Tis the Season: Tips for Holiday Giving

This week’s blog is written by SCY’s Manager of Finance and Grants, David Arzola.

Tis the season for giving! Recently many of us opened our hearts, and wallets, and gave to nonprofit organizations for Giving Tuesday. If you’re not familiar with Giving Tuesday, it is an organization that was created in 2012. They had a great idea, to create “a day that encourages people to do good.” Eight years later this has turned into a global giving day. I encourage you to check out their website here.

As we continue through the holiday season, many of us will continue to offer donations to nonprofits that align with our goals and values. But how do you determine which nonprofit to give your dollars to? Well, below are some tips to help you in your research of non-profit organizations. Vox.com suggests using the charity recommender GiveWell.org. “GiveWell currently lists nine top charities. Its recommendation, if you find it hard to choose among the nine, is to donate to the GiveWell Maximum Impact Fund, which goes directly to their top charities based on GiveWell’s assessment of where the money is most helpful given groups’ funding needs.” They kind of take all the guesswork out of the process for you and put your dollars where they will do the most good.

If you want to dig into researching organizations that you are already familiar with, there is CharityNavigator.org. “Charity Navigator assesses how well a nonprofit deliver on its mission. To issue an Impact & Results score, we estimate the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves and determine whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.” Another great option is Guidestar.org, which is another search engine which “is a public charity that collects, organizes, and presents information about every single IRS-registered nonprofit organization. It provides as much information as it can about each nonprofit’s mission, legitimacy, impact, reputation, finances, programs, transparency, and governance.” One of the pitfalls of donating to nonprofit organizations is that you choose an organization that isn’t being completely transparent about where the money goes. Guidestar helps alleviate some of that worry.

Should you want to do a more in-depth research on an organization, the Bridgespan Group has a great article on tips “How to Research a Nonprofit—Deep-Dive Approach” which outlines things to look for and how to look for information when researching a non-profit.

I hope this information helps. Good luck in your research and thank you for giving.

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