Donating to a good cause is among the most important ways that the independently wealthy and middle-class can give back to the communities they live in. But there are many barriers to efficient and effective giving in the modern financial marketplace. There are concerns about communication and milestones, organization and tracking, and more. But in the end, most of the concerns voiced by major givers are financing and seeing the impact of their giving. So how can we best make use of our donations?
Make Regular Donations
Being a regular donator has two major benefits: Regular donations can keep your books in order and their coffers full. For yourself, having a goal for donations and meeting it can feel very good, and can also keep regular tax deductions coming in.
And for the organization you support, they often rely on infrequent or irregular donations. Having a consistent donator provides a sense of stability and consistency.
Appreciate Your Appreciated Assets
Appreciated assets are very nice, but have caveats. Capital gains taxes go into effect when your assets begin to appreciate. This is usually fine since you’ll be making money anyway, but to make the most of your investment and giving together, you can gift your asset directly to a charity or foundation. This does not incur capital gains for the appreciated value.
Create a Mission Statement
Having a specific goal in mind for your donations provides you focus and direction. By having specific goals in mind, not only are you better able to pick from the many organizations that would benefit from your support, but you are also better able to say ‘no’ to organizations outside of your focus.
Look for Impact
There are dozens of guides for how to find high-impact organizations that will make the most of your financial contributions. Some, like the Center for High Impact Philanthropy, are even broken down by category for your convenience. Most organizations and foundations will also provide reports on where their donations are used. Making the most of your finances requires research and dedication – things every good philanthropist has in droves.