People gather at a bi visibility awareness month march, one protestor holds a sign with the bisexual flag colors that reads

Celebrating Bisexual Visibility Month

September isn’t just the beginning of fall here in Worcester, MA, it’s also known globally as Bisexual Visibility Month. This month-long celebration is all about honoring and uplifting the individuals who find themselves somewhere on the spectrum of bisexuality. Whether you're bisexual yourself or an ally, bisexuality has a long history and deserves to be recognized. Recognition is a form of celebration and encourages others to learn about the history of bisexuality and important bisexual men and women current day and historically.

Bi Visibility Month: A History

Bisexual Visibility Month, also known as Bisexual Awareness Month, has its roots in LGBTQ+ activism. September became officially recognized as Bi Visibility Month in 1999, thanks to the tireless efforts of Wendy Curry, Gigi Raven Wilbur, and other change-making LGBTQ+ activists. Officially, Bisexual Visibility Day is celebrated every year on September 23rd

The purpose of celebrating bisexuality for the month was simple yet profound: to shine a spotlight on bisexuality and to combat the stigma and stereotypes surrounding it. By devoting a whole month to celebrating and raising awareness about bisexuality, activists hope to ensure that everyone feels seen, heard, and respected. Read more in-depth about the history of bisexuality and the individuals who worked hard to be seen and heard.

So… What is Bi Visibility Month, Exactly?

Bi Visibility Month is a time to celebrate, educate, and advocate for the bisexual community. Historically, bisexuality has been widely misunderstood or written off entirely, leading to harmful stereotypes and erasure of bisexual identity and individuals. Dedicating the month of September to bisexual awareness provides a platform to debunk myths and foster understanding. Simply put, it’s all about letting people know that bisexuality is valid and that love knows no gender boundaries.

Someone holds up a sign at a pride parade that says "Bisexuals visible and fighting" in Spanish "Bisexuales visibles y en lucha" to show support for bi awareness and bi visibility.The Importance of Bisexual Visibility

LGBTQ+ activists envisioned a world in which everyone would be able to love who they love and suffer no discrimination, violence, or hate. Celebrating bisexual visibility every September is about creating a world where every bisexual individual feels safe to express themselves and their love, and is ultimately accepted and cherished for who they are.

Visibility matters because it helps combat biphobia and fosters inclusivity. When bisexual individuals see themselves not only acknowledged but represented and celebrated, it leads to increased self-acceptance and a sense of belonging. On the surface, this may seem simple, but cultivating these positive feelings actually leads to diminished experiences of depression and self-harm in the LGBTQ+ community. Bi Visibility Month is a step toward reducing mental health disparities in the bisexual community and improving overall well-being, physically and emotionally. 

Many people gather holding banners and signs in support of LGBTQ+ individuals, bi awareness and visibility, and the rest of the queer community at a pride parade or a bi visibility month march.Everyone Benefits

Bisexual Visibility Month isn't just for the bisexual community; it's for everyone. Below are a few reasons that Bisexual Visibility Month is crucial in our communities:

Education and Awareness: By learning about bisexuality, schools, workplaces, and families, are able to break down stereotypes and prejudices. This knowledge can lead to more inclusive and accepting communities. Learn more about bisexuality.

Support and Allyship: Celebrating Bisexual Visibility Month shows support for the bisexual community, making bisexual individuals feel valued, seen, and understood. Gain a deeper understanding of cultivating allyship.

Intersectionality: Bisexuality intersects with other aspects of identity, such as race, gender, and disability. Recognizing and celebrating this diversity promotes a more inclusive society and ensures the support of each and every individual. Read more about intersectionality.

Mental Health: As we mentioned earlier, increased visibility improves the mental health and well-being of bisexual individuals. A happier, healthier community benefits us all.

How To Get Involved

Celebrating Bisexual Visibility Month is all about participating to make a difference in our communities. Here are some ways to get involved…

Educate Yourself: Take the time to learn about bisexuality, its history, and the challenges bisexual individuals face.

Show Your Support: Attend local events, engage with social media campaigns, and wear purple, the official color of Bisexual Visibility Month.

Amplify Bisexual Voices: Share articles, books, and art created by bisexual individuals. Give them a platform to share their experiences, and don’t forget to listen!

Donate: Consider donating to organizations that support the LGBTQ+ community.

An individual in a hot pink suit stands in front of a crowd at a pride parade, fist raised, or perhaps it's a bi visibility month celebration. Attend Inclusive Events

Celebrating Bi Visibility Month involves heightened awareness and learning, but it should also involve fun! 

We are excited to share that we have a fantastic event lined up for the beginning of October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month! At Pawsitively 4 Pink, we have created an incredibly supportive and inclusive community centered around supporting local Worcester women battling breast cancer. Our events bring locals together to raise money for local underserved women so that we can make a direct financial impact on their lives. Join us on October 7th for our "Rhythm 4 Ribbons" event. We'll be hosting some incredible live music and local food trucks. This is a fantastic opportunity to connect in a safe, supportive environment and aid a worthy cause!

If you can’t make it to Rhythm 4 Ribbons, don’t worry - there are more events on the way! If you’re interested in getting involved in Pawsitively 4 Pink by hosting a percentage night or volunteering, please don’t hesitate to reach out! Or, support Worcester women fighting breast cancer with a direct donation. Every dollar makes a difference!

Aussie Pink Floyd play a huge stadium show at night, which is just a warm-up compared to when they play their local event in Worcester, MA.

5 Live Music Events Incoming! Local Worcester MA News

Wondering what to do in Worcester MA? Well, good news, we have a lot to look forward to in the coming months! 

Here’s the big local Worcester MA news: Five fantastic live music events are on the horizon. As a Massachusetts nonprofit, Pawsitively 4 Pink’s loves to get locals out and gathered in communal spaces to refocus on what matters most: community and support. This Fall, Worcester MA is going to welcome everyone from classic rock stars to longtime pop idols to our shores! So, we encourage you to get out of the house and gather with your neighbors at one (or all) of these upcoming concerts. Take a look at the details below.


The Australian Pink Floyd Show

The first of our top five Worcester events, Australian Pink Floyd will be performing on September 24 at the Hanover Theater. After playing their first show down under in Adelaide in 1988, they have been gaining popularity as a Pink Floyd relic that keeps giving fans energetic and authentic performances. Their commitment to getting their covers right is nothing short of devotion. Their music is completed by hypnotic visuals, including a full laser show, LED screen tech, and giant pig and kangaroo inflatables. 

This live set is not something any local Floyd fan should miss out on. Globally, they’ve set the stage as the world’s biggest and best Pink Floyd cover band, and are “more than just a tribute band.” Check out the full description of what you can expect and follow this link for tickets to the show.  

