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The team from Charity Navigator, the nation's largest independent charity evaluator and leading donor advocate, shares their thoughts on emerging nonprofit-sector issues and offers tips to better inform your intelligent giving decisions.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Charity Navigator Talks: Volunteer in your PJ's!

I get it—you’re tired! You work all day, run errands, tidy up around the house, and by 8pm, you just want to put on your pajamas and relax. I feel the same way! Some days, I think about adding other things to my schedule, like exercising, picking up a new hobby, or volunteering. While volunteering is an incredibly rewarding experience, it requires a large chunk of time, which is often hard to carve out. So to make it easier for everyone,I’ve found several ways we can all volunteer in our pajamas from our couches!!



Become an Animal Foster Parent!
You’re very unlikely to be in your pajamas all the time when you volunteer this way, but you do get to come home to a loving animal who won’t judge your pajamas! Animals of all sizes, colors, and species are looking for love and cuddles. Use our search feature to find animal shelters in your area that can use your help!

By the way, there are outstanding charities fighting for animal rights! Animal Legal Defense Fund, Vegan Outreach, and Humane Farming Association are just a few of our 4 star charities advocating for animals.




Read! Volunteer readers with College Guild respond to student-written poetry, artwork, and writing. College Guild currently works with 6,000 incarcerated students.. As the reader, you’ll provide constructive feedback and encouragement! According to College Guild, there’s a 6-8 month wait list to enroll in their classes at any given time, and your participation will reduce that time.
And while you're at it, check out Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, and Equal Justice Initiative. These 4 star charities are all champions for reducing mass incarceration.







Retweet the Charities You Love!
With or without wine (Malbec is my personal favorite), and since you’re probably already on Twitter, retweeting from your favorite charities will promote their content to new audiences. This means more awareness for the cause you care about, potential new donations going to the charity you support, and potential retweets for you, as well! If you’re not sure where to start, check out our Twitter. We’re always tweeting about the charities we love!

If you're looking for a new charity to love, have a look at the charities we rate who have perfect scores, like Cure Alzheimer's Fund, Hope for Haiti's Children, and Boca Helping Hands!


Map the World!
Did you know that they world is not even close to being entirely mapped? In times of disaster, relief organizations often have to serve individuals that live in unmapped regions, making it hard to access them. That’s where Humanitarian Openstreetmap Team (HOT) comes in! With volunteers all over the world, HOT maps affected areas so responders can reach communities who were not previously accessible.


Find Elephants! At Zooniverse, anyone can be a researcher! One of the projects on their website is the Elephant Expedition. They’ve literally hidden cameras in the Central Africa Rainforest in Gabon. As a volunteer, you’ll go through images taken by these cameras and help researchers count the elephants. Knowing the amount of elephants there are is crucial to conservation efforts, plus, what could be cuter than seeing elephants at play?!

If you're as obsessed with elephants as I am (not sure if that's possible!) than consider supporting The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. This 4 star charity is the nation's largest elephant natural habitat refuge!


Bonus: Become a Baby Cuddler!
While they may feel differently about you wearing your pajamas, hospitals throughout the country are looking for people to cuddle with babies! The babies are typically opioid-dependent and need all the love they can get. Just look up your local hospital and search for volunteer services. If they don’t have a baby-cuddling program, we’re sure they have something just as awesome, like reading to patients!

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