6 Reasons to Give Local: how your donation impacts your community

October 6, 2023

We’ve all heard about the importance of supporting local small businesses, but have you taken a moment to think about why supporting local nonprofits is equally essential? Here are the top 6 reasons to contribute to local nonprofits like We Don’t Waste in your community. 

1. Improve the quality of life for your neighbors. Nonprofits all have a mission that they are working towards achieving. These missions come from noticing a need, or a gap in service for the people who the organization impacts. For We Don’t Waste, with a vision to feed people, not landfills, we’re improving access to nutritious food, which in turn leads to improvements in short-term and long-term health and even improved school performance for children! 

There are countless additional benefits to having a healthy community: improved local safety and crime, increased ability to work and be financially healthy, higher life expectancy, increased self-reported happiness, less inequity, and even more civic participation according to the National Center for Health Statistics!

2. Boosting the local economy Just like shopping at the mom-and-pop shop keeps your dollar within the local economy, supporting a nonprofit in your area does the same! For every $1 contributed to a nonprofit, there is a $3 value of return brought into the community. This happens through direct outputs of an organization’s programs in the community, as well as through general operations. In order to achieve the mission, nonprofits have to circulate the revenue from donations and grants, whether that’s through food purchase, building out local distribution programs, or running the trucks and the buildings that house these programs. Sustaining a nonprofit also requires the labor of staff, which maintains the local economy directly through these people. 

3. Greater impact through flexibility. Large nonprofits and organizations with nationwide and global programs are doing vital work, there’s no doubt about that. That being said, there’s a level of bureaucracy that comes from operating within a model that is so large-scale. Smaller, local nonprofits have the flexibility to make changes that better serve the hyper-specific needs within communities in a swifter manner. For example, when COVID pushed the world to a halt, We Don’t Waste was quickly able to pivot to host drive-through Mobile Food Markets so people could still have vital nutrition access in a safe, consistent manner. 

4. Local giving is more efficient. Nonprofits are always striving to stretch dollars further and maximize the impact of your donation. The benefit to being directly a part of the communities you serve means that we have the ability to create advantageous partnerships with other local organizations, recruit help directly from communities where we are active, and, ultimately, focus our efforts on areas needing the most support. We operate within the local chain of supply, utilize local businesses for services, and take advantage of local government support. All of this helps to reduce our cost of operations on a daily basis. 

What’s the result? A $20 donation to We Don’t Waste results in 41 servings of food distributed to those experiencing food insecurity, 19 pounds of greenhouse gases avoided from food waste, and helps educate a local child about nutrition and the importance of reducing food waste.  

5. Tax benefits. Keep your giving receipts handy for when the time to file comes around, and you’ll be rewarded with tax credits! When donating to We Don’t Waste’s Capital Campaign, you can receive up to 25% of your cash donation back as a tax credit at the end of the year through the Denver Enterprise Zone Program!

You can help We Don’t Waste complete the new Food Recovery Hub, and be a part of building the new home for food recovery in Denver! All cash and in-kind donations made to the campaign will contribute towards the tax credit. Learn more about the project here!

6. Giving is good for you! Studies have shown that generosity has many health benefits. There is a special kind of joy that comes with giving money, time, and talents to uplift others. Endorphins in the brain are released as a reward when we practice generosity, which translates to increased measures of happiness, trust, and social connection. 

Make a Donation to support food access today!

Giving locally is one of the best ways to have a positive impact in your own community, and giving monthly is a great way to ensure that those improvements are long-lasting. Want to be sure your donations are being used the right way? View our Four-Stour Charity Navigator Rating online. 

If you’re looking for the chance to give your time, there are fun volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups available to view online. Plus you get to see the impact you’re having in the community up-close.