Engelbert Humperdnick poses for a photo before a live performance when he was younger. Little did he know all his life he was preparing for his live music event in Worcester, MA!

Engelbert Humperdink: All About Love Tour

Another event gracing Hanover theater this Fall, Engelbert Humperdink will be playing September 27th. This legend is internationally recognized as a full-blown superstar. Known for his original voice and creative flair, he’s been everywhere from performing alongside the Rolling Stones to playing multiple shows in front of the Queen. Fans love him only for his status as a rock legend, but for his presence onstage. In the last 50 years of performances his zeal for entertaining hasn’t diminished in the slightest! 

His All About Love tour is undoubtedly one of the best events in Worcester MA this September. about love! Read more about his many awards and history in the music industry, or go straight to the source for tickets!

Cara Brindisi, soon to perform at Rhythm 4 Ribbons a nonprofit local event in Worcester, MA, poses holding her guitar.

Rhythm 4 Ribbons with Annie Brobst

We might be a little biased, but this is the event that we’re the most excited about. Rhythm 4 Ribbons is a Pawsitively 4 Pink event on October 7th at SAC Park in Shrewsbury. We’re featuring Cara Brindisi from The Voice, Fast Times 80’s tribute band, Whitney Doucet and the Moonshine Band, Buddy Fanjoy, acapella group Ball in the House, and Annie Brobst, 2022 New England Music Awards Female Performer of the Year. Give our Rhythm 4 Ribbons Spotify playlist a listen to get acquainted with these fantastic artists!

This event will run from 12:00 to 9:00 and is the perfect place to bring the whole family. Kids will have the opportunity to get their faces painted, meet some Worcester team mascots, and listen to some wonderful, local live music. Of course, we’re hosting this event in support of underserved women fighting breast cancer in our local community, so for the adults, there will be a raffle, a 50/50, and a cash bar! As always, we encourage Massachusetts to donate!

There will be free parking on the grounds and local food trucks from Savage Wraps and Morawski BBQ serving lunch and dinner. Check out our website for more details and reserve your spot here!

Joe Deninzon, fiddle player in live music group Kansas, happily plays his instrument, warming up for their upcoming live music event in Worcester, MA.


KANSAS is coming to town October 12th and has had a long, successful career as a classic rock band, picking up awards and playing sold-out-arenas all over the world throughout the 70’s and 80’s. If you haven’t cried along to the emotional tune “Dust In the Wind”, you’re missing out and you’re probably under 25. If “Dust In the Wind” doesn’t sound familiar to you, you’re bound to know another one of their hits that played all over the radio and still graces classic rock stations, “Carry On Wayward Son”.

Younger generations have grown familiar with this older band because of video games like “Guitar Hero”, “Rock Band”, and “Grand Theft Auto” and movies like “Pitch Perfect” and “Happy Gilmore”. So, it’s pretty much guaranteed that this concert will be fun for the whole family. They’ve had three generations of popularity, and for good reason! Read more about their star-studded history in the music industry or buy tickets now. 

ABBAMANIA plays a live performance, covering original ABBA tunes, they will soon be playing an event in Worcester, MA.

MANIA - the ABBA Tribute

After Mama Mia’s movie release in 2008 an entire (younger) generation of ABBA fans was born! Bring the whole family together to dance and sing on November 2nd. Mama Mia brought ABBA’s classics back into focus for fans everywhere, and the tribute concerts haven’t stopped since. MANIA is the #1 ABBA tribute globally, and at Pawsitively 4 Pink, we’re jumping at the chance to dance and join along singing to classics like “Dancing Queen”. 

MANIA has traveled everywhere from London’s West End to Vegas. This tribute would make a great mother-daughter bonding moment, or is a fabulous idea for a girl’s night out. Take a closer look at MANIA’s accolades and hurry to get your tickets to this popular show!


Pawsitively 4 Pink is all about keeping the Worcester community supportive and close knit. Our mission as a Massachusetts nonprofit is to provide direct financial support to local underserved women battling breast cancer. If our mission moves you, please check out one of our popular fundraising events, or discover other ways to get involved. 

Take a look at our blog for more information on breast cancer, women’s health, and more local Worcester MA news!

Woman holds breast cancer pink ribbon, pointing at it to encourage others to understand mammogram screening guidelines.

A Guide to Mammograms: What Age Do Mammograms Start, What Are Mammograms Like, and More

Firstly, we want to congratulate you on doing the necessary research to be ready for your mammogram! Yes, getting a mammogram for the first time is intimidating, but if you’ve successfully scheduled and overcome a pap smear, you are capable of anything.

Mammograms are used to detect early signs of breast cancer. Breast cancer is most treatable in its early stages, which is why preventative checks are so crucial for women. Mammograms are similar to getting an X-ray of your breast tissue. They allow doctors to physically see inside breasts to check out what, exactly, is happening in there. They’re especially useful because they really give the doctor everything they need to know - these days, mammograms capture even the most minute details, so they’re highly effective. Trust us, scheduling a mammogram is worth every woman’s time.

So, what’s the difference between a mammogram and an ultrasound?

An ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves that bounce off the tissues within our bodies, which a computer then converts to an image.

A mammogram, on the other hand, is a low-dose version of an X-ray, which is why metal plates are needed during the procedure. The electrodes released during the mammogram have to bounce off the surrounding metal to capture the image of the mammogram, showing healthcare providers any breast cancer or other breast diseases present. Sometimes, both mammograms and ultrasounds are used in tandem to help the doctor understand what is going on within the breast.

Ultrasounds are not a replacement for mammograms of breast cancer, but aid doctors in checking any abnormal areas found in patients with mammograms of dense breast tissue. They are used in addition to a mammogram, but never replace one entirely!

Nowadays, doctors will decide to administer one of three types of mammograms: film-screen mammography, digital mammography in 2D, and digital mammography in 3D.

What is digital mammography in 2D?

This practice takes two images of each breast and uses them to create a 2D image of each. It was standard practice until 2011.

What is digital mammography in 3D?

Also known as digital breast tomosynthesis, digital tomosynthesis, or just tomosynthesis, 3D digital mammography uses several images of each breast to create a detailed 3D image of the breast. This has become standard care for breast cancer after gaining approval from the FDA in 2011. Studies show that 3D digital mammography finds more cancers than the traditional 2D method and gives fewer false positives.

What is film-screen mammography?

This type of mammogram produces black-and-white images on film, takes a little more time to create, and was more commonly administered in the past.

Doctor listens to woman's heart with a stethoscope before her first mammogram.

What’s the age of the first mammogram in the U.S.?

