grant seekers and grant makers seem collaborative. This made it seem like the relationship was more personal and less formal which the grant makers and grant seekers appreciated more. This type of communication is welcomed by grant makers and they hope that it causes other relationships to be open so that a common goal can be easily achieved.

How Technology Has Played a Role

Both information sharing and education have a high ranking among issues that grant seekers and grant makers wish that will be improved by technology. Besides these, many online applications for grants, management systems, and grant reports and forms have minimal errors, have been time-saving, made communication easier, and have ensured that relationship quality is enriched.

 

Millennial Impact on Philanthropy

carl-turnley-charityStereotypes about millennials paint an entire generation as entitled and afraid of hard work, which may cause organizations to shy away from campaigning for donations from these young adults. However, it would be a mistake for companies to ignore this untapped market.

Despite the argument that the world left to millennials by previous generations is one that is economically unfair, millennials are still a generous generation. Millennials, born from approximately 1980 to 2000, will soon make the largest part of the American workforce, which will expand their buying power, and their philanthropic efforts don’t fall far behind. One survey found that 84% of this group has donated financially while 70% of millennials had given at least an hour to a charitable cause in 2014.

Baby Boomers and Generation X still donate more money per year than millennials donate, $732 and $1,212, respectively, compared to $481; however, the younger generation still manages to donate an impressive amount of money compared to their college debt and when considering the fact that fewer members of this group have achieved enough financial security to own a home and car. This fact stands in opposition to the idea that millennials are an entitled lot. Organizations that rely on donations, whether monetary or voluntary, would be remiss to overlook the time and money that millennials are so willing to offer despite the obstacles in their way.

However, companies must understand what motivates millennials to be generous. For starters, they prefer to hear a story rather than just the facts. Where millennials may not be able to donate money, they can offer their time, and organizations can take advantage of this by pressing the urgency of moving now. Finally, it’s important that messaging is simple. Millennials receive thousands of messages every day, and overcomplicating things will cause information to become lost in the fray.

As mobile banking and technology has changed the face of philanthropy, millennials have increased their donations. And as Baby Boomers leave the workforce and millennials find more stability and increased wages, their ability to continue to donate their time and money will only increase. Organizations that understand this potential can take advantage of it now and continue to build loyalty with philanthropists in the future.

Charity Trends: 2019

Charity is one of the transformative movements in our society today that helps make a huge impact people who are less advantaged. Philanthropists contribute heavily to facilitating the success of charity organizations and projects in general. Over the years, there has been a significant transformation in the manner in which charity organizations operate. This transformation is highly likely to shape the future of the entire charity industry in various ways henceforth. Here are certain trends that are highly expected to dominate the charity industry this year.

Increased giving

As the number of social causes for charity increase, so are the numbers of people willing to freely give to charity. The increased advocacy and appeal for help to eradicate social-economic challenges in the society are highly likely going to cause a major boost in the flow of funds towards charity. Statistics indicate, for instance, that there has been a 56% increase in charity donations between the year 2014 and 2017. In 2019, the increase is expected to be exponential.

Digitization of charity operations

With the digital age taking over most processes to facilitate efficiency in organizational processes in many workplaces, the charity institution at large is expected to be no exception. To say the least, operations in charity organizations are going to be digitized by the introduction of computers and the internet of things to enable the sharing of information.

The digitization of charity will enable virtually all charity operations to be conducted in a digital platform to enhance data sharing between the organizations and the well-wishers. The digital impact is also highly likely to impact the way people give. The introduction of fintech through mobile wallets is expected to cause more people to give more towards charity.

Boosted transparency

Charity organizations are anticipated to become more transparent, especially when it comes to investment and utilization. The transparency will become a key determinant in helping attract more philanthropists to channel their contributions to the organizations. In addition, donors will also increase their voice towards calling for transparency and accountability, especially when it comes to visualizing how their funds are being utilized. In that regard, a major trend is arising where charity organizations establish networks with their donors where any project undertaken gains support from donors.

