Giving Compass’ Take:
• Nicole Neroulias Gupte, writing for The Huffington Post, discusses three steps to take before beginning your charitable giving journey.
• How can donors start encouraging other donors to tread carefully and cautiously as they donate?
• Read about the four steps to successful philanthropy.
Whether it’s the holiday season, tax time or another occasion prompting you to be one of the millions of American households contributing more than $2,000 to charity this year, you may be confident you’re supporting good causes. But are you supporting good organizations?
In my years as a journalist, volunteer, donor and nonprofit employee, I’ve experienced good, bad and ugly charities. The lessons I’ve learned the hard way can help make my family’s contributions more effective and shape our conversation on smarter giving.
Impact Philanthropy is a complex topic, and others found these selections from the Impact Giving archive from Giving Compass to be good resources.
Do Your Homework
With the magic of the Internet, a 501(c)(3) organization‘s mission, personnel, finances and impact statements are mere clicks away. Serious philanthropists will do their homework, including checking a charity’s IRS Form 990 for any red flags over the past three years. But serious philanthropists also have people to help them do this — and enough money to tolerate higher levels of risk, if they don’t catch a problem until later.
Search the nonprofit’s name and “reviews” to scan what former staff and volunteers have posted on sites like Glassdoor, GreatNonprofits and GuideStar. Is there a pattern of complaints? It’s encouraging if a nonprofit has had positive media coverage in the past year, but busy reporters don’t always do all their homework, either.
Make the Call
Anyone can have an email address. Is it easy to find the organization’s phone number and physical address? Do they answer the phone or return your call within two business days? If they do, ask about their goals, strategies and challenges, and if you could attend a program or volunteering opportunity in the next two months.
Once you’ve found a new charitable organization to support, start with a small donation — less than $100 — and see how it goes. Did you get a receipt and a thank you? Does your employer match your donation? Do you get invited to participate in events, virtually or in person? Do you get some kind of proof of impact? If you’re satisfied, keep giving! If not, there are many other fish in the 501(c)(3).
Read the full article about the steps before giving by Nicole Neroulias Gupte at The Huffington Post
Looking for a way to get involved?
A good way to complement your interest in Impact Philanthropy is to connect with others. Check out these events, galas, conferences or volunteering opportunities related to Impact Philanthropy.
Are you ready to give?
If you are ready to take action and invest in causes for Impact Philanthropy, check out these Giving Funds, Charitable Organizations and Projects related to Impact Philanthropy.