The United States Preventative Services Taskforce recommends that women begin to regularly schedule screening mammograms at the age of 40. After, mammograms should be scheduled every one to two years for a breast check-up if there are no symptoms found.

When should I begin self-examining my breasts?

This is another crucial preventative step! And it’s a quick and simple process. Young women should begin self-examining their breasts as soon as they mature and their breasts stop growing, or around the age of 20. Read through this helpful guide on how to self-examine your breasts.

When women examine their breasts regularly beginning at a young age, they are more likely to discover any irregularities or changes before they develop into something more serious. Self-examination is another fantastic preventative practice all young women should include in their weekly schedules.

Waiting until the week after your period to conduct self-examinations is recommended to avoid any pain or abnormalities caused by hormone fluctuations and swelling.

When self-examining breasts, always look out for…

  • Lumps that are new, growing, or changing shape.
  • Swelling or thickening of a certain area or part of the breast or armpit.
  • Nipple abnormalities like reddening, flaking, pulling in, or discharge.
  • Pain that is sudden, irregular, or creates constant discomfort.
  • Changes in size that are sudden or seem out-of-the-blue, unrelated to hormonal fluctuations or periods.

If you discover any of these symptoms of breast cancer, reach out to your doctor or schedule a diagnostic mammogram with a doctor near you to check your breasts as soon as possible.

Take a closer look at mammogram screening guidelines.

So, whether it’s your first time getting a mammogram at age 40 or taking preventative steps and scheduling a diagnostic mammogram early,…

Doctor aids woman to get into correct position for her mammogram.Here’s Our Step-by-Step Guide to Your First Mammogram

Schedule a Mammogram Appointment:

  • Ask your doctor or do some research to find a reputable mammography facility or clinic in your area.
  • Call or register online to schedule an appointment.
  • Make sure they specialize in mammograms and have qualified radiologists!


  • Avoid scheduling the appointment during the week before your period when your breasts may be more sensitive. Although mammograms are not invasive, pressure is applied to the breast which can create discomfort.

Clothing and Comfort:

  • We recommend wearing a two-piece outfit, as you'll need to undress from the waist up.
  • Avoid wearing deodorant, lotions, or powders on your upper body, as they can interfere with the imaging.

Communicate and Share:

  • Sharing your medical history, prior surgeries, or family history of breast cancer can help doctors provide the best care.
  • Always inform the technician if you have breast implants or have had any breast-related procedures or concerns.

How long do mammograms take?

  • Roughly 20 minutes!
  • You’ll be asked to undress from the waist up and will be given a gown to wear during the procedure.

The Procedure:

  • First, the technician will position your breast between two metal plates on the mammography machine.
  • Then, the plates will compress your breast for a few seconds to get the clearest images. While it may feel uncomfortable or slightly painful, it shouldn't be overly painful. Communicate any discomfort you feel to the technician.
  • Because mammograms usually involve two images of each breast taken from different angles, the technician may reposition your breast between images.

After the Procedure:

  • Once the images are taken, you'll be asked to wait while the technician ensures the images they captured are high-quality.
  • Once the quality of the images is confirmed, you can get dressed.

             Some women may experience mild bruising or temporary discomfort. This should subside quickly.

How long does it take to get mammogram test results?

  • You’ll receive your results within a few weeks after your radiologist interprets your mammogram and sends the results to your healthcare provider.

           Don't panic if you're called back for additional tests, as most callbacks do not indicate breast cancer.

What to Do Before and After a Mammogram:

  • Stay relaxed and take deep breaths before the procedure - always communicate discomfort and pain to your doctor!
  • Follow all instructions given to you by the mammography facility.
  • Afterward, continue to schedule regular mammogram screenings as recommended by your healthcare provider.
  • Know your mammogram schedule and never skip routine screenings.

What Not to Do Before and After a Mammogram:

  • Don't wear metallic accessories or clothing items, as they interfere with the mammogram images.
  • Try not to schedule your mammogram at a time when your breasts are likely to be sore or swollen to avoid discomfort.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions and voice any concerns to your technician or radiologist.

We hope this guide on how to prepare for your first mammogram helps; that’s what we’re here for! At Pawsitively 4 Pink, our passion is providing direct financial support for local, underserved women fighting breast cancer. Please contact us to find out more about ways to help, or donate directly.

Health Care For Gays: Finding Inclusive Care for LGBTQ+

Here at Pawsitively 4 Pink, Pride month is a big deal! We wanted to help celebrate by spreading important info about finding supportive and comprehensive healthcare and health care professionals who are supportive of LGBTQ+ individuals. 

Anyone who has searched for a doctor knows how hard finding a high-quality professional can be - and that only gets exponentially more difficult when searching for an even smaller pool of healthcare professionals who have experience working with the LGBTQ+ community. Finding a doctor who is not only knowledgeable about specific needs but also supportive and open-minded is crucial to the patient’s overall well-being. 

A good, comprehensive, and open doctor is crucial as they provide the necessary care and create a safe space for patients to discuss their concerns without fear of judgment or discrimination. At Pawsitively 4 Pink we believe deeply that each and every person deserves adequate and complete health care no matter their sexuality or financial status, especially the women we serve who are diagnosed with breast cancer. Below are steps LBTQ+ individuals can take to find the doctor and care they deserve.

1. Look for Clues Online LGBTQ+ Friendly Health Care Providers: 

Start by researching healthcare providers in your area who explicitly state their commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusivity. This may be harder in some states than others, of course. Look for clinics, hospitals, or individual doctors who have affirming policies stated on their websites or have been recommended by LGBTQ+ organizations or community members. Check your surrounding area for women health care centers. Online directories like the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) or LGBTQ+ health advocacy groups are valuable resources to find gay and lesbian-friendly doctors.

If it’s unclear whether or not a provider or center is LBGTQ+ friendly, it’s a great idea to make an anonymous call and ask whether or not the center sees LGBTQ+ patients on a regular basis or has gender-affirming spaces. The way staff answers these inquiries will provide even more clues as to whether or not this space is right for you.

Doctor who provides LGBTQ+ affirming care and specialized knowledge for their LGBTQ+ patients holds up a cut-out chat bubble, encouraging patients to start the conversation.2. Seek Out Recommendations: 

Rely on the community to help guide your search. Reach out to friends, family, or members of LGBTQ+ communities and ask them about their experiences with healthcare providers. Personal recommendations provide invaluable insights into which doctors who are knowledgeable, supportive, and open to providing inclusive health care for gays and other LGBTQ+ individuals. 

Crucially, your community will also steer clear of noninclusive or downright non-affirming providers. Consider joining local LGBTQ+ support groups or online forums on sites like Facebook groups or Reddit to connect with individuals and learn from others’ experiences.

