Philanthropy Tips & