Cross posted at Do Good in Brooklyn

Last week  I was happy to stumble across Shop Brooklyn, which highlights local businesses across the borough as part of a larger campaign to get people to buy from local businesses.  The campaign emphasizes the enormous benefits of buying local including job creation, local control, diversity, and competition.

This made me wonder–can the buy local approach apply to nonprofits as well?  What if people committed to supporting their local nonprofit?  While thinking about this I came across an older initiative by the United Way of Lake & Sumter Counties called Give Where You Live.  The emphasis in their approach is why you should you support your local united way over another, but it doesnt address why you should give locally at all.  While I believe the same question is asked when buying local (especially if other countries rely on our buying their products) the question is especially compelling when it comes to donations.  Why should you care about your neighborhood when there are other communities around the globe that may be suffering more than yours?

  1. You can do more than give money: When a nonprofit is nearby it is easier to lend your time and talent as well as making a donation.
  2. You can see progress and make change: Maybe you don’t like the direction your local nonprofit is going in…maybe you think the community needs better or different services.  Either way, because you are close you can participate in the programs the organization provides and see what’s happening for yourself.
  3. Strong communities address larger problems together: Giving locally makes it easier to develop stronger ties with your community as it encourages civic engagement.  And  when communities are working well together it is easier to address larger problems.
  4. Economic benefits apply to nonprofits as well: Nonprofits create jobs, support entrepreneurship, foster local control,  and may even partner with and support local businesses in the area.

To encourage people to buy local, the 3/50 project focuses on spending $50 at three different local businesses each month.  I’m going to apply the 3/50 campaign to nonprofits as well.  Below are the businesses and nonprofits I support–what are yours?

Nonprofits:

Businesses:

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