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Commit to Follow One Non-Profit Organization This Year

The 1st post of the year should be a special and here is mine.  One favor.  Select one non-profit organization that you will follow this year.  Choose one that you feel a connection to.  It could be health related as you know someone with or has had this health issue.  It could be a political cause.  It could be religious.  It could be local such as the local high school education fund.  It could be outside of the country such as an organization focusing on starving children in Africa.  It could be a small non-profit or it could  be a large non-profit.  Maybe it is one that you will follow for many years or maybe for only a year.   The decision is yours.    Be comfortable with your selection.

Give

Social Media is about giving.  By following one or more non-profits this year you will be helping others as well as feeling better about yourself.  What do I mean by following?  Here are my thoughts on this:

  • Review the organization’s website and get to know the organization such as what is their message, who do they help, what activities do they have coming up and how you can be involved with them.  Maybe do RSS so that you will be notified when their website home page is modified.  Know enough about this organization so that you can comfortably tell others about it.
  • If the organization has a sign up to receive their newsletter, sign up for it so that you can get notified of any events or new information for this organization.  Make it easy for that organization to communicate to you.
  • Check out their status to make sure they are legitimate and worthy of following.  If they are a larger non-profit, check them out on http://www.charitynavigator.org.
  • If you use Facebook and if they have a Facebook fan page, become a fan of that organization so that you are can be easily informed of information from this selected organization.  Make sure that you suggest to others that they become a fan of this organization.
  • If you use Twitter and if they have a Twitter account, follow them.  Suggest to others that they follow this organization.  Remember to send out a tweet about the organization on charity Tuesdays.
  • If they take donations, make a donation, even if it is a small amount.  This donation solidifies your connection with this organization.  Or make a non-money donation, that the organization can use for a drawing such as sporting event tickets or a week at your vacation home.
  • If they have a of fund raising event like a carnival or pancake breakfast, make sure you attend as well as encourage others to attend including your Linkedin Connections, Facebook Friends, Twitter Followers, workmates and neighbors.
  • If they have some kind of volunteer activity, if possible, volunteer some of your time.    This could include volunteering activities such as a beach cleanup or manning a booth.  Or if you have an expertise that the organization could take advantage of such as graphic designer for event brochure, provide them with your expertise.  Many of these organizations need assistance with social media.

Multiple touch points with the organization is key.  These touch points might draw others into being involved with your selected organization.  Much like Twitter followers, usually one follower leads to another follower.  Much like Linkedin Connections, a new connection usually leads to another connection.  A small activity by you could lead to great benefit to your selected organization which could lead to assisting a great amount of people. Thanks for considering.  Wish you the best for you and your selected non-profit organization.

My selected non-profit is The Public Law Center (PLC) of Santa Ana, CA.  I’ve come to know them well through volunteering for them.  I’ve also made a small contribution to them.

PLC is Orange County California’s pro bono law firm.  PLC is committed to providing access to justice for low income residents. Through volunteers and staff, PLC provides free civil legal services, including counseling, individual representation, community education, and strategic litigation and advocacy to challenge societal injustices.  Now over 28 years of service, PLC works with more than 730 volunteer lawyers, paralegals and law students from throughout Orange County who volunteer their time and expertise.

In the year 2008 alone, PLC staff and volunteers provided 50,153 hours of free legal services in handling more than 3,200 cases, serving a total of 14,000 low income children, adults and seniors in Orange County. PLC estimates that the value of free legal services provided by PLC staff and volunteers in 2008 is worth more than $16 million. PLC volunteers include partners at major Orange County law firms, sole practitioners, young lawyers, law students, college students and an array of others concerned about ensuring access to justice.

PLC’s staff of over 20 works to make certain that volunteers have the tools necessary to properly represent their clients.  PLC carefully screens new cases to ensure that the matters are appropriate for placement with a volunteer attorney.  PLC staff monitors all cases from the client’s first contact with PLC until the case closes.  PLC provides training in a variety of critical areas of importance for our volunteers, as well as substantive backup from the expert advocates on our staff.   PLC staff assists with interpretation for non-English speaking clients who do not have their own interpreters and for volunteers who do not have diverse language capabilities in their office.

Most importantly, PLC provides Orange County attorneys with the opportunity to help make sure that access to civil justice is available to all. PLC offers a variety of different types of pro bono work for potential volunteers, whether they are in large firms or small firms, sole practitioners, litigators or transactional lawyers, or law students.

PLC opens access to justice for those who are most vulnerable to injustice. PLC’s collaborative relationship with other organizations help make Orange County a better place to live for everyone.

PLC can be contacted by calling (714) 541-1010 or accessing http://www.publiclawcenter.org.  PLC is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization.

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