Many of us in the YNPN LA community work for organizations that are locally based and focused. In my case, I work as a fundraiser for Children's Hospital Los Angeles. In that capacity, I've run into a question you most likely have faced: "Why should our philanthropic prospects give to local causes?"
National organizations can have broader scope and more resources to accomplish their missions. Additionally, they benefit from having name recognition that folks can connect with. These reasons can lead people to believe their money is best spent going to a national organization.
While it is important to continue to give to national organizations and support the work they do, we should encourage people to also contribute to local causes for two reasons: the money will have a more direct impact, and local causes are connect to your community.
Bureaucracy and overhead expenses are well known concerns in the nonprofit world. Some people make philanthropic decisions based on organizations' balance between administrative expenses and cause-related expenses.
Here is where the smaller scale of local organizations becomes an advantage. The local focus leads towards a smaller bureaucracy, if any at all. This allows not as much money to be spent on administration. In a similar vein, local causes will focus their outreach efforts to a more consolidated group of targets, thereby lowering marketing expenses as well. When money goes to local causes, it has a higher likelihood of going straight to the cause itself, as well as the community.
Additionally, giving to a local cause builds a connection to your community. The money is going to help people you may know. For example, Children's Hospital Los Angeles sees 528,000 patient visits a year. Within that number, there is likely a family you know.
Local organizations help local people. By giving to your community, you will see the direct effects in your community. Contributing to a local environmental nonprofit can lead to a cleaner, more green community.
In short, local causes do local good. If any of the above as lit a spark in you to get active on a local level, then you should check out Make March Matter, a campaign throughout the month of March to raise money and awareness for children's health and Children's Hospital Los Angeles with the help of local businesses and the Los Angeles community. All money raised will go directly to Children's Hospital Los Angeles and help the kids in our community who need it most.
Emma Standring-Trueblood is one of YNPN LA's Guest Bloggers. Connect with her on LinkedIn and comment below and add your voice to the conversation.