Southern California offers many opportunities for newcomers to give back to their community through charities. Volunteering for local nonprofit groups is an easy way to meet your neighbors, make business contacts, and contribute to the community.
More than in some other countries, the US relies on private funding and volunteer efforts to support many educational, cultural, medical, recreational and social service organizations. If you are interested in getting involved, here are some tips:
Decide what interests you. Find an organization in a field that appeals to you. Ask your neighbors about their involvement with charitable organizations
Consider particular skills you can offer: Could be financial expertise, fluency in a language, or playing a musical instrument.
Visit and ask questions. Visit organizations that interest you. Fundraising dinners and other events are a way to support an organization, learn more about it, and meet other supporters.
Contribute financially. While tax dollars support some charitable activities, most organizations rely on individual and business donors for their support. If you are a US resident for income tax purposes, contributions may qualify for an income tax charitable deduction. If you are a nonresident, contributions may be deductible against your US-source income if made to a US charity.
Join a nonprofit board. Most nonprofit organizations are corporations with boards of directors. Many nonprofits are looking for board members who are interested in the work of the organization and are willing to contribute their time and expertise.
As a volunteer, contributor, board member, or all three, involvement with a charitable organization is an easy and enjoyable way to be part of the community.