3. Schedule a Consultation: 

Once you have identified potential doctors, schedule consultations or introductory appointments with your top choices. Use this opportunity to advocate for yourself by discussing your concerns, personal medical history, and asking questions. 

Based on the provider’s response, you will be able to quickly gauge their understanding of LGBTQ+ healthcare. Pay attention to their responses or hesitations, body language, and overall attitude toward your inquiries to ensure they are knowledgeable and respectful. A good doctor will be open to learning and willing to adapt their practices to meet your unique needs and concerns.

For urgent questions, resources like Roo, a chatbot released by Planned Parenthood, are a great starting point for those who can’t get to a doctor immediately. 

Image of a stethoscope resting over a rainbow heart and a paper cut-out family with two moms represents the importance of gay friendly health care and LGBTQ+ affirming doctors in gay family planning and gay healthcare support.4. Consider Specializations: 

While general practitioners provide primary care, it’s worthwhile to consider seeking specialists who have expertise in LGBTQ+ healthcare or specifically women's health. They are sure to have an even deeper understanding of the specific health challenges faced by LBTQ+ women. This would be especially beneficial for someone struggling with long-term health issues, chronic illnesses, or even breast cancer.

5. Trust Yourself: 

No matter what you read or hear, always trust your gut when choosing a doctor. Finding comfort and trust in your health care provider is essential for establishing a strong doctor-patient relationship. If you have hesitations towards your doctor, you may not tell them the full story 100% of the time, which in turn has the potential to cause inadequate care. 

If you feel uneasy or judged during your initial consultation, it is a sign that this doctor is not the right fit for you. Do not give up! There are plenty of doctors out there, so schedule multiple consultations to give yourself a few different options to consider. Each doctor will be able to provide something unique, and it’s only a matter of time before you find the right one for you.

Remember: Health care for gays and LBTQ+ individuals is your right! You deserve a healthcare professional who listens to you, respects your choices, and addresses your concerns with empathy and understanding.

That’s what we’re all about: Providing financial support to local underserved women battling breast cancer. If you’re passionate about helping women, get in touch to explore volunteer opportunities. Or, if you're struggling with a breast cancer diagnosis, please join our support group.

Volunteers gather around a table, united by their mission and figuring out how to start a nonprofit.

Working with Nonprofits: It's About More than Donations!

If you're reading this, you're probably looking for a way to help your community or a cause you're passionate about even if you can't help out financially. Luckily, nonprofits run off of a lot more than just donations. Financial contributions support a lot of what we and other nonprofits are able to achieve, and although they're important, we would be nothing without our community of hard-working individuals who lend us their time and expertise when we need it. So, don't worry about having deep pockets, because there are so many more ways that you can make a meaningful difference working with nonprofits.

Volunteer your time 

We're all familiar with volunteering - whether it be manual labor to help prepare for and set up an event, phone banking, leafleting, and even lobbying government officials, it can count as volunteer work and help nonprofits. Many people like to say that time is money, but when it comes to nonprofits, time is often even more important than money. Volunteers at nonprofit organizations can expect to spend their time helping out with fundraising events, assisting with administrative tasks, and participating in programs and services the nonprofit offers. Plus, when you volunteer for nonprofit organizations you gain a deeper understanding of the nonprofit's mission and create relationships with those running the nonprofit. These individuals are likely to have similar values to you, so making friends is easy and an added bonus. Those who volunteer at nonprofit organizations like Pawsitively4Pink instantly become fast family members. Take a look at some tips for future volunteers here.

Single arm raises megaphone up against a partly cloudy sky, perhaps to help organize volunteers at a nonprofit organization's event or spread the word about the nonprofit's mission.Spread the word!

Another way to work with nonprofits without donating is by using your voice! By spreading the word about a nonprofit's work and sharing information about the organization on social media or telling friends and family about the nonprofit's mission, anyone is able to help raise awareness and generate support. Knowledge is power, and the more people who are aware of the nonprofit, the better. Think of all of the companies that pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a seconds-long ad, just to get their name and message out to the world! Visibility is what starts movements and keeps them going - individuals are truly capable of making a real difference via word of mouth and social media presence.

Provide goods and services

For many nonprofit organizations, their missions are based on providing goods and services to those in need. For example, food banks need a constant supply of different non-perishable food items, while animal shelters need pet supplies like food, collars, brushes, and animal-safe soaps. By organizing the collection and donation of different goods and services, you can help a nonprofit save money and stretch its resources further. Collecting goods might look like hosting a food drive at your company, a sporting event, or a local school. This type of support is especially helpful for smaller nonprofits that may not have a large budget for purchasing supplies. When many individuals donate a few items or a little bit of time, collectively they make a huge difference for the nonprofit and mission.

A lightbulb is lit with with warm light against the background of some sketches of graphs and tables in pen, perhaps a volunteer using their expert skillset to plan how to help a nonprofit or work with a nonprofit.Lend your skills and expertise

These days, nonprofit organizations have a lot of work to do to stand out, keep their supporters up to date, and keep making a difference in their communities and the world. They benefit from a variety of different skills and expertise of volunteers with specialized knowledge and experience. For example, if you have experience in marketing, you could offer to help a nonprofit with its social media campaigns. Or, if you have a legal background, you could provide pro bono legal advice to the nonprofit of your choice, as legal advice is often expensive. This way, nonprofits can spend more time organizing and focusing on achieving their goals effectively and efficiently. Check out more ways to provide your skills to increase a nonprofit's visibility here.

Make time to attend events

Working with nonprofits doesn't always look like work. Not only are they a great way to generate support and raise awareness, but events are also a fantastic way to have fun and meet people. Showing your support by attending events and spreading the word about the nonprofit's mission encourages others to do the same. In addition to fundraising events, nonprofits also host educational or advocacy events that are open to the general public. At these types of events, you have the opportunity to learn more about the organization's work and how to get involved in its mission, specifically.

A nonprofit's success is never just all about cash flow! There are so many ways to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those served by nonprofits. As someone who runs a nonprofit, I can attest to the fact that every bit of support counts. We are endlessly grateful to our fantastic volunteers and donors, who at this point, are like family.

Before you search for how to start a nonprofit organization, check out nonprofits that already exist! If you are interested in supporting underserved, low-income women in the Michigan area, find out how to get involved here. Learn more about how we at Pawsitively4Pink make a difference here.

Spring cleaning? Get rid of products causing cancer

Spring is here and we all know what that means: We’re opening up our windows, letting the sun and fresh air in, cleaning off appliances, window frames, and everything else that has collected dust during these winter months, and welcoming this new season into our homes. There are countless spring cleaning rituals, and cleaning habits in general, that serve the soul as well as the body. Unfortunately, however, there are also a wide variety of products we’re accustomed to using that contain harmful chemicals linked to free radicals and cancer. 

