Does charitable giving make you feel great? Well, it should! Simply follow these five steps and you'll be giving with confidence to charities you trust in no time!
Start by identifying which causes are important to you, and be specific about the impact you want your donation to have. For example, maybe you are interested in helping people with a particular disease. A large national organization might be better suited to research and finding a cure for the disease, whereas another one, perhaps in your community, could be doing great work providing services to patients and their families. Once you are clear about your philanthropic priorities, start to pull together a list of charities that match your interests.
Next, begin to narrow down your list of charities by conducting some basic research.
A charity's ability to bring about long-lasting and meaningful change in the world is the key reason for their existence and for your donation. So, before making a contribution, talk with the charity to learn about its accomplishments, goals, and challenges. Such conversations will give you insight into how well the charity knows where it stands and where it plans to go. Charities unwilling or unable to have this conversation may not deserve your support.
Remember to follow up with the charity in six months to a year to find out how they're using your money. You're not looking for a list of itemized expenses, but instead a progress report to give you a sense of how responsive they are to you and if they can clearly communicate their progress.