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
More Tips on Giving
“It is a great and exciting time for philanthropy in the United States,” Wigglesworth says. “We are in the early years of what is expected to be a period of significant wealth transfer from one generation to the next. A 2003 analysis confirmed an earlier study projecting these funds to total $41 trillion. The baby boomers, who now or who will soon control this wealth, are much more likely than those in older or younger generations to say they want to give their money to charity rather than leave an inheritance. Charitable organizations have a wonderful opportunity to engage these donors and prospects, and to help them see how they can use philanthropy to share their values.
“Understanding who is behind the cause and examining their track records for success is really important,” says Grundner. The board of directors is responsible for everything from the organization’s financial accountability to preserving its mission and the executive director or CEO is responsible for executing the organization’s strategy, managing the staff and operations, and is often heavily engaged in fundraising. Taking the time to get to know these folks prior to making a donation is completely fair, adds Grunder.
Taking the time to plan out your charitable giving is important, says Pennington. Prioritize and evaluate each opportunity. Don’t be guilted into it or emotionally manipulated to give. Most giving is driven by emotion. Trust your instincts and know where your individual passions lie.
Most important, remember that every time we give, we are teaching the next generation the importance of giving and ensuring the future of stronger communities.