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Socially Conscious Parties Bring Good Parking Karma

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One of my New Year's Resolutions was to make all social gatherings "good" and have a socially conscious aspect to them. And why not? If people are going to get together for a party, birthday, brunch, networking -- it seems easy and fun to try to incorporate a certain "give back" quality. And I know, fun can be described as different things to different people, but for this do-gooder, well, I just couldn't resist. However, I work at a nonprofit, and it being my world, I have a good grasp on what to look for. A lot of my friends have been asking how to go about choosing a charity for their event and I thought I would outline a few simple tips here to keep in mind. But after reading through all of this, just remember, whether you do the homework or not, trying putting a charity component into your next gathering just to see how it goes. The most important thing is just to start trying, get involved, and see where it takes you. There are a million resources online to get you started.

There are a few important things to consider when pairing up with a nonprofit whether for a one-off event, third party event or if you're looking to build a long-term relationship. First, are they reputable? Ask around, see what the word on the street is and what kind of vibe they have out there. Of course smaller and more boutique nonprofits might still be trying to build their brand and you might not hear a lot about them, but do a little research. There's a smell test like with anything else, you'll know if you've found one that doesn't gel with your style.