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Dads are busier than ever these days, but they're still looking for ways to give back. Sometimes they just need to be pointed in the right direction.
Recently my dad called me up and asked me for some advice (it's usually the other way around). He was looking for suggestions on nonprofits to add to his giving portfolio. If your dad is anything like mine, he's been giving to the same two nonprofits for 20 years, so it might be time for him to explore some new organizations.
There are a bunch of great nonprofits out there, but I wanted to tell my dad about organizations that aligned with his interests. After thinking about what the dads in my life care about, I compiled a list of nonprofits that do related work. Hopefully these are organizations the dads you know will love as well!
The Gentlemen's Fund
Just as GQ inspires men to be their most stylish, its Gentlemen's Fund initiative encourages them to support causes "that are essential to the modern man," such as conservation, education, leadership and military service. Your dad can join forces with celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, Mark Wahlberg and Adrian Grenier in giving back to charities that champion these causes.
I can't think of a dad that doesn't enjoy a trip to a playground with kids once in awhile. What's more fun than being able to relive your childhood and hit the slide or the monkey bars? KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit that helps create playspaces for children, which leads to happier and healthier kids, greener cities and stronger communities. Dads can make a donation or help build a playground with tools from KaBOOM!
Kiva is a micro-lending organization, and let's face it, dads have a lot of experience with "loans" to their kids. Kiva seeks to alleviate global poverty by allowing people to lend money to entrepreneurs throughout the world. Once the entrepreneur repays their loan, the lender can collect their principal or re-lend to a new entrepreneur! You can assure your dad he probably has a better chance of being repaid with a Kiva loan rather than the ones he's made to you!
Dads are hard workers and regardless of what they do for a living, they're happy to share their skills and knowledge. The Taproot Foundation works to expand pro bono service and gives grants to allow business professionals to offer their expertise to nonprofits. If your dad works in the areas of Strategic Human Resources, Strategy Management, Marketing or IT, direct him to Taproot and let him know he can use his skills to help a nonprofit.
Peace Players International
Many dads enjoy playing or watching a good game of basketball every now and then. By supporting Peace Players, your dad can see the role a game of basketball can play in uniting kids in divided communities like Northern Ireland, South Africa and the Middle East. The organization was founded on the premise that "children who play together can learn to live together" and uses sports to bring together youth in these areas. It also strives to involve the community at large so their work is long-lasting.
If your dad's like mine, he likes to tinker in the yard with tools like weed whackers and pruning shears. Whether your dad actually has a green thumb or is moderately handy with a trowel, he can start a community garden or support an existing one. The American Community Gardening Association lets you search for gardens in your area and gives you the tools to start one if none exist. Just be warned that if your dad gets involved, you could be the recipient of a lot of extra veggies!
Please share any nonprofits you think are great for dads to get involved with!