How to Make Charitable Donations That Serve a Purpose
Becoming informed about charitable giving can lead to big returns—and even bigger community impact.
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SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL SECTION
Solicitations are often made for capital, program or organizational budgets. In some cases, there are opportunities to select a particular program or initiative. Gifts given to a general budget are typically unrestricted gifts used for ongoing operational expenses. Educating donors about programs and services is critical to helping them determine how he or she should designate their gift.
Thanks to the digital age, donors are now exposed to a wealth of information about where their donations are going. It’s up to them to make sure their gifts are being used properly.
“Donors are becoming increasingly savvy about where they invest their philanthropic dollars and we all want to see our donations generating impact.” Wigglesworth says. “We often hear about donors who don’t want their donations to go to overhead. It is important to remember, however, that some administrative costs are necessary to generate impact.
“I would encourage all donors to be aware that overhead includes human resource functions to make sure talented program staff are on the job.” says Wigglesworth. That includes finance, to make sure bills are paid and the organization is well run from a fiscal perspective. It includes things like rent and cleaning, to make sure the organization has a clean, safe location to do its good work.
Many of us tend to be more reactive with our giving, responding to requests from friends, neighbors and co-workers about causes that matter to them. Making donations based on impulse—or your positive feelings for the person doing the asking—isn’t wrong, but consdier your true motivations.