Tips on giving wisely
Budget for giving
Plan your philanthropic activities right into your budget just as you would other financial obligations.
Be an informed giver. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you’re asked to give, including the specific name of the solicitor and their relationship to the organization, how much of your gift will be used for overhead, the specific projects the money will go toward, and other important information. Give only when you feel comfortable that your dollars will be going to support an organization you know and believe in.
Ask about matching gifts
Many employers match gifts made by their employees or make grants to organizations recommended by employees. Be sure to ask your company if it can help your gift to stretch even further.
Remember, your gift can be confidential
Consider alternative forms of giving
Don’t overlook the benefits you and your cause can receive from bequests, charitable gift annuities, gifts in kind, endowments and many other creative forms of giving. Ask your tax advisor or attorney to help create the best plan for you and your family.
In addition to financial support, consider giving your time and skills. Not only will you help the organization, but you’ll also make contacts, hone your skills, and learn more about the charitable cause to which you’re committing your time and money.
Don’t forget you have the right to say no
Give generously when you can, but if you’re unsure or feel uncomfortable or if an organization simply falls outside your plan for giving don’t be afraid to say no. Or, ask for more information and take more time to think before making your decision.
Be a proactive giver
You don’t have to wait to be asked. Plan a giving strategy in advance. Consult with the staff at your favorite not for profit about how your gifts can be most effectively used and where you can make a real difference in the community.
DONOR BILL OF RIGHTS
Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life.
To assure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the public and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the not-for-profit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:
To be informed of the organization’s mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purpose.
To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization’s governing board and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.
To have access to the organization’s most recent financial statements.
To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
To receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition.
To be assured that information about their donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.
To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors.
To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share.
To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.
To give to your local charity of choice please visit our member list.