According to a recent survey, around two-thirds of donors are interested in donating more.
To help maximize your impact, we’ve put together a list of six tips you can consider to get better at giving. After adhering to these tips, you’ll be more confident in financing your donations, and you’ll feel like you’re making a difference when you donate.
Tip 1: Try to Automate your Giving, So That You’re Able to Reach Your Goals
When you’re giving, you shouldn’t give a haphazard amount. When you don’t plan your giving, you’re going to be more likely to run into a lot of concerns, about your ability to finance your donations. Instead of giving at random, decide how much you’re going to give in advance.
So, at the beginning of each year, allocate an amount of money that you’re comfortable giving. You might even decide how much money will go to each organization that you donate to. Moreover, it’s a good idea to pre-schedule your donations. For example, you might schedule to donate a certain amount in February, a certain amount in May, and a certain amount in October.
Or, you might decide that it’s best to give a certain amount to a certain charity every month. Regardless of what you decide, you have to know how much you’re going to give each year, and when you’re going to give it. This way, there won’t be any surprises with your donations, and you’ll be confident in the fact that you can afford all of the donations that you’re giving, in the calendar year.
Another thing that is convenient about giving in 2023, is that most organizations make it easy for you to automatically donate. This means that you can set up automatic donations that will immediately withdraw from either your credit card or your checking account. When you opt for this service, you won’t have to remember to donate. All you have to do is schedule your donations in advance, and then, you’re good to go for the entire year.
When you avoid the end-of-the-year donating scramble, you’ve succeeded in donating! No one wants to be stressed and doing all of their donations at the end of a busy year. So, automate your giving, in order to achieve your goals.
Tip 2: Don’t Just Donate with Cash, Donate with Appreciated Assets
Recent data shows that around half of donors would opt to donate more, if they were able to get a better tax deduction at the end of the year. However, many donors aren’t earning the full rewards of their donations, if they are donating to charity with cash. Instead of using cash, in order to get the most benefits out of your donations, it’s a good idea to donate things like stocks, to a charity.
When you donate appreciated assets directly to different charities, you’re not going to have to pay for the capital gains taxes that will be put on the stock’s appreciation. This will increase your donation, and in turn, it will lower the amount that you’re going to have to pay in taxes.
Tip 3: Have a Conversation with a Financial Planner to Maximize Your Donations
Finances can be complicated, and sometimes the best way to have the best understanding of our money is by enlisting the experts to help us. If you’re trying to maximize the amount of donations that you can give each year, it’s a good idea to talk to a financial planner. Around four in ten donors are concerned about making the decision between donating and saving money.
Of course, there are plenty of reasons why you’d want to keep your money—you might have kids you have to send to college, homes you need to finance, or other expenses. But with the help of a financial planner, you’ll be advised as to whether it’s wiser to donate your money, or save your money.
Everyone’s financial situation is different, and when you talk to a financial planner, you’re going to be able to get personalized advice that will help lower your anxiety about choosing if giving is right for you.
Tip 4: Draft a Mission Statement to Ensure That Your Giving is Focused on Important Causes
When you’re deciding which charities you can give to, you might feel overwhelmed by all of the causes out there, that are near and dear to the hearts of your friends and family. You might have relatives that have been touched by certain charities, and because of this, you might feel obligated to give to certain causes that are close to your loved ones.
In order to maximize the amount of impact that your donations have, it’s a good idea to create a mission statement, which will cue you in on which organizations are most important to you. For example, if you write down a list of charities that you are interested in donating to, it will be easier to say no to other charities.
You shouldn’t feel pressured to donate to causes that aren’t as important to you, and when you draft a mission statement, you’re sure to maximize the impact of your donations.
Tip 5: Figure Out How the Charities That You Donate to Work
Unfortunately, around two thirds of people who donate, admit that they’re skeptical about the level of trustworthiness of the charities that they donate to. This is unfortunate, because when you’re donating to charity, you’re trying to make an impact. And it can make donors not want to donate, when they’re worried that their money will be used in negative ways.
In order to feel less anxiety about the impact of your donations, it’s a good idea to figure out how the charities that you donate to work. Simply do some basic research on your charities, and you should figure out how your money will be used. You can go through emails and newsletters, and when you do, you’ll probably find the information that you’re looking for.
However, if you don’t find out how your money will be used, you could also contact the charity directly, and you can ask them important questions. For example, you can ask them why they need funding and how the funding will be used, assuming that you choose to donate.
If you’re not comfortable contacting the charity directly, then you could use tools like GuideStar and Charity Navigator, which publish information about the credibility of nonprofits. The more research you do, the more likely you’re going to be confident in donating to a certain charity. So, do your research on the credibility of each organization that you donate to.
Tip 6: Find a Giving Guide to Make Sure That Your Charities are Effective
There are different impact guides out there, like the impact guide from the Center of High Impact Philanthropy, and these are beneficial to anyone who is scoping out the impact of a charity. These impact guides will provide you with crucial information, like what the charity does, how efficient it is, and where their money goes. Beyond assisting in the research of the credibility of certain charities, a giving guide is crucial for people who are looking for new charities to donate to.
With the help of an impact guide, you’ll be introduced to new organizations, so if you’re looking for up and coming charities to donate to in the new year, it’s a good idea to read an impact guide, to help you figure out where to donate this year.
Donating shouldn’t be something that makes you feel stressed and anxious. Instead, it should be something that makes you feel good. Hopefully, when you follow these tips, you’ll be confident in the fact that you can afford to donate and that your donations are making an impact.
Foundation 99 is committed to bringing economic security to the 99%. The cycle of poverty plagues Americans, and unfortunately, 83% of American employees have debt. In order to combat poverty in this country, Foundation 99 helps individuals have access to financial coaches and financial education resources. When you donate to Foundation 99, your money will directly go towards funding these coaches.
When you’re mindful about donating, you’re making smart financial decisions, and when you donate to Foundation 99, you can help thousands of Americans make smart financial decisions, too.
Join the fight to end poverty by donating to Foundation 99, here.