The array of cleaning products that most of us rely on promises to make our spaces spotless and sanitized, and although they work well making our whitest whites even whiter, they also make use of toxic chemicals in high concentrations to get the job done. Recent studies have shed light on the potential dangers lurking in many of these products. Many everyday cleaning and lifestyle products have been linked to the creation of free radicals within our bodies and have been associated with an increased risk of cancer. So, when it’s time for spring cleaning in your home, take a look at your cleaning products as well as other products you’re using on a daily basis and evaluate the impact they may be having on your health and cancer risk. 

A black and orange symbol signifying that toxic chemicals are near is posted behind a syringe full of green liquid. The syringe is injecting into a red bell pepper at next to a yellow and green bell pepper, perhaps representing a call to prevention of cancer causing chemicals in food.Household cleaners and cancer: Spotless homes, high-risk for humans

Many conventional household cleaners, such as all-purpose cleaners, window cleaners, and bathroom cleaners, contain toxic chemicals like ammonia, chlorine, and formaldehyde. As we use these chemicals they release free radicals when they come into contact with air or water, leading to oxidative stress in the body when we breathe them in or they make contact with our bare skin. Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the body's ability to neutralize them with antioxidants. Prolonged exposure to free radicals can damage cells and their DNA, potentially leading to cancer.

Instead of using traditional name-brand cleaners, we recommend making your own surface cleaner with naturally-occurring products like lemon juice and vinegar that get the job done well and leave homes smelling fresh! Dish soap also works like a charm on many different surfaces; not just dishes. Limit your exposure to free radicals and figure out how to create your own safe cleaning solution here. 

An array of different kinds of scented candles that are likely releasing perfumes causing free radicals and eventually cancer.All that smells well does not end well

Air fresheners are commonly used in public and private spaces to mask unpleasant odors and get rid of unwanted smells completely. Everything from scented candles to car fresheners and perfumes has been linked to causing cancer, specifically breast cancer. Commercial air fresheners contain harmful chemicals such as phthalates, formaldehyde, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that increase cancer risk. Similar to cancers caused by smoking, these chemicals are released into the air and inhaled, they generate free radicals in the body. And that means they aren’t worth it - no matter how good they smell! So, in the name of spring cleaning, let the fresh air in and toss the scented cancer-causing products out!

While long-term exposure to these products has been found to increase the risk of cancer, they also cause respiratory issues, worsened allergies, migraines, and other complications. To find out more about how scented products affect our breast cancer risk, read more here.

Cosmetics products lay flat on a table, colorful and alluring yet potentially toxic cancer causing products.Be careful with “self-care”

It's not just household cleaning products that can be harmful; personal care products can also contain ingredients linked to free radical generation and cancer risk. For example, certain shampoos, body washes, and hand soaps contain sulfates, parabens, and phthalates, which disrupt the body's hormonal balance and trigger oxidative stress. Which, unfortunately, creates more free radicals within our bodies! Some cosmetics and skincare products that are long-lasting or water-resistant contain PFAS, or “forever chemicals”, which have been linked to birth defects, thyroid issues, and yes, cancer. Read more about how to avoid forever chemicals and decrease your risk of cancer with our previous blog post on holistic breast health.

Luckily, there are resources like EWG Skin Deep, a company that compiled a database full of commonly used cosmetics and personal care goods that could be products causing cancer. Take a look to see if your products contain harmful chemicals here.

And please take a peek at the many nontoxic products out there, there are so many to choose from!

Pick your produce carefully

Pesticides control pests in and around our homes, but they pose serious health risks, containing chemicals that (once again) generate free radicals when exposed to air or water, which down the line can cause cancer. Pesticides are linked to various types of cancers, most notably breast, prostate, and lung cancer, and they can be on anything from in-season strawberries to flown-in from out-of-state eggplants. Yes, we can help prevent breast cancer by washing our food! Our recommendation: buy organic, but we understand how expensive that can be, so the next best option is to wash produce with warm water and vinegar, as explained here. Prevent breast cancer food

A cast iron pan for cooking lies flat on a dark background, representing one of the options for nontoxic kitchen products.Forever-chemicals and your kitchen

Yes, non-stick cookware is widely known for its convenience, but unfortunately, that convenience compromises our health. Non-stick pots and pans are hidden sources of free radicals because they are made with coatings consisting of per fluorinated compounds (PFCs), which can break down when heated and release toxic fumes. When these surfaces are scratched with other cookware items like metal spatulas, forks, or knives, this interruption of the surface’s protective seal allows per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS, or forever chemicals) to be released into the surrounding air and food. Ingesting these chemicals is, of course, not advised and leads us to consume cancer-causing free radicals at an alarming rate.

Some of our favorite alternative cookware is made of cast iron. Not only is cast iron easy to care for and heavy-duty, cooking with it also increases our iron intake, a mineral crucial for human health. 

Unfortunately, some of our favorite household products may be causing us more harm than good. Products causing cancer must go! Although there is no way to ensure we won’t develop cancer at some point in our lives, living a life in which we minimize contact with these products significantly lowers our risk and might just stop breast cancer and other kinds of cancer from developing altogether. Check the labels on your cleaning and cosmetics products to see if they contain any of the chemicals we mentioned in this article. If they do, toss them and start anew! That’s what spring cleaning is all about anyway, right?

Pawsitively4Pink is a breast cancer nonprofit organization dedicated to providing direct financial aid to underserved women in our local area in Massachusetts. If you’re passionate about our cause, please check out our website for how to get involved. And if you or someone you know battling cancer needs direct financial assistance or a community to lean on, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

How to Lower Your Risk of Breast Cancer with Holistic Breast Health

So many environmental and lifestyle factors contribute to our overall physical and mental health, everything from the bread we toast for breakfast to the sportswear brands we wear plays a role in our overall well-being. Nowadays, there are so many options and decisions that we make throughout our day that accumulate to create a high or low risk for cancer. In the U.S., 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of seventy-five. Even though we don’t have complete control over our exposure to cancer-causing chemicals or situations that may increase our risk of developing cancer, knowledge is power! Below, we provide the in-depth information necessary to make educated decisions regarding women’s holistic health in general, and more specifically, your holistic breast health.

