Raise your hand if you spent the last weeks creating New Year’s resolutions around losing weight, spending less money, work/life balance or eating a more balanced diet.
These are all important and worthy goals to pursue in the new year. However, when is the last time you thought about making a goal around your charitable contributions in the coming year? In 2020, I encourage you to create a giving strategy focused on your goals, priorities and passions and try to implement them all year long.
To get started, ask yourself a couple of questions: How can you be a smarter giver in 2020? What are you passionate about? What are the top five main causes you want to support? We have a few pointers to get you started on developing a giving plan for 2020 below.
Have a personal mission statement – Your personal mission statement should be one to three sentences outlining your unique outlook on giving. It should include your values, interests and geographical focus. It can also include what type of impact you are looking to make and your timeline for doing so. This exercise can help you build a roadmap for your giving plan.
Be a smart donor – Think about the last donation you made to a non-profit. Did you do any research before opening your checkbook? While we tend to trust larger name non-profit organizations, taking a little time to make sure your donation is going to the right place is a smart way to give. Popular websites like Guide Star or Charity Navigator can help you make sure the non-profit receiving your donation is financially sound and designating most of its resources to programming and the core mission it supports.
Think about your impact – It's ok to ask, “Where is my donation going?” or “Can I have my donation go directly to this specific program?” These are your rights as a donor. Over time, focusing your giving can help you grow your philanthropic impact year over year and help those organizations you feel the most passionate about.
Learn how to say no with kindness – The rise of crowdfunding and social media give campaigns can get overwhelming. That's why I love having a giving plan. Knowing where and who you are giving to throughout the year, makes it a little easier to say "no". Having a giving plan keeps you focused and can be referenced when being asked for an extra donation. Here is a sample response you can use, "Thanks for thinking of me in regard to your recent fundraiser. Although I support your cause and wish you the best, my giving funds have already been allocated for the year. Please keep me on your contact list for future donations."
You can also work miscellaneous giving into your plan and allocate a slice of your funds to causes and organizations that might pop up unexpectedly.
In 2020, we look forward to supporting many organizations in our communities and working together to make our world a better place. We hope you will join us in planning for a great philanthropic year!
To find out more about the Businessolver Foundation or to get involved click here.
The Businessolver Foundation’s mission statement is to positively impact the lives of our employees, clients and communities through philanthropic efforts focused on health, education and community betterment.