Ten Giving Tips for the Savvy Philanthropist
Just in time for the holidays.
1. Give locally.
Local nonprofits, especially those in the social service and mental health areas, continually face challenges from reductions in state and federal funding.
2. Give wisely.
To determine a nonprofit's transparency and effectiveness, an informed donor will consider an organization’s overall impact (and the need it fills) in addition to expense ratios. You can find data to guide your decision-making on the following sites:
Home of The Great Give®, giveGreater.org® is a resource for learning and giving to nonprofits serving central Connecticut. giveGreater.org lists 400 nonprofit profiles; the site is free for nonprofits and provided by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven in partnership with Guidestar.
The Connecticut Data Collaborative: a public-private partnership working to increase the quality and availability of data for effective planning and policy. Their website data portal contains over 135 datasets.
Ctdatahaven.org: DataHaven is a hub for local information that collects, interprets and shares public data for effective decision-making. It works with many partners to develop reports, tools and technical assistance programs that make information more useful to local communities. Its largest project is the DataHaven Community Wellbeing Survey, which produces information on quality of life, public health, economic development and civic vitality for more than 100 partners throughout Connecticut and sections of nearby states.
3. Give freely.
After choosing a nonprofit you like, make an unrestricted gift. Unrestricted donations enable the nonprofit to use the money where it’s needed the most.
4. Talk to your Advisor.
Before making any significant gift to charity, consult with your CPA, attorney or other advisor to understand the impact on your taxes and estate. Don’t have an advisor? Here's a list of professional advisors that partner with The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and a list of partnering advisors with its affiliate, the Valley Community Foundation, for your consideration.
5. Give safely.
When giving online after you've done your research about a charity, be sure that the charity's website uses encryption technology to protect you. Check the address bar on the page which requires sensitive information to be posted. The URL should begin with "https." The "s" stands for "secure" and indicates that sensitive information will be encrypted and transmitted securely. (Source: CharityWatch)
6. Give now, decide later.
If you are planning for a charitable tax deduction this year but are undecided about which nonprofits to support, consider opening a donor advised fund at The Community Foundation. You can make your gift in cash, via credit card, securities or other assets. A donor advised fund can be set up in one meeting and can be built over time.
7. Explore employer matching gift programs.
Some companies offer matching gift programs that can increase — even double — the impact of your gift. Contact your human resources department to see what your employer offers.
8. Leave a bequest.
Support for your favorite charities will go well beyond this year if you create a permanent fund in your estate plan that names them as beneficiaries. An update to your will will ensure that nonprofit(s) you've helped throughout your lifetime will continue to be supported by you forever. Review the multiple planned and legacy gift options on The Community Foundation's website and at The Valley Gives Back™, a site created by the Valley Community Foundation highlighting the importance of planned giving as a way to benefit the Connecticut's Valley region.
9. Share your awesomeness.
You'll have done a great thing! Inspire your friends and family to join you in your awesomeness. Tag @givegreater and the name of the organization(s) you're supporting in posts on social media.
10. Give with others.
Giving Tuesday is November 27, 2018. Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. A gift from you to a local nonprofit(s) on #GivingTuesday is a thoughtful way to end the year showing you care about our community and the wellbeing of your neighbors in need. Find a local nonprofit to support here.
And ... mark your calendar: The Great Give® 2019 is scheduled for May 1-2.
It will be the 10th online giving event supporting Greater New Haven's nonprofits. Sponsorship opportunities are welcome and may be done in the form of 1) gifts of matching money; and 2) individually named prizes — both used by nonprofits to leverage more gifts during the 36 hours. Contact Jackie Downing for details.