The word philanthropy often calls to mind high society galas and multi-million dollar endowments, but at its core, it's much more simple and down-to-earth. It's about promoting the welfare others, often financially, but not always.
Giving back to the community doesn't have to come with a hefty price tag. Even the smallest gifts—whether time, money, or items—can have a big impact.
Consider, for example, the emergence of groups like 100 Women Who Care Central Oregon and the more recent 100 Men Who Care Central Oregon. By using a collaborative model, these groups turn otherwise modest donations of $100 per person into a sizable gift by channeling them all to the same nonprofit.
The names are a bit of a misnomer, as the women's group now has well over 100 members and the men's group—which held its first quarterly meeting just last month—is still a bit shy of that number. But the impact is clear. Instead of each person sending their $100 to a different organization, the group sends thousands to a single nonprofit, amplifying the impact.
Or, look to the ways children participate in fundraising efforts. While even the plumpest piggy bank doesn't hold much, a group of children can join forces to create real change in their communities, all while getting a lesson in the importance of compassion.
One local example is a tea party called Fin & Fina's Giving Tea, a now-annual event created by two school-aged friends, and supported by their mothers. Their tea party serves as a fun opportunity for kids to collect items for families impacted by domestic violence—and to learn about the power of giving.
In the same way that a simple smile or a kind word can change someone's day, so too can a modest donation of money or time create a ripple effect of change in the community. Because when it comes down to it, everyone has something to give.
We encourage you to keep that in mind as you peruse the listings and profiles of local nonprofits that follow. These organizations all contribute in some way—large or small, directly or indirectly—to creating the community we live in. We owe it to them to give back, in whatever way our means permit.
Take a look at the features in this year's Give Guide:Give Guide 2015: Non-Profit Listings