Every August 17, we come together to commemorate National Nonprofit Day, a day founded by Sherita J. Herring to educate, enlighten, and empower others to make a difference.
The significance of August 17 dates back to 1894 when the Tariff Act was enacted to give exemptions to charitable institutions and nonprofit organizations. Because of this Act, nonprofits have been able to have a significant impact on society, from advocating for important causes to furthering access to the arts to providing services to underserved and marginalized communities.
Today, nonprofits are more important than ever, serving as change makers who do the critical work that transforms ideas into actions and strengthens the fabric of our society.
So what can you do to celebrate National Nonprofit Day this year? Whether you’re a nonprofit or individual, here are some meaningful ways to recognize the positive impact that nonprofits have on our local communities and the world at large.
- Recognize volunteers. Your nonprofit needs the help of passionate volunteers to accomplish your mission. On this day of recognition, send a thank you to your volunteers and highlight those who go above and beyond for your organization.
- Celebrate your donors. Every dollar counts when you’re trying to help others. Create a donor wall on your website to shower your donors with appreciation for making it possible to achieve your organization’s goals.
- Give a shout out. Why do you do what you do? Showcase who or what you dedicate your work to by posting about your recipients or why your mission is important. Especially during these times, this can ignite hope and drive your supporters to help further your cause.
- Inspire your team. Gather your team to reflect on the experiences that drive them to continue working towards your mission. Asking questions like “what accomplishments or moments are you most proud of” or “what is one thing about your nonprofit or mission you wish people knew more about” can not only inspire your team to have a greater appreciation for the work that you do, but it can also spark new ideas to make the world a better place.
- Research nonprofits. What causes are important to you? Take some time to learn more about nonprofits in that space. Learn how they receive funding, what you can do to get involved, and how they change the world.
- Support nonprofits on social media. Follow your favorite nonprofits on all of their social media pages. You can support them by doing everything from engaging in their conversations to sharing their posts to dedicating your birthday to their cause. And if you’re posting today, don’t forget to use the hashtag #NationalNonprofitDay!
- Volunteer your time. While these are unusual and more isolated times, there are still ways to give back to your community. Check out VolunteerMatch to see what volunteer opportunities align best with your interests, availability, and location.
- Make a donation. As many of us are using quarantine to Marie Kondo our homes, take all that extra clutter and donate it to applicable nonprofits. And if you’re able to, make a financial contribution to a cause you’re passionate about, either as a one-time donation or on a monthly basis.
Regardless of how you celebrate, today is a great opportunity to share gratitude for nonprofits. Thank you to all the nonprofits for seeing what’s possible and uniting our society to change the world for the better. Happy #NationalNonprofitDay!