Are you doing your duty? #NelsonMandela #Quote #ServingOthers

67B Friday

This past Sunday, in church, reverend Grobler spoke about our mission, missionary work and our calling. In the line of my work, I’ve often wondered about this. I’ve received my call to serve many years ago. Since that evening in the Krugersdorp Full Gospel Church, I’ve known that my life will always be one of service, I could just never understand how.

I’ve been searching for ways to purposely serve ever since. Now I am doing actual work, serving the communities around me and people as far afield as Uganda. The thing is, I realize now, I’ve always served in some way or another. Maybe not in specific poor and destitute areas, but I’ve served my family, my friends, my colleagues, by just being there and helping them when they need me. You do not need to ‘purposely serve’, serving must be a way of life.

Now I can hear you asking: “How can I live a life of service?”. That is easy, as the rev so aptly put it: “It is in the manual”. Said “manual” being the Holy Bible. I know many people in the world are not Christians, but that doesn’t mean you do not know the difference between living decent lives and living wasted lives. Serving is what God calls us to do and He does not only call the Christians, He calls the whole world. Someday, whether you believe in it or not, you will be judged for whatever you did on this earth.

Serving others is simply this: being compassionate and kind to all living things, to earth itself. Be considerate with your words and actions, do not judge others, not even if you feel you have a right to. Living every day consciously knowing that you are NOT better than anyone else, staying humble and accepting others for who they are.

Still wondering how you can serve and why? Let’s have a look in the ‘manual’, courtesy of www.openbible.com.

Luke 6:38: “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

Philippians 2:1-11: “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, …”

Galatians 5:13-14 : “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

The thing is, and I know this is a cliche, we are all on earth for but a short while. So ask yourself: “What legacy will I leave behind?” Will you be proud to know your children and grandchildren are following in your footsteps, guided by your life’s example? When it’s all said and done, and you lie on your deathbed, will you wish you’ve lived differently? Will you be ashamed of you life? Did you do your duty?

Read more about serving others here.

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#Wordsofhope: is the world becoming a better place?

via @nytimes by 

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Photo by Monique Jaques for The New York Times

We have all become so used to the doom and gloom of current times, that we often forget that things are often NOT what it seems.

Nicholas Kristof shares stories about survival, battles fought and won, perseverance, kindnesses done, caring hearts reaching out. He helps us to ‘look on the bright side’ for a change.

Could it be that, amidst all the troublesome politicians, corruption, crime, fear of war, warnings about global warning and looming catastrophe, all the good deeds of those who care went unnoticed? Perhaps it is only because we’ve been looking into the darkness for so long, that we find the light too blinding, so we prefer to wallow in the gloom. Open your eyes for a while, and see the reality. Yes, there are many bad people in the world, and yes, bad things do happen, but let us focus for a minute on the good things and let us be thankful for it.

May Kristof’s article prove to you that there still is hope, hope that the world still has the potential to become a better place.

Read the article here.

SOURCE:

Good News, Despite What You’ve Heard  July 1, 2017. The New York Times by Nicholas Kristof: goo.gl/KHbBWz

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The Future of Social Activism

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Image via Column Five Media bit.ly/2ggt5r0

In a previous article I mentioned the importance of focusing on our marketing strategies with specific attention to the millennials. How do we engage them and keep them engaged?

This infographic by TakePart clearly points out that young people do care about the causes close to their heart and how they manage to go beyond just spreading the word but how “they’re taking real action in ways that companies and organizations should take note of.”[Column Five Media:2012]

For more infographics and other TakePart projects, click here.

Want inspiration to create killer content that will draw people to your blog? Join forces with Column Five Media. Click here

SOURCE:

COLUMN FIVE MEDIA.  2012.  Infographic: The future of Social Activism.  [Web:] www.columnfivemedia.com  [Date of Access:] November 23, 2016.

