5 Ways to Ensure You Give Effectively

donate-654328When it comes to making donations, it’s easy to sign a check and call it day. But if you want your donation to make a real impact, there are measures you can take to ensure your gift is as effective as possible. In fact, there are researchers working on evidence-based approaches to philanthropy, and charities are beginning to measure their own results. This combination will lead to a more thorough understanding and application of charitable gifts. Before all of these findings are shared with us, below are some steps you can take to make your gift more valuable.

1) Find a cause you’re passionate about, and research it.

If you’re looking an organization to donate to, you can brainstorm at sites like GiveWell and Focusing Philanthropy. Both of these sites verify that the nonprofits they list are doing the most with their donations. Once you select an organization, you can search the web for ratings and evaluations of their work.

2) Give more to fewer organizations.

Giving to a select number of organizations benefits you and the organizations you select more effectively. Instead of making smaller donations to a variety of nonprofits, give larger donations to a smaller number of organizations. Your gift will be more impactful, you’re also more likely to understand their work and develop a long-term relationship with the organization.

3) Seek out quantifiable impact.

Select an organization that can provide you with hard data about the number of people they help. Think in broader terms when you research their impact; if there isn’t research by scholars or critiques from journalists, you should be skeptical of the lofty promises the organization makes.

4) Be actively involved.

It’s easy to send a check away and forget about taking any more action, but it’s possible that your cause needs your skill set to accomplish more. There are platforms like VolunteerMatch, Catchafire, and MovingWorlds connecting nonprofits to individuals with the skills to help them accomplish their goals.

5) Make a gift in someone’s name.

Many people are more than happy to support a donation in lieu of a gift. This donation extends your goodwill to the giftee, and to the organization that eventually receives it. Ask the giftee if they have a charity of choice, and you can make a donation to a cause your loved one is passionate about. There is research suggesting that giving is beneficial, it can improve your health and happiness. All signs show that giving is a win-win for all!

To learn more about effectively donating to your cause, please see Forbes.