Top 10 Best Practices of Savvy Donors


Be Proactive In Your Giving
Smart providers usually do not give reactively in a very knee-jerk fashion. they do not reply to the primary organization that appeals for facilitate. They take the time to spot that causes square measure most vital to their families and that they square measure specific regarding the modification they need to have an effect on. for instance, they do not simply support generic cancer charities, however instead have targeted goals for his or her giving, like providing mammograms to at-risk ladies in their community.

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Hang Up The Phone / Eliminate The Middleman
Informed donors acknowledge that for-profit fundraisers, those usually utilized in charitable selling campaigns, keep an oversized portion (in some cases all) of every greenback they collect (read our report regarding selling for additional specifics on the prices connected with this type of fundraising). Wise donors ne’er provide out their personal data – like mastercard accounts, Social Security numbers – over the phone. If they like what they hear within the pitch, they will droop up, investigate the charity on-line and send their contribution on to the charity, thereby extirpation the middleman and guaranteeing 100 percent of their donation reaches the charity. Taking it a step any, donors might want to rethink supporting a charity that uses associate inefficient selling approach and instead establish a charity that doesn’t use selling to boost funds.

Be Careful Of Sound-Alike Names
Uninformed donors square measure simply confused by charities that have strikingly similar names to others. what number people might tell the distinction between associate attractiveness from the Children’s Charity Fund and therefore the Children’s Defense Fund? Their names sound an equivalent, however their performances square measure immensely completely different. Would you be stunned to find out that the Children’s Charity Fund may be a 0-star charity whereas the Children’s Defense Fund may be a 3-star charity? knowledgeable donors take the time to uncover the distinction.

Confirm 501(c) (3) standing
Wise donors do not drop cash into canisters at the checkout or fork out money to solicitors outside the market. things like these square measure irresistible to scam artists World Health Organization want to require advantage of your goodwill. sensible givers solely support teams granted exempt standing below section 501(c) (3) of the interior Revenue Code. All of the charities evaluated by Charity Navigator meet this basic demand.

Check The Charity’s Commitment To answerability ; Transparency
In 2011, Charity Navigator added associate answerability ; Transparency dimension to its classification system. It tracks metrics like whether or not the charity used associate objective method to see their CEO’s regular payment, whether or not it’s a good governance structure, and whether or not it’s a informant policy. This knowledge is important as a result of charities that follow sensible governance and transparency practices square measure less possible to have interaction in unethical or harum-scarum activities. So, the danger that such charities would misuse donations is below for charities that do not adopt such practices.

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Obtain Copies Of Its monetary Records
Savvy donors grasp that the monetary health of a charity may be a robust indicator of the charity’s programmatic performance. They grasp that in most cause areas, the foremost economical charities pay seventy fifth or additional of their budget on their programs and services and fewer than twenty fifth on fundraising and body fees. However, they conjointly perceive that mid-to-large sized charities do need a powerful infrastructure thus a claim of zero fundraising and/or body fees is unlikely at the best. They perceive that a charity’s ability to sustain its programs over time is simply as necessary as its short day-after-day outlay practices. Therefore, savvy donors conjointly search out charities that square measure able to grow their revenue a minimum of at the speed of inflation, that still invest in their programs which have some cash saved for a period of time. All of this analysis is provided on Charity Navigator’s web site for gratis, however once considering teams not found here, savvy donors raise the charity for copies of its 3 most up-to-date Forms 990. Not solely will the donor examine the charity’s finances, however the charity’s disposition to send the documents may be a great way to assess its commitment to transparency.

Review government Compensation
Sophisticated donors understand that charities got to pay their prime leaders a competitive regular payment so as to draw in and retain the type of talent required to run a multi-million greenback organization and manufacture results. however they conjointly do not simply take the CEO’s compensation at face value; they benchmark it against similar-sized organizations engaged in similar work and set within the same region of the country. to assist you create your own call, Charity Navigator’s analysis reveals that the common CEO’s compensation of the charities we have a tendency to value is nearly $150,000. In general, salaries tend to be higher within the northeast and at arts and education charities. subtle donors conjointly place the CEO’s regular payment into context by examining the general performance of the organization. They understand it is healthier to contribute to a charity with a well-paid CEO that’s meeting its goals than to support a charity with associate underpaid CEO that fails to deliver on its guarantees. (Check out our CEO Compensation Study for additional benchmarking knowledge.)

Start A Dialogue to analyze Its Programmatic Results
Although it takes some effort on their half to assess a charity’s programmatic impact, donors World Health Organization square measure committed to advancing real modification believe that it’s value their time. Before they create a contribution, they speak with the charity to find out regarding its accomplishments, goals and challenges. These donors square measure ready to run off from any charity that’s unable or unwilling to participate during this sort of spoken language.

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Concentrate Your Giving
When it involves monetary investments, diversification is that the key to reducing risk. the other is true for philanthropic investments. If you have very taken the time to spot a well-run charity that’s engaged in a very cause that you just square measure keen about, you must then feel assured in giving it a donation. Spreading your cash among multiple organizations not solely leads to your mail box filling up with additional appeals, it conjointly diminishes the likelihood of any of these teams transfer regarding substantive modification as every charity is wasting a part of your gift on process expenses for that gift.

Share Your Intentions And build A long-run Commitment
Smart donors support their favorite charities for the long-standing time. They see themselves as a partner within the charity’s efforts to induce modification. They grasp that solely with long-run, committed supporters will a charity achieve success. and that they do not hesitate to inform the charity of their giving plans in order that the organization is aware of it will deem the donor and therefore the charity does not have to be compelled to waste resources and harass the donor by causing varied solicitations.


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