Should you invest your time and/or money in a smaller NPO or NGO? #NonProfit #Volunteers

We have all, at one point or another, given thought to charity and the organizations we should give to. Should we throw all our weight behind big, busy and wealthy charities? It is certainly simpler. They often have a tried and tested system in place so that you can track your donation; they have larger scope and can reach further, meaning your contribution can have maximum impact. They have skilled employees and you can be secure in the knowledge that your donation will be safe with them, they have a reputation to protect, so no misconduct will be allowed.  If you choose to volunteer, you will receive the best training and you will have a support system in place that can lead you on your way, making your experience as volunteer a memorable and pleasant one.

The question posed here is: if you are happy being involved with these bigger organizations, why should you bother with the little fish? Should you consider supporting the smaller NPO or NGO at all?

Most of us know that third world countries, especially, are rife with non-profits and NGO’s. Poverty in these countries are just the tip of the iceberg; HIV/Aids and other diseases, droughts, famine, war…it all gives purpose to these charitable organizations. Thing is, if you decide to do your share for a smaller NPO, where do you start? Where do you support?

Despite having a smaller infrastructure and far less expertise, many smaller NPO’s and NGO’s may be the better choice. Brad says in his article for Volunteer World: “If you really want to make an impact, it may involve selecting a smaller NGO that is starving for support and not forgetting about them when you return home.” [Brad:2015]

Working with smaller NGO’s and NPO’s a volunteer would be able to utilize ALL his or her skills as your help will be required on all levels of the organization. You will be able to reach out and change lives and YOU WILL BE ABLE TO EXPERIENCE THE POSITIVE IMPACT of your decisions and your support first-hand. “The bottom line is that a smaller NGO can offer you the best opportunity to make a true impact.” [Brad:2015]

Of course, doing volunteer work for these smaller organizations means more face to face involvement with your charges, the people you’ve decided to help. While many volunteers in foreign countries crave this ‘real life’ experience, many may see it as an easy way to have a nice holiday. In smaller org’s you will be expected to WORK, it is a hands-on experience. Dedication is key and you will have to realize that the people in your care have been through extremely tough times. Your heart must be in the work, despite the fact that you don’t get paid.  “A good volunteer will treat it as an opportunity to help the less fortunate, while also building up some valuable work experience for their resume/CV. The truth is that volunteers come and go and unless they stay long term they really have a minimal impact.”[Brad:2015]

Whatever the length of your stay may be, it is paramount that you continue to support your small NGO/NPO when you return home. Create awareness in your community and make sure that the org knows you did not forget about them. Always remember that a true, dedicated donor or volunteer NEVER wants anything in return and, as Brad puts it: “Don’t ask, what the project can do for you,…”[Brad:2015].

Read Brad’s article here and see how he points out the importance of volunteer involvement in smaller NGO’s and NPO’s.

Click here for your free volunteer guide.

For those interested in volunteering in Uganda, specifically, please click here to visit Macfo Uganda.

SOURCE:

BRAD.  2015.  Making an Impact – The Advantages of Supporting Smaller NGO’s.  [Web:] https://blog.volunteerworld.com.  [Date of Access:] November 23, 2016.

IMAGE SOURCE:

Volunteer World.  2015. Making an Impact – The Advantages of Supporting Smaller NGO’s. [Web:] bit.ly/2fQFYHQ.  [Date of Access:] November 23, 2016.

 

The Importance of Writing a Business Plan for your Nonprofit

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Image via lucycrystal.com.

Via @bplan

If you think that only profit generating businesses should have a proper business plan, you are wrong. Non-profits, with their unique setup, do need a business plan if you are to be successful in your efforts to make a difference, whatever your cause.

Many founders of non-profit organizations barely bother to register their NPO, much less take the time to compile a business plan. However, having a business plan will give you the opportunity to get an overall view of the exact direction your non-profit is moving in. You can clearly envision your goals, target your weaknesses and get a realistic idea of your donor base.

Generally a business plan includes the following information [BPlan]

  • Executive summary
  • Objectives
  • Mission
  • Keys to success
  • Organization summary
  • Services
  • Market Analysis Summary
  • Strategy and Implementation Summary
  • Management Summary
  • Financial Plan

As you can see it provides important details that one so often overlook, especially when you want to establish a non-profit.

