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It’s that wonderful time of year. The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and the air is fresh. It’s spring!

Which also means spring cleaning. North American families have an annual tradition of cleaning their homes, and purging unnecessary belongings. From clothing to kitchenware to books, each year individuals purge these items they’ve collected over time that they no longer need in order for a fresh spring start.

But as you sift through your belongings, identifying what will stay and what will go, where do this discarded items go? Throwing perfectly good items in the trash is a shame! There are countless ways to part with your unwanted goods so that they can benefit others.

Here are four different ways to lighten your load and make a difference while you do it!

Every organization has a mission statement, but what exactly does it mean? Is it similar to a business plan, a vision statement, or a list of goals?

At its core, a mission statement outlines why the organization exists and why it does what it does. It is a one sentence statement describing the motivation that determines the non-profits priorities and actions. A good mission statement is short, concise and informative.

Mission statements and vision statements are often confused or grouped together.

A mission statement describes how you will achieve your overarching goal, whereas a vision statement describes that specified end goal. A mission statement focuses on the present, defining the purpose and primary objectives of the organization, but a vision statement focuses on the future, discussing both the goals and values of the organization.

In a nutshell, a mission statement answers the question, “What do we do and what makes us unique?” while a vision statement answers the question, “Where do we aspire to be?”

why donateEvery year, hundreds of thousands of people donate their time and/or money to non-profit organizations. Why do they do it?

More importantly, why should you?

Here are five reasons to donate to charity:

1. To help others.

First and foremost, when you contribute to a cause you are making the world a better place. Whether you are donating your time, money or expertise, there are recipient(s) benefiting from it. People may go to school because of the scholarship you fund, children may feel supported by the shelter or food they receive, animals may be saved because of the organization you donate too, and society’s carbon footprint may decrease as a result of your research and efforts. Ultimately, giving back shows kindness and those around you see that. 

While sometimes there are questions about where money goes in the public sector, the fact is, everyone in it is trying to do something bigger than what one of us could do alone. The fact is this: when you donate to charity you are doing good in the world.

public sectorpub·lic sec·tor: 
noun
the part of an economy that is controlled by the government.

What is the Public Sector?

Quite simply, the public sector is one section of the economy that is concerned with providing various government services. Though there are variations from one country to another, the public sector normally includes such services as the military, police, public transit, infrastructure care, public education, health care, and of course, the government itself.

social enterpriseA social enterprise, much like the descriptors "NGO" or "non-profit" is a term you hear quite often.

Of course you know what it means. You know it's a company that helps communities.

Sure, that definition is factually correct. Not a bad start. But let's delve a little deeper; let's unpack some of the specificities of a social enterprise. What officially makes an organization a social enterprise? How is it different from a traditional company or a charity? Is it still technically a business?

Let's take a look:

charityFirst off, what is a charity?

It is an entity with no goal to amass high revenue, hence the name 'non-profit organization'. Its purpose, recognized by law, is to be charitable and benefit others. It may only engage in charitable activities (though it can be involved with corporate activities if the business involved is related to a charitable project).

Now, what exactly is a registered charity?

NGONGO.

You've been hearing this term for years, from casual conversations with friends to corporate meetings.

Three simple letters, but what do they mean?

An NGO, a non-governmental organization, is an entity that comes in many forms, sizes, and styles. They can go in different directions and have different goals. They can focus on a specific region, a specific person, and/or a specific issue. They can have a macro-level or micro-level focus. They can be international organizations working with countless country offices, or they can be based out of someone's basement with three employees.

billgatesWhat does science have to do with philanthropy? Well, learning how to harness the advances of science in ways that can help the disadvantaged is a clear channel that bridges the two disciplines.

The annual Grand Challenges in Global Health conference, hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was launched eleven years ago with the goal of identifying the biggest problems in health and providing grants to researchers who might solve them. Each year this event brings hundreds of scientists together to discuss and analyze global issues through a scientific lens.

give

There are all kinds of donors. What kind are you?

The annual donor?

The voracious volunteer? 

No matter what way you give, your work matters.

social enterprise vs non profit

'Social enterprise' and 'non-profit' are two terms you may be hearing more and more in your day-to-day life.

"Oh, I just heard about this great program being launched by this non-profit."

"I think that social enterprise caters towards such a noble cause."

But what exactly are they? How do they differ?

Well, here are their literal definitions:

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Powering the world to do well by doing good.