This is the best time of the year to reflect on the previous year’s events and see what we could do better for the next. If you are like us, making a difference is a mission we take to heart. SuccessAmp is a Grand Rapids SEO company that does a lot of work with charities. This year is no different; only we plan to do it better.
If you realized it as we did, the pandemic calls for a more impactful response. These charities allow people to gather together and have a more significant social impact. We couldn’t have done this without each other and especially without them.
But not all nonprofits are created equal. This is an honest observation. Here we want to give you a simple guide to choosing local organizations in the Grand Rapids area.
Which is the best charity to support?
Assuming you are not new to charities, you probably have started where most have. Choosing a cause that you are passionate about is the number one thing to do. Whatever your reasons for giving, it should be personal.
Feeling a personal connection to a cause moves us to create an impact. Imagine a small pebble that can create ripples on still waters. Even the smallest act that you wholeheartedly believe in can make that difference.
These are worth looking into, whether you are seasoned or new to giving to nonprofits. Besides considering how you feel about a certain cause, you would want to ask the next question. Which charity is good at creating that ripple effect better than you can do on your own?
This year, we want to make waves because the world needs us more. Our challenge is to pick a nonprofit that can deliver. So, here are a few essential things you should consider.
Grand Rapids area charities with low overhead
We could say pick a charity with low overhead, but we won’t. Neither are we saying that you shouldn’t pick them. It would be best for us to learn what causes lower and higher overheads.
Low overhead charities may be so because they are being run mostly by volunteers. And we love them! Yet, volunteers may have their limits on the kind of stuff they can do for the organization. The question is, are there volunteers who are willing to do vital work to run the organization? Who is willing to do the books, the recruitment, and run crucial areas that need staffing? If they find no one available to offer these services for free, they need to hire people to do it, resulting in a higher overhead cost.
A smaller program can often have higher costs, but other advantages
The fact is that smaller companies appear to invest a significant chunk of their resources in hiring these workers. That’s because they get smaller funding than big nonprofit organizations. Predictably, less is left after subtracting staffing costs.
If you get what we are getting at here, it’s simple. You can say that overhead costs shouldn’t be a sole consideration in making your decision. Instead, it is something you should use to analyze. Which groups need your help the most?
Meanwhile, are you considering big nonprofit groups? They are already creating ripples and waves out there. Two things are important to note. Transparency is first, and financial health is second.
Ranking local charities
Here’s an easy way to make informed decisions while scouting for nonprofits. The ever reliant Charity Navigator offers good help. Charity Navigator provides you the conventional metrics used to judge these organizations.
Of course, now that we told you that to base your decision on overhead is not all there is, the search continues. We would say, focus on one word this year – IMPACT!
If you want to make an impact on the survival of small nonprofits, do that. If you want to take part in something big, do that. Using popular tools such as Charity Navigator was a great help in our own search. Then, we did our own fact-checking afterward, so do that too.
The best community service/non-profit in Grand Rapids, MI
Suppose you are looking for the best organizations to donate your money around Grand Rapids. We did a good search in Michigan for nonprofit organizations. Here’s our round-up. The Top 6 Grand Rapids MI organizations that are making a big difference in our community today.
Grand Rapids location:
648 Monroe Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Give a gift of hope to children in Michigan
If you have a secret dream of being a fairy godmother or a genie in real life, this is your chance. Of course, we’re kidding, but only slightly. That’s how we see the people who respond to this organization’s call to give some hope to those who need it. Imagine what a little dream means to a child who is battling an illness.
There is a child out there waiting for a small dream to come true. And then there are their families, hoping for that little smile that can help them go on another mile. What’s great about this organization is that they have a good accountability score. 77.9% of their funds go to their programs and services. They also have over a thousand volunteers. Who wouldn’t get excited about granting another child’s wish?
Help build homes and bring families together
Kent County calls for affordable housing. Habitat for Humanity is the solution. The current situation could worsen due to the pandemic. Many people need healthy living conditions. A home and a place to call their own is the best gift we can give this year.
Help families to start over and start strong with adequate housing. Thousands of families are living in crowded quarters in Kent County. That is not ideal during this challenging time. Everyone in poor living conditions is vulnerable to diseases.
This Kent County program recognizes a community’s vital needs to thrive. With this organization, families are equipped with the skills to become successful homeowners. Habitat for Humanity Kent County is not only building homes but empowering families.
Learn more about Habitat for Humanity Kent County’s Covid response here.
425 Pleasant St. SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
1300 Plymouth Ave. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
Feed the children and help them achieve better in school
Are you supporting the fight against poverty and hunger? You should know about this organization in West Michigan. Their 2020 Impact Report strikes a chord. They responded very well and are rising above the challenge of the global pandemic. They are making a huge impact in helping the communities in the Grand Rapids area.
Kids Food Basket farms feed the rising number of kids and families affected by the pandemic. Their partner farms provided free healthy food. As schools closed down, they responded with generosity. They spread warmth and love of the Michigan community through their work.
Support junior students of Great Michigan Lakes to earn a brighter future
How are the kids doing? Their dreams shouldn’t be stalled by this challenging time. We are all rooting for these kids to solve the world’s problems in the future. Meanwhile, let’s help tomorrow’s business leaders face the challenges of today.
We challenge you to invest in the future of Michigan and our nation. For now, let’s make education work for these kids and keep their dreams alive.
741 Kenmoor SE, Suite C,
Grand Rapids MI 49546
PO Box 1992
Grand Rapids, MI 49501-1992
Provide support for the children living in conflict zones around the world
Join a great cause. Worldwide conflict is a vast sea we can’t paddle alone. Partners Relief & Development is a place where you can save a life, thousands of lives. Their programs respond to the needs of families affected by conflicts and oppression.
They provided programs and services to help these people stand up on their feet again. This group provides families the resources, food, care, health services, and financial help. Everything they need to experience a full life.
This organization is creating a tremendous social impact that anyone, including you, can be a part of. This is one of those big organizations that handle their finances well. The transparency of this group is impressive. Plus, this organization spends 81.7% of its money on its programs and services.
Help bring fresh food to the community and feed people in Michigan
Now, going back to the West Michigan community, fresh food is of utmost importance. Nothing is better to defeat world hunger than starting in your own community. According to their website, 1 out of 8 people in West Michigan and the U.P. are facing bouts of hunger. Are you one of the 7 people who are able to keep your family fed and nourished during this global crisis? Then you, like us, have a social responsibility to that one person.
Free food for everyone may be one of the best things someone in your community has heard all day. If we can provide food and nutrition, then we provide greater opportunity for many people to survive and prosper.
864 West River Center Drive NE,
Comstock Park, MI 49321
How to effectively donate to a local community program
Okay, so you know which nonprofit organization offers the best service and program for your cause, now what?
The primary reason we have a small list as an example is that a big sum for a few goes a long way. If you are going to give your support to all the nonprofits you find in Grand Rapids MI, that would be awesome. But not as effective as focusing your efforts on a few.
Focused support on a local Kent County program can create a significant impact on the cause. You only have a limited amount of time and resources. Use it wisely. Now that we mentioned it, you can do more than donating money. You can also give your most valuable contribution, your energy. Find ways you can offer help for free. You can cut an organization’s overhead cost by volunteering.
Get started by helping a Kent County nonprofit today
Give something significant, whether in the form of financial aid, resources, or efforts. Remember, something as small as a pebble can create so many ripples. Focus on the area where you want to make a big difference.
This week, contemplate and connect to your great purpose. It is best to have a closer look where your help is most needed. It’s best to start close to home. We will survive and thrive together if we care for each other.