By Viviana Jimenez Zeledón – International Relations Student
Nonprofit Organizations (NPO) are legal institutions that assist other groups, individuals or causes, without gathering profits for themselves. Being nonprofit means that this type of business is organized under rules that prohibit that profits be distributed among its members. A collective, social and public benefit is sought to achieve, so NPOs are important to the community. They are indispensable to improve the quality of life. They provide valuable programs to citizens, and also have an important and positive impact on the economy of local neighborhoods. Thus, their impact is significant in society.
A nonprofit should be dedicated to the community where it is located at, and most importantly, engaged in it. Being an active member in the local area, let the organization be recognized and get volunteers and donors to help in its operation and support its cause and mission. Also, they allow for leadership and civic engagement. These organizations provide a different array of support in many areas, from food, health, education, religion, science, literature, environmental protection, the arts, shelter, or even sports, to inspiration for people of every race, gender, age and socioeconomic status. They reinforce the common ties that are sought to be strengthened by working together towards a common good. Their role is fundamental when it comes to creating communities that are thriving and more equitable.
The lasting impact nonprofit organizations have in the community they serve can be seeing when they feed the hungry in communal kitchens. It can be felt when shelters are provided for the homeless, or after a natural disaster. It’s seen when after-school programs are provided for the youth. It’s appreciated when therapy programs are being developed in order to help people who have gone through any kind of trauma or sickness. Or when thousands of trees are planted so the Earth can regenerate. Like these, there are several other examples of how nonprofit organizations benefit the communities and missions they serve. So, it’s indispensable for them to have donors and volunteers to support them.
As mentioned, these organizations create a strong sense of belonging in the society and a big engagement in their causes, which is reflected in the help they receive from dedicated volunteers, people who truly believe in the impact and the change that they give to the communities. Volunteers are essential to the organization they serve; they understand the issues that affect them the most. Without them, nonprofit organizations wouldn’t be able to provide the services they provide and function properly. They greatly invest themselves in whatever mission the organization pursues, and eventually they become leaders. Same goes to donors, who truly believe in the cause they are supporting, and whom NPOs are interested in keeping and renewing so contributions can keep flowing in. They are one of the many contributors NPOs have when fundraising activities take place, where funds are collected in order to support the mission. In order to have a better chance of surviving and effective functioning, the fundraising capabilities a NPO has can help to that purpose, hence the donations and memberships from individuals or groups are necessary.
We can see how important the services and programs provided by local NPOs are in order to enrich and develop the society in different ways. Economic growth is encouraged, and the quality of life of families and individuals is improved. In making sure that the activities performed by the organization are beneficial to community members, engaging to the community will be easier, since people will feel a sense of fulfillment for their effort when they participate. In being consistent and involved, the organization will promote opportunities for volunteering and donating. Targeting issues that affect a group in the community lets a nonprofit organization do what it does best: focusing public attention to social matters.