You’re more powerful than you think…

Your purchasing decisions have an awfully big impact on your holistic health! Staying informed on whether or not the products you buy contain Per- and Polyfluorinated Substances (PFAS), also known as ‘forever chemicals’, can have an incredible impact on your risk for developing breast cancer. PFAS can be found in everything from the waterproofing on our rainboots and rainjackets to long-stay lipsticks; even the liquid-resistant material of some period underwear contains PFAS. In one study that followed PFDoA exposure, one kind of PFAS, found that “elevated levels of these chemicals increased breast cancer risk by 13 times with 95% certainty that breast cancer risk was 3-94 times higher compared to those with lower PFDoA levels.” 

It’s crucial that we check products for any mention of PFAS, or Teflon, by avoiding products made of an ingredient that contains “fluoro” in the name. Click here to take advantage of EWG’s helpful search engine to check your favorite cosmetics and products for these dangerous chemicals. Risk reduction is accomplished by simply staying informed and reading product labels.

Hand massages arm pit as the other arm is lifted into the air to massage lymph nodes around breast tissue to drain toxins and practice holistic healthExercise, movement, and massage!

Yes, you read that right - massage! Breasts are made up of complex lymphatic systems and fatty tissues that retain excess hormones and chemicals if we don’t move enough. Performing lymphatic massages on yourself, or having a friend or partner do it for you, can encourage proper drainage and flush out anything that’s remained there for too long and has become stagnant. Take a look at the proper technique for lymphatic massages here.

As everyone knows, another great way to improve lymphatic drainage and breast health is exercise - get your heart rate up and your body moving by jogging, skipping rope, or even bouncing on a small trampoline to improve blood and lymphatic flow. If you’re someone who prefers slower movement, yoga is a fabulous option, too! Stretching, folding, and extending your arms and legs is another effective way to drain your lymphatic systems and incorporate beneficial movement into your daily life. 

Speaking of moving, holistic health, and breast cancer… Consider signing up for a breast cancer walk here.

‘Support bras’ aren’t always supportive…

Many women wear underwire bras, or even compression sports bras, every day. We totally get it - they’re comfortable! Maybe it’s a hassle taking it on and off when you’re on your way out the door, or you’re simply uncomfortable with the unpredictability of unharnessed movement. But at some point, it’s crucial to either wear a bra with less support or take it off altogether for a while during your day - otherwise, those same toxins and hormones we mentioned above are more likely to build up and stick around longer than is healthy. Free the nipple!

Bowl filled with raw flax seeds used for holistic health, aside small shovel with some flax seeds littered above a wooden tableEat breast health superfoods

There are so many wonderful ways to incorporate healthy add-ons into your diet. More and more, scientists and dieticians are finding that the foods we choose to consume and the time of the month they are consumed, in correlation to our hormonal changes throughout menstruation cycles, has a notable impact on our physical and emotional health. 

One food that has some serious breast health potential is flaxseed, as it’s a source of omega-3 fatty acids which in some studies has been found to be correlated with a lower risk of breast cancer. So flaxseed may help block cancer cell growth! Both flaxseed and flax oil are natural anti-inflammatories, making it easier for tissues to filter out the natural or consumed toxins that we are exposed to. For this reason, using olive oil instead of vegetable oil is also highly encouraged, as it’s another natural and highly effective anti-inflammatory. 

Another way to eat a healthier diet is by minimizing our consumption of meats and animal products, as animals are higher up on the food chain and therefore contain higher concentrations of toxins such as heavy metals like mercury in fish or even PFAS, which are found in all animal products, even eggs. To decrease the likelihood of encountering these chemicals, turn instead to less processed grains, and organic or well-washed fruits and vegetables. Especially beneficial are leafy greens like kale and spinach because of their rich levels of antioxidants that destroy the free radicals that cause cancer! Here is a resource to explore more risk-reduction foods.

In addition to risk-reducing foods, there’s one drink that majorly increases your risk of developing breast cancer: alcohol. As alcohol raises estrogen levels in the body, it may also increase our chances of developing breast cancer, so it’s crucial to take a step back and consider the impact that alcohol consumption may be having on our health. 

Holistic health practitioner administers acupuncture by placing fine needles beneath the skin of their patientHolistic breast cancer treatments 

We’re all aware of traditional breast cancer treatments: surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are some of the most effective ways of ridding our bodies of cancer. These methods leave lasting marks and represent a very difficult and time-consuming journey. Although they are incredibly effective at treating cancer, they often leave patients dealing with exhaustion, pain and discomfort, and depression. In some cases, however, scientists are finding that chemotherapy isn’t necessary for specific types of breast cancer. When exploring holistic breast cancer treatments, we search for treatments that take care of not only the body, but the mental and spiritual aspects of overcoming the disease as well.

A few holistic options for pain management and risk reduction are acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicines, as well as antioxidants and detoxification diets. Most popular after its recent legalization in many states, medicinal marijuana has made a big impact on cancer patients’ lives, as it helps reduce the physical and mental stress patients often experience by alleviating pain and relaxing the mind. It’s also recommended for patients who have trouble sleeping! If you’re ready to start searching for “holistic women's health near me” or “holistic women’s health doctor near me”, make sure you avoid making these common mistakes on your holistic health journey. 

It’s crucial to be aware that recent research has shown that patients who seek more contemporary care or alternative breast cancer treatments often delay or reject types of conventional treatment and in turn worsen their cancer outcomes. Please promptly speak with a medical professional or holistic health practitioner when considering cancer treatments. Read more here.

Illustrated photo shows one half of the page covered in black swirling chaotic lines, with one single line breaching the other side of the page. Atop the line, as if it was a rope, balances the figure of a person, making their way from the chaotic side to the other side on the rope, perhaps a metaphor for the individual's holistic health journeyRemember: taking action reduces fear!

Becoming informed and making changes in our own lives is empowering in itself. Within each of us is the will and strength to make the small yet impactful decisions that have the potential to guide our lives down a different path; hopefully one without breast cancer. When we take these small steps, we empower ourselves with the knowledge and the healthy bodies that each one of us deserves. 

Find more information on holistic breast health on the holistic health blog. And remember, you are never alone in your fight against breast cancer! There are so many breast cancer organizations that provide peer support and guidance.

We stand by your side. Pawsitively 4 Pink provides direct financial assistance to our neighbors, mothers, and daughters fighting breast cancer. Our grant recipients are always free to make their own choices about what medical and holistic care options feel best to them. If you or someone you know would benefit from our services, please contact us here. If our mission moves you and you want to know more, check out ways you can make a difference.

The Importance of Self-love in the Breast Cancer Journey

While one incredible aspect of your fight against cancer is realizing the mass quantity of people in your life that deeply love and care about you, radical self-love will be what buoys you through your cancer journey.

In many ways, the externally sourced love that our friends, family, and spouses provide is one of the most beautiful things we can experience. External love is highly sought after but comes in second place after true self-love. We can practice true self-love by taking the time to understand, nourish, and care for ourselves deeply, hence providing the courage, resilience, and positivity that help remedy breast cancer.

