Giving: Beyond the Numbers
Giving USA recently came out with their annual report on non-government giving. In 2017, $410+ billion was donated to charities by individuals, foundations, and companies. That’s a 5% increase over the previous year, and the largest amount ever given in one year. America is a generous nation – it’s been our hallmark since our country’s founding.
This growth in giving is exciting. Our challenge to you is to make every donation count – to move the needle forward the farthest, to help achieve the greatest change possible. Making big change is the sum of making many small changes. By being more strategic with each gift, you have the ability to incrementally create transformation.
Giving is most fulfilling and transformative when it hits on two key ingredients:
- Aligned – Giving should flow from the core of who you are and the difference you were created to make in the world. It should align your values, beliefs, and perspectives with your skill and time in addition to your wealth. It should include your spouse, family, or future generations, as well as name the mark you intend to make both in life and in legacy.
- Effective – The investment of wealth – as well as your time and skill – can and should leave a real mark. When it’s grounded by an understanding of community need, rooted in research, guided by savvy strategy, and invested with wisdom, you can be truly confident you’re making an impact and not just moving money.
The next time you get ready to make a gift, plot out where it falls on our Impact Grid. If most of your giving falls outside of the Impact Philanthropy quadrant, it may be time for a giving tune-up. If so, we’d love to have a conversation and explore how you can experience more joy from your giving because you know it’s having the impact you’ve planned for.