America’s social sector is a wondrous thing – fueled by generosity of time, talent, spirit, and money. In the midst of the giving season, between our day of thanks and the giving holidays, I find inspiration everywhere – from the people who mentor students, who serve meals to the hungry, who coach kids’ teams, volunteer for our local theaters, serve on boards, and in general, make our communities great places to be.
And of course, charitable giving is a big part of that. As you think about your end of year giving, consider the following:
- Give to the things that bring you joy, and about which you are most passionate. It will make you feel even more committed.
- Lots of small gifts are wonderful and valued, but a few targeted gifts can have a very powerful impact. If you know the things you care about most, consider focusing on them – and the organizations involved in them.
- The vast majority of nonprofit organizations in this country are above-board and include hard-working, honest people. If you’re not sure about an organization, research them – on the web, or even by calling. If an organization can’t give you answers to your questions, find somebody else.
- Don’t get overly hung up on overhead rates. If an organization tells you they spend 50% on overhead, that’s a problem, but don’t assume that a low rate is always a good thing, either. Spending too little on management can be just as bad as too much.
- If you really care about an organization, tell a friend. Word of mouth is the most powerful way to build giving to an organization.
- And finally, be joyful. Those of us who have some resources to share are fortunate. And those who work to help others are doubly fortunate. Share the joy.
Happy holidays. #GivingEveryday