The breast cancer journey - from diagnosis to treatment and remission - is a winding path that only one person in your life will witness every second of. That’s you. Bearing witness to your illness, struggle, and eventually overcoming cancer altogether is you; body, mind, and soul. That’s why it's critical to give yourself the love you need, to treat every part of you with the same respect, diligence, and duty that you provide to those around you. Nourishing your body with the right food and drink, your mind with enriching books or entertaining TV shows, and your spirit with mindfulness or gratitude practice is exactly what will guide your recovery during all the highs and especially the lows.

A woman walks through a field of blooming sunflowers on a bluebird sky day, she seems to exude the essence of the importance of self-love.Self-compassion is bound to bloom

It’s easier said than done. Self-love can prove difficult for many, especially those who fall into the traditional female role; or those who have been the givers in our society rather than the receivers of selflessness and affection. It takes radical self-awareness and strength to turn that practice of giving around and, instead, aim it at ourselves. While it may be uncomfortable at first, getting used to practicing self-love provides us with the energy we need to make it through each day. There are a myriad of ways to explore and practice spiritually; from self-love affirmations, to self-love books, to even authoring a breast cancer blog that reflects on your journey and celebrates your achievements. A personal journal is another great way to let it all out - and there’s no need to be strictly positive here! Sometimes, the best way to feel heard is to let your deepest concerns and negative feelings out onto the page. Self-expression is essential to self-love; it’s important even on tougher days. Make space to listen to yourself.

Inspirational quotes about beating breast cancer and breast cancer affirmations may not be something you’ve appreciated in the past, but studies show that this intentional positivity brings self-awareness to the parts of ourselves that need it most. Many medical professionals believe that positivity affects everything from physical recovery after invasive surgeries to even lowering levels of pain and more. Many who receive their diagnosis have certain ideas regarding breast cancer. For example, some may think that the only person who is able to change the situation is the doctor, when it’s actually true that each sick individual has a certain power to shape their experience. So even if you’ve never tried it before, take a minute to say some of these self-love affirmations out loud to yourself. It’s even more helpful to repeat them while looking at yourself lovingly into a mirror. One of our favorites is “I bloom where I am planted. My roots have never been stronger.”

The silhouette of a woman practicing self-love and exercising with her arm outstretched while the sun rises behind her.Self-love sews the seeds of resilience

We strengthen our roots with self-love. Really paying attention to our needs, wants, and desires, and making sure those parts of ourselves feel heard is crucial because it’s what aids you in continuing to value yourself during such a tumultuous time. Valuing yourself in these moments when you may not feel as lovable as you once did is what builds resilience and tolerance for your lowest lows. Sometimes, knowing that you’re not alone in your experience is exactly the recognition, validation, and inspiration we need to keep going. 

Our founder Michelle shares her story here, about the realizations she had while witnessing her mother and close friends battle against cancer and the thoughtful advice she has for patients and survivors. One suggestion she has is to keep both your body and mind nourished with healthy foods. Maintaining a well-fuelled body while you fight a detrimental physical illness is one of the keys to staying positive; there is no line where the body ends and the other mind begins. Staying healthy physically is also the key to staying balanced mentally. You can find eight of her favorite recipes for fighters and survivors here.

Noteboard with the typed words SELF CARE ISN'T SELFISH, a guiding affirmation meant for those struggling with cancer.Becoming your own best friend

For some who struggle with self-love, it helps to imagine what you would say to or do for your best friend, or imagine that you are your own child. For many, it is easiest to show those closest to us unconditional love, and tapping into that feeling you have for your best friend, spouse, children, or parents is the most effective way to start to redirect that love back to yourself. Imagine seeing a loved one struggling the way you are and imagine what you would do for them. Maybe you would go to their house to watch their favorite movie and eat popcorn side by side, or make or buy them a small gift, or even bring them a bouquet of flowers. Now, try doing one of those things for yourself. 

Another similar tool for starting your self-love journey is keeping a list of the activities and things you really enjoy - chocolate molten lava cake, listening to Fleetwood Mac, lighting a candle and drawing a bath, taking your dog for a long walk - and intentionally choose to do one of those things for yourself every day. Loving yourself throughout your cancer journey will make you endlessly compassionate towards yourself on the hard days, and motivate you to stay positive on your good days. We at Pawsitively 4 Pink know firsthand that there is no better way to spend your time than loving yourself well; you are your best asset.

How can I afford breast cancer treatment?

This is a question that you shouldn’t have to worry about. 

Cancer is a life-altering and emotionally draining disease, and on top of all that, the cost of treatment can be very overwhelming. Many individuals and families struggle to afford breast cancer treatment and all the necessary medications, procedures, therapies, and aftercare that come with the illness. We understand how challenging this process can be, which is why we're here to provide guidance on finding financial support to meet your needs.

Let’s take a look at some commonly asked questions on breast cancer treatment as well as some options you may want to consider. 

Is Breast Cancer Treatment Expensive? 

The short answer is yes, unfortunately, it can be very expensive. Cancer patients have one priority: to get better. But, the reality is that the average cost of breast cancer treatment without insurance can range from $10,000 to $200,000, which is often more than the individual’s annual income. Even with health insurance, the out-of-pocket costs can still be expensive. Co-pays, co-insurance, and pre-deductible expenses can vary depending on your plan and the treatments required for your situation and type of breast cancer. With all these different factors, it’s impossible to estimate an exact cost until after consulting with a doctor about the potential options available.

Person calculating how to afford breast cancer treatmentIs There Any Financial Help for Breast Cancer Patients?

The good news is there are lots of organizations out there that want to help. Depending on your individual situation, you may qualify for grants or other forms of assistance from government programs like Medicare or Medicaid. You can also research local community resources such as churches, community centers, and charitable organizations. Many of them have programs specifically designed to provide affordable medical services and treatments otherwise unavailable due to economic status or location. Non-profits like Pawsitively 4 Pink offer support through grant programs that supply financial assistance for both treatments and living expenses to those who are affected by a breast cancer diagnosis. Be sure to research every option available to you – you don’t want to miss out on any potential sources of help. And please don't forget that you don't have to go through this alone. Seek compassionate and experienced professionals who will listen and guide you through the maze of options without judgment. 

If you don’t qualify for a grant or other form of aid, there are still other ways you can get help paying for breast cancer treatment. One option is to ask your doctor or medical provider if they will allow payment plans or discounts. In some cases, they may be willing to work with you on alternative arrangements if needed. Furthermore, most pharmaceutical companies have patient assistance programs that offer free or discounted medicines and treatments.

