Friday, December 18, 2015

donating to charities

6 Ways to Know If You Should Donate To An Organization

* Richard Brody joins us to offer practical advice, helping us manage our funds better, and to have confidence that where we are donating to is the best use for our hard earned money. Richard has owned businesses, been a COO, CEO, and Director of Development, as well as a consultant. He has professionally run events, consulted to over a thousand leaders, and conducted personal development seminars, for over 30 years. Rich has written three books and well over a thousand articles. His company, PLAN2LEAD, LLC has an informative website: and LIKE the Facebook page for leadership planning and non - profit improvement:

Every individual has several options and choices, when deciding and determining which not-for-profit organizations, to support, both financially and in terms of his time, energy and resources. This should, therefore, translate to these groups clearly demonstrating how they provide more value than their competition. This must include numerous aspects, including the mission and vision, their success and performance, the level of their leadership and programs, history (both older and more recent), and especially how effectively the group spends its time and monies. It is only through an analysis of these things, and a number of others, that one puts himself in the best possible position to earn the trust of potential supporters, donors, and other stakeholders. With this in mind, I have created this simple checklist, so we have six ways to know and feel comfortable that we are supporting the right group!

1. Check it out via online resources: Websites such as CharityNavigator, GuideStar, your Secretary of State's office, IRS website, and many others, use several ways to analyze and consider not-for-profits. In addition, consider their purpose, ask to see their IRS filing, and review factors, such as the percentages that go to programming, etc, as opposed to marketing, excessive staffing, etc.

2. What percentage of monies go to what?: How does this organization raise their monies? Is it membership-based (such as dues, etc), donor-emphasized? What percentage of the monies contributed via the event route, go to a net profit (in other words, what's the net profit from their events)?

3. How involved are board members? Ask what percentage of the members of their board, donate in excess of dues, and attend and support their events. Beware of any group whose trustees and/ or directors, seem unwilling to put their money where their mouth is! Most state have what is often referred to as Sunshine Laws, which means that anyone may attend and observe meetings, etc. Attending this type of meeting might help you clearly identify if this is a group you want to be involved with, and/ or support.

4. Accomplishments/ Reputation: What has the organization done in the past? What is it presently working on, or involved with, and what are their actual accomplishments? Have there been any complaints, etc? Does the group and you share some aspects of a common vision and/ or mission?

5. Relevance; evolutionary: Is the organization still relevant, and does it continue to evolve in an orderly, consistent, meaningful way?

6. What's the need?: Is the mission and focus of the group something that is truly needed, and do their efforts make a significant, real difference?

With so many good causes, most of us are unable to support all of them. Therefore, doesn't it make sense to do your homework, so that you are able to feel comfortable with the ones you contribute to?

Award-winning authors Dave & Lillian Brummet:

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