12/01/2011 09:15 am ET Updated Jan 31, 2012

Quiz: Is It Time to Make a Commitment?

Is 2012 the year for you to go beyond writing a check and attending a gala and toward really investing in a nonprofit in a deep and meaningful way? Are you looking to move from casual dating to a serious and meaningful partnership with your favored organization? Take our quiz and see if you are ready to do it pro bono for your favorite nonprofit.

1. Do they make you feel like a better person when you're with them?
The right organization doesn't make you feel guilty, but rather makes you inspired and helps you see the potential in others and yourself. It brings you a sense of hope.

2. Do you worry that things are getting too fiscal?
It can be frustrating to feel like a nonprofit only values your wallet. This is a two-way relationship. Don't assume they know how they could best engage you beyond writing checks -- you might need to help them understand the role you want to play. You both might be pleasantly surprised.

3. Do you find yourself thinking about them when they aren't around?
The right organization is relevant to your life and is connected to your experience of the world. You regularly are reminded of them in your daily routine and in your interactions at work, in the streets, following the news or in talking with friends and family.

4. Have your stopped thinking about what else is out there?
There is more than one right organization for you, but getting more deeply engaged with a nonprofit means needing to focus and prioritize. Don't be one of those people who over commit by trying to engage with too many organizations. It is done with the best of intentions but ends up disappointing everyone involved.

5. Do you feel that making a commitment will take your relationship to the next level?
While it may make you feel like a better person to simply be associated with a nonprofit, the satisfaction you get from being truly engaged is exponentially greater. It helps you grow as a person, connect to the community, build lasting relationships and know that you are making a real difference. The list of benefits goes on and on.

6. Do you share their values and goals?
To make a commitment you need to find a partner who shares your values and whose goals align with your own desires for what you want your community and society to become. It doesn't mean that you agree on everything but at the core, you share a vision and are on the same team.


STILL DATING (Replied YES to 1-2 questions)
You should spend more time exploring the nonprofit sector. Organizations like the Taproot Foundation can help you navigate this process and set you up to focus on narrowing the pool of prospective nonprofits.

GOING STEADY (Replied YES to 3-4 questions)
You are ready to do it pro bono. It is time to pop the question to your favorite nonprofit and take it to the next level.

ENGAGED (Replied YES to 5-6 questions)
You are madly in love and want the world to know. You need to make pro bono service a major part of your career going forward or you will suffer a terrible mid-life crisis. Perhaps you are even ready to make the leap and join the board.