The need for generosity is at an all-time high right now, as the pandemic has created economic challenges that continue to stretch family and community resources. Millions of people are out of work, struggling to pay their bills and feed their families.
With so many people in need of support, it can be challenging to determine the most effective way to help. These four tips may help to ensure that you get the most bang for the buck for your charitable donations.
- Contribute To Organizations You Trust
Many people try to raise money directly by starting their own crowdfunding campaigns on sites like GoFundMe. Unfortunately, donating to these campaigns is often an inefficient use of money. Crowdfunding isn’t subject to the same oversight as non-profit organizations or section 501(c)(3) organizations that need to maintain their tax-exempt status. Money doesn’t always reach the intended target, as scammers like to prey on people’s best intentions. You can evaluate a charity by checking with websites such as Charity Navigator.
- Develop A Family Donation Strategy
Giving your children or grandchildren a voice in how and where you donate could be an important lesson for them. They may open your eyes to charitable causes that are important to them, but you haven’t previously considered. Again, pre-screening charitable organizations is key. It’s all too easy with texting to send money without vetting the source. Remind your children that established charities have oversight to ensure that donations reach people who truly need it.
- Understand Where Your Donations Will Be Used
When you donate to a charity, some of that money could fund operational expenses like salaries or advertising. Some donors are disappointed when they find out that their money is helping an organization pay bills, rather than directly helping people in need.
If you want your money restricted to a certain goal, you might feel better donating to organizations in the community, such as churches, shelters or a local non-profit that allow restricted gifts; or you can speak to a development director at a charity you are interested in supporting. Talk to them to determine which specific initiatives you’d like to support. Then, you can specify how you’d like your money to be used.
- Determine Who Needs Your Money The Most
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed trying to decide which causes to support. Your wishes should take a priority over a charity’s desire to fund pet projects. Large national non-profits have established donor networks they can tap during times of crisis. Shelters and food banks in your community may not. If COVID-19 or social justice causes are areas of interest for your charitable dollars, give us a call. We are happy to discuss how you can help others live their best lives possible in a time of need.
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