submitted by Tim Goodwin
There’s no step-by-step guide for giving back. For some, it means tithing 10% of their income to a local church. For others, it’s all about supporting a cause or a movement. And while this flexibility does give people the freedom to creatively invest their time and resources, it can also be overwhelming, especially if you’re wanting to spread out your giving across multiple organizations. So, if you’re already doing a lot, but you’re wanting to expand your impact, here are your next steps.
Follow Your Heart
Sure, it’s a cliché, but it’s also sound advice when it comes to giving back. Maybe you grew up in foster care. Maybe you’ve seen the effects of an abuse relationship. Maybe your visit overseas challenged your worldview. When you reflect on pivotal moments and profound realizations, you’ll often find a relevant cause you can support. Once you’ve identified this inspiration, start researching local and regional charities who are working in this space and find one you like.
Check Out Their Reputation
You want to make sure your money is being used well. Unfortunately, not all nonprofits operate as efficiently as they should, which means your dollars may be covering administrative costs instead of directly impacting the cause you care about. So, before you give, research. If it’s a smaller charity, try to talk to the CEO so you can learn more about their mission and how your donation will be used.
Use Charity Navigator
Many nonprofits focus all their efforts on solving a problem and forget that they need to spread their message so others can get involved. That’s why Charity Navigator is such a powerful resource. With nearly 9,000 charities ranked and listed, it’s easy to find a charity close to your heart and of good report.
Consider a Fidelity Charitable account
Fidelity Charitable is the largest public charity and donor-advised fund in the country. Many of our clients already use Fidelity Charitable to simplify tax preparation, give anonymously and automate giving all while having the opportunity for their money to grow before it’s given away.
Even if you can’t give more financially, these same steps will help you evaluate organizations you can support with your time. If you want to speak with someone who knows about local causes and charities or you have questions about Fidelity Charitable, schedule a meeting with one of our advisors.