Simplified: If you're looking for an organization to give back to this holiday season, there's a few ways to find the right fit for your budget or time frame. Here's what to know about getting connected with local charities.
Why it matters
- It's important to find a charity with reasonable operating costs, testimonials from clients served, impact data and outcome examples of their work, said Olivia Essig, campaign director with Sioux Empire United Way.
- There's a lot of nonprofits to support in the area, so finding reputable and impactful organizations that align with your time and budget can be difficult, said Susie Ryks, vice president of community development with the Helpline Center.
- Finding a local charity is a way to directly impact Sioux Falls. It provides much-needed services to the community, Essig added.
“Giving back makes our community a great place to live and helps provide much-needed services to those in need," Essig said. "It also benefits the giver. Making a donation or volunteering your time provides a feeling unlike any other.”
How do I find the right charity?
Ryks said that finding a charity that aligns with your hobbies, passions and goals is important to make sure that you feel fulfilled in the giving process.
- The Helpline center has a form that can help you prioritize these values and find a vetted charity from their list.
- The Sioux Empire United way also has a list of approved organizations that they support here.
“We love that people are giving back, but we also want them to give back in a way that is giving to them as well,” Ryks said.
What's the best way to give back?
Volunteering is a great way to give back without a monetary donation, and Ryks said there is a volunteer opportunity that matches most interests.
- You can call 211 to get connected to the Helpline Center's volunteer list and find an organization that needs your volunteer support.
Essig said monetary gifts can go a long way for charities, as most organizations have connections to buy reduced-price or bulk products to stretch the donation further.
- It also ensures that they are able to direct the donation to the highest area of need, Essig said.
Ryks said that giving around the holiday season is always appreciated and helpful, but that continued giving throughout the year is important, too.
"What about the rest of the year?’" Ryks said. "Maybe you're going to start something here in December, but how can you carry that through or continue it throughout the year?"