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Giving with Purpose

by our sponsor Wells Fargo


Steps on Creating a Charitable Giving Strategy

It’s perfectly fine to give as opportunities arise. However, being proactive about charitable giving allows you to be strategic about how you donate your money and time. 

Identify a cause
In deciding where to give, identify areas where you are most passionate. For example, if you’re passionate about making sure youth in urban communities receive adequate education, look for organizations that support this cause.  Whatever your passion, always consider ways to align your charitable efforts with a relative cause/organization.

Decide what you’ll invest
After you identify what you’re passionate about, give careful thought to what you will donate – time, talent or treasures (money).  When we think of charitable giving, we typically focus on money.  Thinking more broadly allows you the opportunity to contribute in a way that works best for you, even when you may not have the financial resources.

Are you really good at doing something, or are you professionally trained? Perform services for an organization that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.

Select an organization
Once you’ve decided how you will invest, and a cause you want to support, determine where you will invest. Whether volunteering or providing financial resources, nonprofits rely on individual contributions. However, stretching yourself too thin by contributing to multiple organizations might not be as valuable as focusing on one or two to concentrate on. 

Research your charity
Giving in any form is a commitment, which is why it’s important to know whether the organization you choose is registered and reputable.  Several sources evaluate charities and compile findings in an online database of registered organizations (see references below). If you’re unable to find a specific charity using these resources, contact the organization directly to request documentation, including: 501(c) (3) status; IRS Form 990; or its most recent annual report. For local organizations, or national organizations with regional offices, you can also contact your state government for verification. 

Better Business Bureau -Wise Giving Alliance

Charity Watch (formerly known as American Institute of Philanthropy - AIP)

This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. The accuracy and completeness of this information is not guaranteed and is subject to change. Since each individual’s financial situation is unique, you need to review your financial objectives to determine which approaches might work best for you.

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