Ohioans contributed $5.1 billion to charitable efforts, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s most recent data. Local consumers are making a difference in their communities and beyond via money and time. It’s important to consumers, especially millennials, that the companies they do business with make it a priority to give back to the community as well. Organizations have a social responsibility to take care of their community and with a philosophy of “People Helping People” credit unions are the right choice for these consumers.
Over half of the Ohioans surveyed in the Ohio Credit Union League’s 2015 Consumer Survey said they believe doing business with organizations that have a “give back” philosophy is very important. Additionally, 33 percent said it’s somewhat important and only 10 percent said they don’t consider it at all when making a decision. The survey also indicated that 81 percent of respondents are planning to actively support at least one charitable event in 2015.
The majority of Ohioans will be stepping up to show their support this year, and although supporting a charity monetarily is important for obvious reasons, don’t underestimate the power of volunteering time. Here are some steps to take before donating your time and money to deserving organizations.
- Find the need. Local government and churches often have insight into where donations are needed most. Consider attending a city council meeting or contacting a church official to get more details.
- Make sure the charity is reputable. Giving to organizations you’re already familiar with is safest, but when you’re not sure, the IRS keeps a database of reputable organizations called Exempt Organizations Select Check. You can also check out one of the largest charity databases at charitynavigator.org.
- Combine your interests. If you like to run, sign up for a 5K. If you’re interested in construction, help build a house with Habitat for Humanity. If you’re a member of a church, consider signing up for a mission trip. There’s a variety of opportunities throughout Ohio to get involved.
Credit unions are run by a board of volunteers, to learn more about how you can participate or how a credit union can help you afford life, visit www.aSmarterChoice.org.