The exact economic impact of COVID-19 is uncertain but one thing is for sure: it will be difficult for nonprofit organizations to serve the people who need the most help within the next year or more. We are bracing for a drop in donations at a time when the demand for services will certainly grow. Sadly, many smaller charities will likely have to close their doors, and the communities they serve will suffer for it.
At times like these, many people feel empowered and hopeful by helping others but may find themselves in financial straits themselves. How can you help nonprofit organizations through this challenging time when you can’t afford to make a big donation? We have seven free or low-cost ways to show your support and make a difference!
Subscribe for emails. This is by far the least expensive way for charities to communicate with those who care about their mission. Most offer options for how often you’ll receive their emails. You can subscribe to our quarterly newsletters here. Then forward the emails to your friends and colleagues who will find the content interesting and encourage them to subscribe too.
Help spread awareness. The cost of marketing and advertising can be substantial and is often the first cut nonprofits make when money is tight. Social media was once a free way to reach people who care about specific causes. Sadly, platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have begun showing posts to only a fraction of followers so that nonprofits must pay for boosts to reach the very people who have asked to see their posts.
Here’s how you can help your favorite organization reach more people for free:
• Visit their pages regularly (because you’re likely not seeing the majority of their posts.) Share their posts and leave a quick comment. This engagement helps to expand the reach of the post.
• Share their page and ask your friends to follow them too. Briefly explain what the organization does and why you think they’re great.
• Participate in their awareness campaigns. Some organizations have created interactive campaigns to help spread awareness of their mission. For example, our Wear Your Wings Challenge is a fun way to tell your friends about how America’s ToothFairy helps kids in need access dental care and learn about oral health. Be sure to tag the organization (type @PageName) and use their campaign hashtags so they can see your post too!
• Give your friends the chance to help. Facebook allows you to ask your friends to give to your favorite charity as your birthday gift. Donations as small as $5 can really add up!
Shop for Good. Speaking of gifts, purchases that you need to make anyway can support the organizations that you care about:
• Online purchases made through websites like Amazon Smile funnel a percentage of your purchase to your designated charity at no additional cost to you. To date, charities have received nearly 170 million dollars through Amazon alone. Help us provide resources to improve the oral health of our nation’s kids by selecting America’s ToothFairy as your designated charity!
• If you’re looking to buy a gift for someone else, consider making a purchase from the online store of a charity that is important to them. They’ll get a great gift and will be delighted that your purchase helped to support a cause they care about. You can get a cool t-shirt for your favorite Oral Health Action HERO here or find a list of online stores that benefit the greater good here.
• Need to make a beauty product purchase? PopSonic is donating a toothbrush through America’s ToothFairy for every item sold on their website.
• Or if you’re a dental professional, stock up on supplies listed on our Products With a Cause page. A portion of sales is donated to support our mission. (Interested in adding your product or service to our list? Contact Jill at email@example.com.)
Volunteer. Although you may have to wait until quarantine guidelines are lifted, there are still many ways you can help now. For example, the American Red Cross is in need of blood and plasma donations, especially if you have already recovered from COVID-19. Your local food bank may need volunteers.
It is more essential than ever for children to have access to oral hygiene products to not only protect their smiles from tooth decay but also to help prevent the spread of disease. You can help by participating in our Smile Drive campaign:
• Hold a virtual Smile Drive by registering here. When you sign up, you’ll be provided with a unique campaign page, text-to-give code and other resources to help safety-net dental clinics provide toothbrushes to kids who need them the most.
• Donate toothbrushes to feeding programs. Many schools and food banks are providing meals to children who qualify for free lunches through their school. These are the very same children who would benefit most from a donation of toothbrushes and other oral care items. Consider purchasing toothbrushes and donating them to your local feeding program. You can find great deals from one of our long-time product donors at SmileMakers.com or online retailers like Amazon. Be sure to let us know about your good deed by reporting your donation here.
Attend future events. Most NPOs, including America’s ToothFairy, have had to cancel events due to COVID-19. Give us all a morale boost by registering to attend future events. Check their websites or Facebook pages for upcoming events. You can find ours here.
Give small. Some people believe that if they can’t afford to donate a lot of money, they can’t make a difference. This simply isn’t true! Setting up a small, monthly gift that is charged automatically is a fantastic way to support a cause you care about. A simple $10 or $20 monthly donation won’t leave you strapped for cash but can make a big difference, especially in the lives of lower-income families whose finances will be hit hardest by the COVID-19 response. Through our Be the ToothFairy campaign, your low monthly pledge can help up to five kids get regular preventive care in the next year.
Give big. Not everyone has experienced a loss of income during this time. If you’ve been working more than usual due to the outbreak and are looking for ways to give back, the nonprofit dental clinics and oral health organizations America’s ToothFairy supports directly serve low-income populations that will need help the most this year. 100% of your best gift will support programming that helps kids access dental care and prevent tooth decay. Donate on our website to join our cause and make a difference!
When times are tough, we are stronger together!
As a nation, we have endured many hardships but have come through the other side stronger for it! This is one of those historic times. No matter which nonprofit organizations you choose to help this year, thank you for your support!