By Anika Borstell – Student of International Relations
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Children, who receive a better education, people who receive quality medical care, homeless animals, who find loving homes or people in need who being fed and sheltered. We all know these many great services that are provide by non-profits and the amazing stories from the successes non-profits achieved. But have we ever really thought about how a non-profit impact our community?
Nowadays it’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives and simply to look past on the successes non-profit organizations provide to our communities. What a bummer, because non-profits make the community stronger and provide relief for people when it’s hard to find it elsewhere. They are formed to fill the cracks when there is a need in the community – by the people for the people. The variety is huge, whether it’s for health, education, or simple arts and humanities. It’s easy to see a nonprofit’s mission in action when our families, neighbors or friends are direct beneficiaries, like for example providing of food or life-saving trauma care. We are often faced to non-profits unnoticed in our daily life, so it’s harder to recognize the full impact of the indirect benefits nonprofits provide us. The library of your town, the museum you visited or the cultural festival you liked so much – these all could be driven or supported by a non-profit. Being vital for the community and providing a means for drawing public attention to societal issues, that’s how non-profits put in place to help communities overpass certain issues and promote awareness for specific grievances and give incentive for change.
Especially in the today’s economy, with everything changing so fast, it’s important to be in the know and don’t forget that they are people who can’t keep up and that they are always winners and losers in the globalized world. That’s why non-profits play a fundamental role in creating more equitable and thriving communities - like a bridge between capitalism and democracy. Non-profits create work opportunities for millions of individuals and also provide job training and placement services for people who would otherwise be unemployed. They foster civic engagement and leadership, drive economic growth, and strengthen the fabric of our communities. Protecting our future generation and our communities’ issues which will facing increasing problems more and more is challenging in an era of growing needs and shrinking resources. That’s why nonprofits are being asked to do even more with less, placing additional strain on their already limited resources.
Especially during the current covid pandemic non-profits feel the pinch, suddenly facing more people to help but fewer resources with which to carry out their work. It is more crucial than ever that non-profits seem like a safe place in uncertain times, where people come together, share mutual interests and concerns, and solve problems collaboratively. It means a deeper connection of people and the support to build communities, solidarity, and safety. A successful non-profit can understand their communities’ needs better than anyone else and the best ways to meet them, thanks to the combination of strong community relationships and intimate local knowledge. That means the chance of growth and growing opportunities for the communities.
Our community is only as strong as its members, and it takes a combined effort to ensure the future success for generations to come. Non-profit can overcome the challenges, because the success of the non-profits in our community can be accomplished by a group of people working together to better the lives of our weakest members. Like Winston Churchill already said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” That means being generous, giving more, and helping others not only makes other feelings better but ultimately it benefits you. It makes our community more productive, more influential, and, I think, happier.