We’ve all been hit up for donations by friends, coworkers and roommates’ aunts who are going to rock that walkathon. Sometimes, we give based on our gut or happen to love the person doing the fund-raising. That’s fine, but you want to avoid blowing your give-to-charity budget without absolute confidence that your money is making a real difference.
Start by clarifying what motivates you, says Buffett. Giving With Purpose recommends some questions to help you. Here, a few good examples:
- What issues do you care about, and why do you want to support them?
- How does your sense of community factor into your giving?
- Do you see giving as a way to support family and friends by contributing to the issues that are important to them or have touched them personally?
- Are there organizations or institutions you feel an obligation to support because of your personal affiliation or use of their services, such as your alma mater?
- Where do you want to make a difference? Locally, nationally or internationally?
- Are there specific problems or issues you feel compelled to help address, such as education, health, hunger or the environment?
- Do you prefer to address persistent needs like homelessness or those that arise unexpectedly, like humanitarian crises and natural disasters?