Women searching for help paying for breast cancer treatment onlineAffordable Cancer Treatment Options

If you’re still seeking more options, there are other alternative treatments for breast cancer patients. Even when funds are scarce, it doesn’t mean you should sacrifice quality care. While traditional healthcare may be too expensive for some people budget-wise, there are plenty of cheaper alternatives. Some people supplement their treatment with holistic healing methods like naturopathy or dietary supplements, self-care habits such as regular exercise, and stress reduction techniques. 

Clinical trials are another avenue you might explore if you’re worried about the cost of breast cancer treatment without insurance. Many trials offer financial benefits such as free tests and medications in exchange for participation in the program itself. Of course, it’s important to discuss alternative treatments with your doctor before pursuing them.

Close up of hands people holding hands while talking about affordable cancer treatmentHaving breast cancer can be a very overwhelming and frightening experience, but it’s important to remember that you don't have to face it alone. It’s okay to ask for help and support from your family, friends, and even community – they are there to help you during this difficult time! If you are worried about not being able to afford breast cancer treatment, remember that there are organizations that provide valuable resources like financial assistance, support groups, and even counseling services. No matter what lies ahead in your battle with cancer, try to keep positive thoughts in your mind and reach out for any help that you may need. If you have any more questions or would like to connect with members of our support group, please join us on Facebook, and don't hesitate to reach out. If you have any more questions or would like to connect with members of our support group, please don't hesitate to reach out. We wish you all the best on your journey to recovery!

How to Choose a Non-Profit to Donate to

Have you been looking for a way to give back to your community and make a positive impact? Supporting a non-profit organization is one of the best ways to do just that. Choosing where to donate to can be somewhat difficult and overwhelming, with so many great causes out there. There are more than 1.5 million non-profit organizations in the US alone! It’s important to understand the challenges of the non-profit world and how to navigate the process of choosing which one to donate to.

Between selecting a cause that aligns with your values, researching potential organizations, and determining how exactly you want your money to be spent, it might seem like you have your work cut out for you. But don’t let that deter you from making the right choice! We’re here to make this process as simple as possible. Join us as we walk through the important steps in finding the right fit for your financial contributions. Remember, no donation is too small!

Let’s clear up some misinformation…

The statistics used in relation to non-profit donations are often widely misconstrued. It’s not uncommon to hear numbers as high as 90% when it comes to what percentage of philanthropic dollars come from individual donors. For example, this 2019 report on sources of contributions for non-profits shows that 69% comes from individuals, 17% from foundations, 10% from bequests, and 5% from corporations. Remember that larger organizations skew this data significantly, and the numbers can look very different for smaller non-profits. More recent data on the non-profit economy shows that although 70% of charitable contributions are from individuals, their donations only make up 13% of total non-profit revenue. 

This deceptive claim that the majority of non-profit donations come from individuals does a massive disservice to small organizations. It’s easy to feel disheartened as a non-profit worker living under the impression that five-dollar donations will make up the large majority of your annual proceeds. It’s also important to note that this misinformation doesn’t include organizations that are led by marginalized communities that rely on foundations and government funding.

Deciding between small and large organizations

As far as donations go, it’s no secret that the majority of them go to large, well-known non-profits. In fact, they often seem to be the only organizations receiving funding. Smaller, local non-profits often get overlooked in favor of these larger entities due to size and awareness. As a result, the institutions with the most to give are less likely to donate money or resources to smaller organizations when selecting their beneficiaries. So in the case of medical non-profits, hospitals tend to donate exclusively to big-name organizations. Funders have the power to set the benchmark in a way, meaning other donors will often follow in their steps. 

Unfortunately, this means that many worthy causes don't receive the help they need from more prominent institutions. This is particularly true when it comes to breast cancer non-profit organizations like our own. The very nature of the mission limits our outreach capabilities compared to other organizations and thus it can be difficult to generate enough support and donations from those who have the power to provide financial assistance. 

The lack of attention given to smaller, local non-profits not only deprives these important programs of much-needed resources but also denies people access to potentially life-saving information or treatments. 

It’s important for individuals themselves as well as healthcare institutions alike to step up and show support for these organizations in order for them to continue their life-saving work. Donations don’t necessarily have to be monetary either. Time spent volunteering or spreading awareness can make just as much difference in helping these small charities achieve their goals and making a difference in someone’s life along the way.

Steps to finding your perfect match

Keeping that all in mind, when it comes to picking the best non-profit organization to donate to, it's important for individuals to take the time to research and evaluate their choices. Follow these steps to find an organization that aligns with your values and spends your funds wisely.

1. Select a cause

As a first step, it's crucial to select a cause that aligns with your values. Think about what matters most to you—whether it's environmental conservation, animal welfare, poverty alleviation, breast cancer support, or something else entirely—and look for an organization that is dedicated to educating the public and making progress on this issue.

2. Research potential organizations

Once you've identified an area of focus, you can now research potential organizations that specialize in this field. Use websites such as Charity Navigator and GuideStar to read reviews and get a comprehensive overview of the non-profits that could be a fit. It's also helpful to dive into the mission statement of each organization and get a better idea of how they're approaching their given mission. After doing some background research on these potential candidates, narrow down your list based on which ones you feel best align with your goals and values.

3. Determine how your dollar will be spent

Considering practical tips can also help individuals when choosing a non-profit organization. One thing we suggest is to spend some time looking into the financials of each organization. Although it’s not always the deciding factor for where donors should give their money, it’s important to have an idea of where funds are going within each individual charity. 

It’s also a good idea to make sure donations are exempt from taxes by ensuring that each non-profit is registered with the IRS as 501(c)(3) status. If you prefer giving locally, check out community foundations or United Way chapters for ideas in your area. 

4. Find out if your company will match your donation

Lastly, consider any possible donation-matching programs at work or in your community. Corporate matching gifts are a popular form of philanthropy in which companies financially match donations that their employees make to nonprofits. This type of charitable contribution by businesses allows them to show their support for charities, both large and small. When an employee chooses to donate, they can request that their employer match the donation, usually at a 1:1 ratio. However, some employers may choose to increase the match ratio to 2:1, 3:1, or even 4:1, depending on the cause and their financial capacities. 

Donating through corporate matching programs is an excellent opportunity for your dollar to go further and do more good in the world. The process is simple – after donating and submitting receipts from your donation transactions, you can contact your employer’s HR department and ask if they offer a corporate gift match policy. If so, you can request that they match your full or partial donation amount as applicable!

In all cases, picking a non-profit organization should take into account both personal values as well as practical considerations so that donors can make sure their contributions are having maximum impact on the cause they care most about. If you are able to make a donation of any size, pay it forward. You can make a true difference in this world!