Debunking Common Philanthropy Myths

Giving back to the community and donating to charities is great for the soul and even better for mankind. Many people make it a priority to be more philanthropic, however, others can be a little put off on the idea. They aren’t put off by helping a cause or making a difference, but mostly due to common myths or misconceptions. These are the common philanthropy myths that must be debunked:

Myth #1: Men Are More Philanthropic Than Women

One of the most common myths in philanthropy is that women are far less philanthropic than men. On the contrary, research has shown that women play a very powerful role in philanthropy. Nowadays, there are more and more women finding themselves in higher-paid positions and higher-level positions. Studies show more women are using their funds and earnings to become more philanthropic, completely debunking the myth that women are less philanthropic than men. 

Myth #2: Charities Are Only to Feed the Poor

While there are many nonprofits and charitable organizations dedicated to feeding the hungry, there are also far more organizations making a difference elsewhere. Charities can range from rescuing endangered animals, disaster relief, aiding abused and battered women, raising awareness of drunk driving dangers, and so much more. There are so many nonprofits changing the world and making a difference. 

Myth #3: Finding an Honest Charity is Easy

With so many charities out there to donate to, it’s a common belief that finding a good and honest charity is easy. In fact, finding the right charity can be quite difficult. It takes a lot of time and research to determine if a charity is not only utilizing the funds they receive from donors, but they’re also making the difference they said they would. Before forking over money, it’s important to take the time to properly research an organization and get an in-depth look at how the use their funds and what their track record from over the past few years looks like. 

Myth #4: Small Donations Don’t Make a Difference

Many people tend to believe that when they aren’t able to give a large amount, then they shouldn’t be giving at all. This is the most important myth to bust. In fact, it’s better to give a small donation than to not give at all. This is especially true in cases of urgent humanitarian aid and disaster relief, a flow of small gifts will surely save lives, stem catastrophe, and repair communities. Smaller donations also help build stronger and longer relationships between donors and organizations. Small donations lead to more overtime and eventually larger donations when a donor can afford to give more. 

Five Telecommunications Trends to Watch For

carl-turnley-telecom

With the rapid emergence of cloud technology taking the technology sector by storm in recent years, the telecommunications sector has adapted to this revolutionary way of storing, processing, and utilizing data. As a result, the biggest telecommunications trends of the year use cloud applications in a myriad of ways. Here a few of the most promising trends to come out of the telecommunications industry in the year 2018 and what consumers should expect to see more of in 2019:

5G NETWORKS: Although this upgraded network is not expected to be in wide use until the year 2020, telecommunications developers are already working hard to stimulate its growth. With lab testing and field work underway, the technology promises to deliver faster speeds as providers work to stay competitive in the crowded industry. A faster and more powerful internet infrastructure is a boon for everyone.

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS: As the demand for unique content continues to escalate, telecommunications providers are recognizing the need to partner with media companies in a joint effort to work together to better serve customers. By merging with existing media industries, the telecommunication companies can expand their reach without having to add to their existing workforce.

INCREASING SECURITY: Because of the host of services that need protection, the use of more advanced security applications in the telecommunications industry has powered a surge of new innovation. As consumers demand more reliable security measures, more and more smartphones are becoming outfitted with biometric fingerprint readers. Rapidly emerging technology will also make the use of facial and retinal recognition more mainstream.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: As the latest buzzword to hit the technology industry, Artificial Intelligence (AI) promises to deliver the latest in unique capabilities to smartphones across the globe. By harnessing this innovative AI technology, telecommunication providers can give smartphone users the ability to use voice recognition, augmented reality applications, indoor navigation services, and much more.

INTERNET OF THINGS (IoT): This revolutionary technology will continue to provide telecommunication providers with more opportunities to harness the power of the internet to propel their business forward into the future. Although it brings about a host of challenges, the IoT technology can be used to improve operational effectiveness and efficiency while also enabling greater security.

Philanthropic Volunteering: Combining Travel and Altruism

Carl Turnley is both an avid traveler and a proponent of philanthropic involvement. In culmination of the two, Carl hosts blogs on the subjects, covering his philanthropic endeavors, the causes he supports and how he gets involved on CarlTurnley.org; on CarlTurnleyTravel.com, he offers advice, insight and paints pictures of the world of travel that he has experienced first-hand.

