Do Good, Feel Good – Making a Difference
Over the past few months, we’ve released a series of blog posts sharing ways individuals and families can impact their community and the world. As the series comes to an end, we want to highlight some of the ways to make a difference.
There are many different types of volunteering and ways to find needs within your community. You can donate your time, expertise, labor, and efforts to raise awareness. If there is already a specific cause or organization you are passionate about; it is as easy as giving them a call or looking online to sign up to volunteer. If you aren’t sure where you’d like to volunteer but know you want to get involved, there are tools online to help pair opportunities with volunteers, such as VolunteerMatch.org.
For many of us, travel provides a way to unplug from our stressful lives and experience different cultures and places. Impact travel allows us to continue to do this while positively impacting the places we visit. Booking your stays at socially and/or environmentally conscious lodging, supporting local businesses while traveling, and participating in eco-activities such as hiking, safaris, and visits to animal sanctuaries are all ways to travel with an impact. Other options are intentionally traveling at off-peak times to avoid the effects of over-tourism & visit smaller, less traveled destinations. Lastly, participating in voluntourism is another way to impact travel. Voluntourism allows travelers to participate in volunteer work, usually for a charitable organization. Thoroughly vet the charity & partner with reputable organizations for voluntourism to ensure it positively impacts the community.
Investing your money in a way that aligns with your values has become increasingly popular. You can accomplish this through various strategies, such as excluding specific companies or sectors from a portfolio or intentionally tilting a portfolio towards those that align with your values. There are also impact projects with investment opportunities that have very specific goals, such as promoting renewable energy or clean water access. Another option to invest with a purpose is shareholder advocacy, where shareholders vote on resolutions that guide decisions made by a company’s board of directors.
For many, a full life involves finding ways to give back and positively impact the world. Each of the examples listed above has a link to a blog specifically on that topic with more information for you to explore. The opportunities to impact our communities and the world are vast; there is something for everyone regardless of age, skill set, ability, or schedule. Please reach out to your BDF team if you’d like to brainstorm or explore any of these options (or any other ideas you have in mind).
Leslie is a Senior Advisor at BDF. She joined the team in 2016 after earning her bachelor’s degree in Agricultural & Consumer Economics from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Leslie enjoys digging into the details, so clients don’t have to. She combines her passion for financial planning and her love for helping people to tailor comprehensive financial plans to the clients’ ever-evolving lives.