Create a Giving Plan before You Invest in a Charity

Part of the Charity and Philanthropy For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Few great things happen by accident. Most effective philanthropists – whether the amounts of time and money involved are large or small – have a plan. In order to create realistic goals, be sure your giving plan is:

  • Realistic. Think about how you’re going to do what you plan to do. If you’re going to help build a school, how long is that going to take? Who will be involved? What is the timeline for building similar schools? How long after the school is built will it be in use? Who will help plan, build and operate the school?

  • Affordable. It’s easy to say you’ll fix the world and figure out how to pay for it later, but this is not a good strategy. Take an honest look at your budget. The goal is not to impress others and not to feel as though you’re not doing enough. The goal is to feel good about what you’re doing, at whatever scale, at whatever budgetary level.

  • Filled with goals. The best way to measure your progress down the road is to establish goals now. Think of these as little milestones. They don’t have to all be impressive or world-changing. But they should be well-defined. To check if a goal is well-defined, ask yourself, “In the future, will I be able to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to whether I’ve done this yet?’

  • Cooperative. We can’t change the world alone, it takes a team. Embed in your giving plan your plans for working with, organising or exciting others. Figure out who in your circle will take part in executing your plan. It could be your friends, family or co-workers. It could be people in your local community. Planning for cooperation is a key part of a successful giving strategy.

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Charity and Philanthropy For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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