 

Now, Carl has decided to outline how these two interests (three, if you count blogging) come together, giving a look into the world of altruistic travel.

carl turnley philanthropy

 

Combining Travel and Philanthropy | Carl Turnley

 

Why Volunteer When you Travel?

As someone who is heavily invested in both traveling and getting involved with international causes the importance of combining the two is evident.

We travel for a number of reasons, the last of which is certainly not to explore a new area, open our eyes to new cultures and gain a more worldly perspective. These opportunities–whether they’re focused on business, pleasure, or philanthropy–can help expand our cultural horizons and better understand and empathize with those around us.

The addition of volunteering abroad only does more to improve your stay. You might not have as much time to relax on the beach or dine at upscale establishments, but the reward of knowing you’ve helped those in need far exceeds a day tanning by the water.

How To Get Involved

If you’re an active member of a church or other religious association you’ve more than likely got more than just a few opportunities in front of you. Mission trips organized by religious organizations are a common, year-round expenditure that will allow you to travel at low (or no) cost to countries in need. There, you’ll undertake a number of tasks that typically range from infrastructural improvements, construction of homes, shelters and ministries, and volunteering at local events where needed.

If you’re less religious, other travel-volunteer programs offer the ability to get involved in hands-on manners around the world. Those like Global Vision International  do an incredible job of pairing volunteers with those in need internationally. The possibilities of how you can get involved are nearly endless–for a longer list, check this CNN article.

Where To Travel

The options available to you are extremely far-reaching. Though you may picture building churches in a third-world country as the “typical” volunteer mission trip, if you’re not as physically fit as some volunteers or think that you’re not up for it, other organizations offer the opportunity to teach English, educate locals on how to improve their living conditions, or volunteer on farmland or with endangered animals around the world.

Helping After a Disaster: Why It’s Important to Be Cautionary

Carl Turnley Haiti

 

In the wake of a disaster, human beings are unique in their desire to help.

Almost as one, we stand up and ask how we can help. Can we send food? Can we send supplies? Can we offer our homes, our money or even words of encouragement to help in times of absolute need?

When Hurricane Matthew swept through the Caribbean it left behind it a path of destruction, death and despair while making its way to the southeast United States. Lacking a solidified government and the advanced infrastructure that nations like the United States or the Bahamas can tout, Haiti was devastated by the severe weather. The death count continues to climb, currently over 1,000 according to the Huffington Post.

Amidst news of death, destroyed infrastructure, displaced people and decimated morale across the small island nation, humans around the world rose to help. In almost a mirror image of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the American Red Cross allowed people to donate money quickly and efficiently to Haiti’s relief efforts simply by texting a number.

But suddenly, things changed abruptly–reports came in that some people were warning Americans not to donate to the American Red Cross for Haiti relief. In fact, it was the Haitians, in large part, who were warning against it. They claimed that the donations in past disaster relief efforts had been largely squandered.

At this point in time, it may be in the best interest to listen to them. Understanding where your donations are going is the single most important part of making a charitable donation. Having the knowledge that your funds are being lost simply lining the pockets of the employees at a nonprofit, being poorly managed, or otherwise being called into question should put a halt in your donations quickly.

You know by now that you should do your due diligence when deciding on a charity to which you’ll donate some money. But sometimes it takes more than a simple Google search to make a conclusion. CharityWatch gives the ARC an A- rating–proof that they can (and often do!) coordinate large scale efforts and help those in need. But foreign relief efforts are often best handed by foreign NGOs, or ones that work closely with foreign governments.

A natural disaster, especially one that has claimed so many lives and devastated entire countries is worthy of an extra charitable look. These people are people–human beings–who need help that they simply cannot provide for themselves. However, times of dire need are not the times to begin throwing caution to the wind. Make sure that the nonprofits that you’re donating to are both legitimate and appropriately use their funds in the most efficient way possible.

To help Haiti with Hurricane Matthew relief, consider donating directly to Doctors Without Borders or Help for Haiti, two relief efforts that are primed to make a difference.