10 Tips To Maximize The Impact Of Your Charitable Giving
Take the initiative: Instead of simply responding to requests you receive in the mail or on the phone, take the initiative to find and contact the causes that mean the most to you.
Step back: Look at where you have given in the past, both in money and time. Which of these gifts are you most proud of and why? Does your giving history indicate causes that hold little meaning to you? Could you redirect some of those funds to causes that mean a great deal to you?
What is most important to you? If you could make a change in the world, what issue would you choose to address? In addition to the cause, think about the location for your donation. Are you interested in funding a program in your home town, or a program that addresses national or international concerns? Consider funding a program in a location that receives minimal philanthropic assistance.
Involve your family: Philanthropy can be a great avenue for involving your children or grandchildren in a common goal.
Be Picky: Research programs that address your “cause,” ask questions, do a site visit, look at the board of directors. View their 990, submitted annually to the IRS. Does their budget indicate a low administration to program ratio?
Multiple Year Gifts: In most cases charities can plan better with multiple year grants. A $10,000 grant for three years will often enable the charity to be more strategic and sustainable than a one time gift of $30,000.
Challenge grants: Find someone to match your grant. Corporations are often open to matching a grant. By doing this you have doubled the impact of your gift and introduced a new and possible future funding source for the organization.
Support the organizations key programs: If you believe in an organization, support their key programs. Sometimes organizations will create new programs just to meet a funders specific requirements, thus diluting their staff and focus on their mission. If you believe in the mission, support their key work.
Create a giving plan: Just like all other aspects of your wealth management, having a plan is essential to being effective.
Share your enthusiasm: Talk to others about the great program or organization that you are supporting. Sharing your enthusiasm with friends or associates creates opportunities for more individuals to be come involved in the program you believe in.