End-Of-Year Giving: How To Decide?

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You worked hard for these. Now, where should they go?

By Blog Coordinator Meghan Randolph

There is no shortage of worthy causes in our world, and there is certainly no shortage of mailings, social media posts, and phone calls asking for support! If you’re like me, you may not have much to give, but want to support causes that are important to you. (I always give a little bit of money each year to the Humane Society, which gave me my kitties!) Or maybe you have some money to spare and want to make an impact on an organization that’s important to you. Or maybe you want to donate to several organizations that support causes you’re passionate about. How do you choose?

NextAvenue gives a good breakdown here of some online tools you can use to compare larger nonprofits, including their financials and how much impact they’re making on their communities.  The new charity rater Impact Matters helps potential donors to understand how efficiently organizations are using their funds relative to the outcomes they’re producing in their communities. This is a very interesting website, as you can put in an amount you plan to give and a cause you’d like to give to, and Impact Matters will show you the result of your donation for various nonprofits. On the homepage, select your cause and enter an amount of money. Below that, examples of your impact will pop up.

There are also places to see non-profit organizations’ Form 990, which is a financial form that indicates how their money was used in a given year. You can look up most 990s on guidestar.org or open990.org.

Smaller nonprofit organizations you’re personally involved with, like SAIL’s parent organization, AgeBetter, are often bound to feel your gift the most, and that’s what I personally love. And if you’re a SAIL member, you’ll be able to see your gift in action through programs, support, and the friendly faces that keep the organization running. We are so grateful for our members and donors, and will thank you every chance we get. SAIL is amazing and thanks to our members and supporters we are growing stronger each year. You can read the 2018 SAIL Annual Report here.

No matter how you choose to use your charitable dollars, or how much you have to give, it’s important to be educated about where you’re donating. As you’re assessing how to be a good steward this holiday season, it’s great to know that your funds are being put to good use!

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