Here’s a difference between nonprofits and for-profit businesses that I love: in the nonprofit world, we’re hoping that we all succeed. (And, if we all did the world would be a better place.) While there’s competition to be noticed, it would delight and excite us to see each other’s causes being lifted up and recognized.

So this holiday season, I have a challenge for you. While you’re talking the talk of giving during December and January to your potential donors, walk the walk and actually donate somewhere. And here’s the challenging part: don’t donate to your nonprofit.

Now, I know that some of you are thinking “WHAT? Why would I do that? We have a goal we’re trying to meet! I’ve been working so hard to raise money for our own cause, why would I go out and support something else?”

Slow your roll for a moment and hear me out:

If you work for a nonprofit, you’re compassionate, driven, creative and all-around awesome. The holidays are a perfect time to recognize others working in the nonprofit sector who work equally hard. Reach out of your comfort zone. Give to that nonprofit who always does ‘blank’ well and you admire. Give to the organization who reaches a cause that your nonprofit doesn’t but that you think is important. I challenge you to look for a nonprofit who reaches a community that your nonprofit currently can’t or simply doesn’t (whether that’s your local area or something international).

And if the idea of giving to another awesome nonprofit to just send the message that they’re doing a good job doesn’t appeal to you, consider it as research. Your online giving process could always use a little work, as could your nonprofit’s marketing plan. Donate to another nonprofit and pay special attention to their follow up steps. Look for things such as:

  • How quickly did they thank you? (Or did they?)

  • Was their donation process too time consuming?

  • What about their site or marketing materials made you want to give? Was it a particular photo? Video? Story?

  • Would you donate to them again, based on this experience?

  • Did they make you feel like you were making a difference through your donation?

Now, ideally you would be giving to another nonprofit simply to accept my challenge and support another great cause. But if that’s too difficult to muster, use it as a learning process to inform the growth of your own organization in 2015.

No matter the nonprofit you choose to support this holiday season, keep in mind how fortunate you are to be working for an organization which truly makes the world a better place. Thank you for all of your hard work, and keep being awesome!

I’m off to go find my nonprofit of choice to support! Have a favorite one I should look into? Let me know in the comments.