PRLog (Press Release)
- Sep. 16, 2013 - SACRAMENTO, Calif. --
There’s no quicker path to a warm fuzzy feeling than giving to others, whether it be money or time. While the Internet gives you the ability to help any cause that touches you, it also makes it confusing to narrow down where your contribution can make the most difference. Luckily there are some great tools available online to help you get started making the world a better place.Navigate to Accountability:
When you donate to a charity, you should choose a cause that is near and dear to your heart, but as a smart donor you want to make sure you're putting your money where it will get the best use. Charity Navigator (www.charitynavigator.org)
is designed to help you navigate the veritable sea of charities out there. They will help you identify ones that are the most reputable, fiscally sound, and give the largest portion of donations to the cause. Search out a charity categories such as "animals," "religion," or "health," or simply type a name of a specific charity you'd like to review into the Charity Search and you're provided with a rating that is based upon their financial health, their accountability and transparency.Pay it Forward:
If you have a cause you'd like to help someone raise money for, or if you’d like to find a specific person you can help with a donation instead of a charity, GiveForward (www.giveforward.com)
is a great resource. Utilizing "crowdfunding,"
a technique where multiple small donations add up to large funds, GiveForward allows persons in need (or their loved ones) to set up a page that tells their story with a link to donate online. Users fundraise for everything from helping a neighbor rebuild their house after a natural disaster to paying for out-of-pocket medical expenses for a child's cancer treatments.
Social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter are utilized to "spread the word," and once the fundraiser is complete, the money is transferred to the recipient’s PayPal account or mailed to them by check. The page you create on the website provides a place where family and friends can visit to read about the fundraising progress, make donations and post well-wishes. GiveForward even offers a personal fundraising coach to help you reach your financial goal. Users should be aware that the website charges a 7% fee for the final transaction - that is a delivery of the lump sum at the end of the fundraiser.Give the Gift of Time:
There's a lot of good you can do in your community if you have a couple extra hours on your hands, and in some cases you don't even need to leave your home to do it. Check out Volunteer Match (www.volunteermatch.org)
. Non-profit organizations utilize the website to post requests for help with certain tasks, and then willing volunteers take up the cause. Use the search function to find a volunteer opportunity close to you, or browse by categories such as "children and youth," "health and medicine" or "environmental."
Click on the virtual listings tab to find all sorts of ways you can help remotely with skills you already have, such as tutoring first graders in reading with just a computer and a phone or helping with art projects or web design. Sort by "local opportunities"
within the virtual tab to find specific causes in your area.
Where ever you end up donating your time or money, Charity Navigator offers these tips for "intelligent giving." Be proactive in your giving by doing your research. If your interest is cancer research, don't just donate to a generic cancer charity but have a targeted goal such as providing cancer screenings for at-risk individuals. Resist the urge to simply send money to the first person who calls you on the phone asking for a donation during a time of crisis. Hang up the phone, research the charity online, and then donate directly with them instead. You'll cut out the middle man and make every dollar you donate count. Lastly, when it comes to philanthropic investments, "spreading the love" to multiple causes is actually not beneficial to any of them. Choose one, or possibly two, that are particularly close to your heart and concentrate your efforts. In this way you can bring about the most substantive change.
Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, an on-site computer and laptop repair service (http://www.callnerds.com/
) for consumers and businesses. Andrea is the writer of two weekly columns, Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight, and Computer Nerds On Call, a nationally syndicated column for the Scripps-Howard News Service. She regularly appears on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Good Day Sacramento, Good Morning Arizona and MORE Good Day Portland, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, and gadgets. Andrea recently has begun working with Demand Media to produce content for eHow.com and has written a book for them Smartphone101:
Integrating your iPhone into a Windows World. Andrea is available for Q & A’s, expert tech quotes and will appear on your show, call today! See Andrea in action at www.callnerds.com/andrea
.About Nerds On Call
Established in a spare room in Redding, Calif., in March 2004, Nerds On Call offers on-site computer and laptop repair services to consumers and businesses. Nerds On Call provides trouble-shooting for PCs and Macs, home and office networks, printers, iPods®
and MP3 players, handheld devices and cell phones, home theaters and game systems, and virtually every other form of digital entertainment. In 2009, 2010, & 2011 the company was named to Inc. magazine’s list of 5000 fastest growing private companies. With 15 locations across California, Oregon, Washington, & Arizona Nerds On Call serves more than 40,000 satisfied customers per year. For more information, visit www.callnerds.com or call 1-800-919-NERD.