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Your 4-Step Guide to Charitable Giving

Today’s women bring a different perspective to charitable giving than the women of past generations. We have increased earning power and assets. We are not afraid to be the first to support a new cause or endeavor, and we care about the impact our gifts could make

Do you want to start showing leadership through charitable giving? Here’s a quick guide to get you started!

Establish *how* you want to give

Do you want to give now, or wait to give through your estate provisions? Think carefully about your financial situation. You can use cash, stocks, bonds, or even property. Did you know you can make your favorite charity the beneficiary of your life insurance policy? You can also remember them through a bequest.

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This article is sponsored by the Unity Campaign.

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There is no “one-size-fits-all” in charitable giving. Consult your accountant, attorney, and/or financial planner to see which giving options make the most sense for you.

Research organizations dedicated to causes you care about

What are you passionate about? Where do you want to create impact? Are you interested in addressing homelessness? Supporting the arts? Helping students with their post-secondary education? Review websites of organizations providing programs and services in your areas of interest.

It’s also a good idea to review charitable information sources such as Candid.org. These sites provide information about the organization’s financial health and service delivery statistics and lets you know if it is in good standing with the IRS. Look for outcomes (100 people did not lose their homes and become homeless), not just outputs (200 people were provided with temporary shelter). Make sure you can answer this statement: “Because of my charitable gift, the organization will be able to _____.” If this statement gives you a feeling of satisfaction, this is the right decision for you!

Community foundations are another option through which charitable giving can be facilitated. They work with multiple organizations, allowing you to benefit a variety of groups through your donation. In this case, much of the legwork about the organization you’re interested in supporting is handled for you. 

Don’t walk away!

Take the time to follow up with the charities you’ve donated to. Were your charitable intentions fulfilled? Did the organization provide what you hoped they would? Did they acknowledge your gift promptly and provide appropriate tax receipts?

One way to keep in touch with an organization is by reading their publications and following their social media. If you’re happy with your giving experience and the professionalism of the organization, consider giving again! If not, look for another organization that more closely aligns with your intentions.

Share your experience with others

Were you happy with your experience? If so, tell your friends! They might desire to create impact with their charitable giving, too. If you weren’t, tell the organization. Nonprofit leaders need to know when they are falling short or should be communicating more with their donors. Plus, this conversation may foster greater understanding regarding donor expectations, service delivery, funding trends, and situations that are beyond anyone’s control. 

Women can lead others to a joyful, satisfying charitable giving experience. When we all do our part, great things can happen! 

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by Elizabeth Day, President and CEO of The Community Foundation of Frederick County

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This post is sponsored by the Unity Campaign. The Unity Campaign supports the more than one in three households in Frederick County, MD, that struggle to afford basic human necessities. This collaboration among nonprofit partners, incentive sponsors and the greater Frederick community supports our most vulnerable neighbors during 12 days of giving from September 11 through September 22, 2019. Powered by the United Way of Frederick County, the Unity Campaign donor gives to the nonprofit organization of their choice, and 100% of that donation goes to the selected charity.

To meet the nonprofit partners and hear their pitches at our “speed dating” event, attend the Campaign Kick Off on Monday, September 9th from 5-7pm at the ARC on Market. Tickets are $15 and include first drink and light refreshments. Tickets available at www.unitedwayfrederick.org/unitycampaign

For more information on the Campaign and to donate, visit unityfrederick.com.

 

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