What inspires you to give? Most of us give for the same basic reasons. We want to help others, make a positive difference in the world—and giving feels good. It makes us happy and connects us to the causes we care about. 1 Studies show that most charitable folks give according to their values or to support causes they care about. 2 But they don’t always have a strategy around giving or a way to monitor for impact.
Make the greatest impact
How do you make the greatest impact with your giving? If you’re not sure, you’re not alone. Many people are passionate about giving but don’t have a defined strategy. Even though strategic giving can pave the way for thoughtful donations of money, time and resources. And that can help you figure out how to do the most good for the causes that matter most to you.
Want to create your own strategy? Check out the questions below to help you create your own giving roadmap:
- What values are most important to me?
- Family, faith or social causes may come to mind. Think about how to align them with your philanthropy.
- Where can I do the most good?
- What causes don’t get enough support? Where could my gifts make a bigger splash?
- Which organizations address the issue(s) I want to support?
- Do you due diligence before giving and focus on organizations that know what they’re doing. Charity Navigator and GuideStar can help you identify organizations that use donations wisely.
- What exactly do I want to donate?
- Beyond cash and your budget for philanthropy, consider other ways to donate. Appreciated assets, time and your distinctive skills could all be valuable and impactful to the causes you care about.
- What does success look like?
- What changes do you want to see? If you know what outcome you want to achieve, you can support an organization that approaches a cause in ways that mirror your vision of success.
When we give, we activate our brain’s pleasure centers. That’s one reason why philanthropy can feel so great. Creating a values-based strategy can not only increase the satisfaction of giving, but also help create greater change in the world. And we can start harnessing the financial and tax benefits of giving. Want help incorporating philanthropy into your financial life? I’m here to help.
Financial Journey LLC is a registered investment advisor offering advisory services in the state of Virginia and in other jurisdictions where exempted. Information provided is for educational purposes only and not, in any way, to be considered investment or tax advice.