In 2017, instead of looking for leaders who inspire us, let’s set the example we seek. Fortunately, you don’t need to join the Peace Corps or launch a grassroots movement to make the world a better place. There are plenty of small things you can do today that can snowball into something meaningful.
Here are nine examples of how partnering with technology can help you make the world a better place.
1. Gather for good
Sometimes it takes a village to bring about positive change. Online social networking portal Meetup enables people with charitable intentions to meet like-minded individuals in an informal and friendly atmosphere. Whether your goal is to discover new collaborators or tap into volunteering opportunities, charity meetups foster meaningful connections across charities, social enterprises, and non-profit communities.
2. Invites that inspire
Weddings, birthday parties, holiday feasts – they’re all celebratory events that inspire generosity. At the same time, an increasing number of party hosts are replacing their paper-based invites with online invitations to help reduce waste.
Online invitation providers like Evite allow users to customize their invitations with the additional option to raise money for charity, often in lieu of a gift. For hosts, it’s the ideal opportunity to raise money for a favorite non-profit. For guests, it’s the perfect excuse to give to a good cause.
3. Be a mentor
Are you a whiz at computer coding? Or a successful serial entrepreneur? Whatever your skill set, there are plenty of people who could benefit from your expertise. Organizations such as MicroMentor, Score, and TiEGlobal match aspiring professionals with highly skilled and seasoned volunteers. By offering advice on how to obtain funding for a new business, pitch products to wholesalers, or manage human resource hiccups, you can significnalty increase a small business’s chances of survival.
4. Donations in a ‘snap’
As the third most popular social app among millennials, Snapchat is slowly morphing from an entertaining video-messaging platform into a powerful fundraising tool. Imagine, for example, taking a series of photo and video snaps to tell the story of a neighbor in need. From there, viewers can donate money via Snapcash. Donations are safely deposited to the bank account linked to your debit card. Better yet, create a Facebook fundraising page and then encourage Snapchat visitors to stop on by. A simple template is all you need to create a Facebook group for your fundraiser along with a personalized message.
5. Waste not, want not
Rather than toss your outdated devices into the trash, find out how aging electronics can help save the environment and serve the needy. In fact, according to the EPA, recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by 3,657 U.S. homes in a year.
Organizations like e-Stewards can help you find recycling partners in your local area. After all, many devices can be easily repaired and donated to students and schools in impoverished areas. If, however, your device is unsalvageable, help the planet by dropping it off at an electronics goods retailer. Best Buy has collected and responsibly disposed of more than 1 billion pounds of electronics and applications, and plans to collect 2 billion pounds of e-waste by 2020.
6. A bid for kindness
eBay isn’t just for bidding on hand-knit sweaters and baseball memorabilia. eBay for Charity connects nonprofits to over 145 million eBay community members to raise money. The popular program works by letting sellers donate a portion of their sales and buyers to shop while supporting their favorite charities. It’s also an excellent way for non-profits to tap into a whole new community of potential supporters. So the next time you open your browser to bid on a collectible, dig deeper to discover how you can turn an auction into an opportunity to help others.
7. Flying high
If you’re eager to make a charitable donation but you’re tight on cash, why not consider donating your air miles? By partnering with many charitable organizations, American Airlines lets AAdvantage members donate their miles to a wide variety of meaningful causes. In some cases, miles can even be used to support humanitarian teams traveling around the world to help orphans and vulnerable children. All you need to do is visit your program provider’s website and click “Donate now.”
8. OneToday at a time
Finding out about new charities, and figuring out which ones are donation-worthy, is a time-consuming endeavor. Luckily, Google makes it easy to donate safely with its OneToday app. Users simply sign up to donate $1 per day to a choice of pre-selected charities. Each day, the app showcases amazing projects, from finding orphans good homes to feeding the hungry in war-torn regions.
Google vets each charity, ensuring your donations are earmarked for legitimate enterprises. And OneToday lets donors encourage friends and family to match gifts by sharing their charitable acts via social networks.
9. Help your furry friends
Humans aren’t the only ones in need. Search for local animal shelters and find out how you can help. The ASPCA is a good place to start. Share photos of animals that are up for adoption on your Facebook timeline, Instagram page, or Pinterest board. Or volunteer to help exercise and socialize animals if your local shelter is short-staffed. Committing an hour or two a week is all it takes.
Writing a check to support a good cause is a noble gesture, but it’s not the only option. Thanks to technology, there are endless creative ways for people to donate their time, energy, and hard-earned dollars for positive change.
Employees all across Intel’s many campuses support local communities, participate in volunteer programs, and contribute to nonprofits and educational institutions. When we all work together to inspire one another, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish.