Jen Kates by Jen Kates
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With the holiday season upon us, it’s a good time to think about some of the countless ways that you and your clients can support your community. While the opportunities are seemingly endless, volunteering at a local charity or non-profit organization and hosting a remote or in-person fundraiser are two amazing—and more accessible—ways you can give back to your community.

Volunteer at a Local Charity or Non-profit Organization

Before you get started, the first step is to identify a cause that is important to you and that also resonates with your clients. Start by narrowing down the list of causes to two to three issues (for example, people experiencing homelessness, food insecurity, childhood health, pet adoption centers or shelters, etc.). Next, poll your clients and ask which cause they would like to support this season. This allows you to get greater buy-in from your clients, which, in turn, will foster greater involvement from them.

From the polled list of responses, choose the top cause and search for a few local organizations that work to address that issue. To save time while researching, reach out to a few organizations at one time since some organizations may not be currently taking volunteers. Inquire about volunteer opportunities they offer, and how you can get your team involved.

You will need to see what dates and locations are available for the volunteer opportunities. Then, in turn, ask your clients which dates and times work for most of them. Remember, you will likely not be able to choose a date and time that works for everyone, and that’s O.K. Choose the time that works for most people. Organizations often allow a group of people to volunteer at various times on a particular day of the week, which would allow more people in your group to attend based on their availability.

From there, you and your clients just need to show up to volunteer and put in a good dose of energy into the cause you chose. Have some fun with it and perhaps bring hot chocolate or something festive to help get everyone in the spirit of giving back. Lastly, never forget to give thanks to everyone for showing up and putting in the hard work.

Hosting a Fundraiser

The same steps above apply to hosting a fundraiser, so you will need to choose a cause and an organization to support. Of course, if you opt to host an in-person fundraiser, be mindful of local health recommendations to keep everyone involved as safe as possible. You may also need to consider if the event you are hosting warrants the use of an additional waiver to ensure you are making every effort to keep your clients safe by letting them know about the risks.

There are some legal things to consider with fundraisers, such as the possible need to register your fundraising event with your Secretary of State (this is a step often overlooked by businesses). Please refer to your Secretary of State to determine what is necessary for you to host a fundraiser, or speak with your lawyer to get a better idea of what is permissible in your state or area.

Alternatively, you could host a remote fundraiser in partnership with the organization you want to support. Many times, these organizations offer a fundraising website on which you and your clients can create a team page. This is often the easiest way to fundraise for the organization of your choice.

Once a fundraising portal is set up, you can choose how you want to raise funds. Ask your clients what they would like to do to earn donations. For example, they might ask friends and family to donate $1 for every mile they walk, run or bike, or for every pound they lift in a week or month. Folks can donate money to the cause however they wish but make it a fun way to encourage involvement.

Let ACE Know What You Do

Doing something positive for your community alongside your clients can foster a greater sense of connection. This helps build greater trust and deepens the relationship you have with your clients, and your community, so enjoy the added benefit. We would love to see what events or causes you and your clients decide to host this year, so use #ACEprosgiveback to let us follow along.