Having a written business plan will give your NPO a head start and can guarantee long-term success; even if you don’t think it is necessary.

Benefits, amongst others are:

  • Sponsors will take you more seriously. When asking for a grant, you need to make the right impression and a properly compiled business plan shows off your professional approach to your non-profit.
  • Should you apply for a loan; the bank will be more generous and willing to approve the financial assistance requested if you can provide your business plan.
  • Donors in general will appreciate your attention to detail and will be more likely to offer their funds or services to help your cause

Compiling a business plan need not be a difficult, time consuming process.

Bplans.com provides a variety of business plan samples for every conceivable type of business or non-profit you may have in mind. You can download your choice and use it as example to write your own.

Alternatively follow the link on Bplan’s pages and try out LivePlan. With LivePlan you can create your own business plan online.

Whether you are an established NPO or just starting out, you can benefit from writing a proper business plan for your organization. It is NEVER too late to introduce an air of professionalism into your org.

Start now. Click here to visit Bplan and compile your business plan.

SOURCE:

BPLANS.  Free Non-Profit Sample Business Plans.  [Web:] www.bplans.com  [Date of Access:] Oct 13, 2016.

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These 5 Things Can Make NonProfit Marketers More Effective

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Via @cmicontent by @joepulizzi

Are you using a content marketing strategy in your efforts to raise funds and/or awareness for your non-profit? Joe Pulizzi describes the importance of documenting your strategy and also accentuates that a non-profit must have a well documented editorial mission statement. He says: “An editorial mission statement clearly defines who your audience is and how your content will help it. For the first time, we asked nonprofit marketers if they have documented editorial mission statements, and 30% said they do. Of the most effective marketers, 42% have such a statement, while only 21% of the least effective have one.” [Pulizzi:2015]

The success of a your marketing efforts will depend on how well you have planned and documented your content strategy. Whether you use two, four or six different social platforms is of no consequence and cannot guarantee the success of any campaign.

Have a look a the statistics compiled by the Content Marketing Institute here. The research proves that any strategy, no matter how hard you work at it, will only be effective once it is properly planned and written down.

Pulizzi also states that non-profits should never give up, despite their unsuccessful attempts at marketing and he explains the levels of growth in great detail.

Reading the article can be very helpful to those who are still learning the ropes of social media and content marketing. Click here to read the full article and download the 16-page guide to content marketing.

SOURCE:

PULIZZI, Joe.  2015.  These 5 things can make nonprofit marketers more effective.  [Web:] contentmarketinginstitute.com.  [Date of Access:] October 12, 2016.

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How to Register Your NonProfit in South Africa

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Via #govza

Are you a philantropist? Have you been doing something in your community to uplift the people? If you are, don’t you think it is time for your work to become a bit more official and professional?

Registering as a non-profit organization is free of charge, relatively simple and it can be very beneficial to your organization. When you can provide a registration number, people will be more likely to take your work seriously and they will be more willing to contribute to your cause.

NPOs include trusts, companies or other associations of persons established for a public purpose.

Registering your NPO is beneficial because its certificate:

  • improves your credibility and funding opportunities
  • allows your organisation to open a bank account
  • helps your organisation with tax incentives.

You can read more about the specific requirements and the registration process here. All application forms can be downloaded here.

If you have a reliable internet service, you can also consider online application through the Department of Social Development. They also provide a wealth of information on the subject of registration (click here) and you can proceed immediately to the registration process.

Register online as NPO here.

Remember to read the instructions on these websites carefully and make sure you have all the relevant documentation at hand.

SOURCES:

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT.  All about Non-Profit Organizations.  [Web:] bit.ly/2er93d5[Date of Access:] October 12, 2016

THE SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT.  Register a Non-Profit Organization. [Web:] bit.ly/2er70ps [Date of Access:] October 12, 2016.