Holiday Season is officially upon us. It’s a time of giving, of inflection, and of being thankful. Many individuals and organizations take this time of year as the opportunity to give back to their communities and place their money where their heart is.
However, when giving back or donating to charitable organizations, individuals and companies should use their heart and their head. For one, donating money or goods can help businesses and individuals get a tax cut. For another, it’s important that you know your hard-earned money is being well-invested and that you’re giving to a legitimate charitable organization.
Charity Navigator lists five key steps to informed giving to make sure that your donation goes to the right place and creates maximum impact.
- Be proactive.
Instead of waiting around for charities to reach out to you, investigate causes that are close to you, your employees, and your clients. Find out which organizations work towards that cause and research them; find out what their work is, what their focus is, and what type of help they need (financial, volunteers, consulting services, etc.).
- Research the charities you pick.
Unfortunately, there are scams that target individuals and companies that want to give back. To avoid falling prey into one of these scams, make sure you research your chosen organization thoroughly. Here are some things you should look at: that the organization is tax exempt public charity, that they have their employer identification number listed, and that they are accountable and transparent with their books.
- Start a conversation.
Once you’ve selected an organization, reach out to them and start talking. Take some time to ask about how long they’ve been operating, what are some of their biggest achievements, what their goal is, etc. This will help you make sure that your donation will be used for the right cause and mission.
- How to give.
You may want the charity to use the money you give for a specific project or you might want to give them the flexibility to spend it as they see fit depending on their current needs. Establish the amount you want to donate and the timeframe in which you want to give it (over a year, a quarter, a month, etc.)
- Follow your donation.
Keep your communication with your charity open, making sure you follow-up with them and their activities on a regular basis. Ask them to give you reports on how your money was used and if you like the impact their creating, support them for the long haul.
This end of the year season, Shift Workspaces is working with two charitable organizations. Our Shift Bannock location will be doing canned food drives for Food Bank of the Rockies, while our Shift Corona location will be collecting items for pets for Dumb Friends League, whose mission is to end pet homelessness and animal suffering.
If you’d like to join us in giving back, let us know!