How many nonprofit organizations in your area can you name? Sure, it’s easy to think of the large nonprofits in the United States, like the Salvation Army, Goodwill, or the Red Cross, but what about the small charities that are trying to make an impact in your neighborhood specifically? As it turns out, there are over 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States. That means that for every 200 people, there is roughly 1 nonprofit. In a city like Chicago, with a metropolitan area containing almost 10 million residents, there are around 45,000 nonprofit organizations. Many of these charities are in need donations, but they don’t have the same exposure that the Salvation Army or Goodwill have.
Here at Zealous Good, we’re trying to end that. As a donation-match website, our goal is to put do-gooders with extra items in touch with nearby charities, so we can extend the life of everyone’s belongings and get them in the hands of those who need them. In the process, we’re hoping to create lasting connections between donors and charities that facilitate a lifetime of useful donations.
Our vision for the future is a world where you know your local charities like you know your neighbors. We imagine a utopia where no charities ever find themselves in need, because they each have a strong network of donors they can turn to. We hope for a day when Zealous Good no longer needs to exist, because the second a person wants to donate an item, they know exact which local charity could use it, no matter how strange that item is.
So, if you live in Chicago, log on to Zealous Good to donate goods and meet your new favorite Chicago charity. We want to help you make a connection that will turn into a lifetime of goodwill for you. If you don’t live in Chicago, don’t worry; we’re hoping to expand our vision for the future to other cities across the United States soon. In addition, you can search for charities near you using Guidestar, VolunteerMatch, or The National Council of Nonprofits. With your support, charities can stop worrying about their own organizational needs and instead concentrate on those that rely on their help. Find one that means the most to you today.
Kevin Binder is a 2013 summer marketing intern at Zealous Good, an in-kind donations marketplace in Chicago. You can find him on Google+ or find Zealous Good on Facebook or on Twitter at @ZealousGood.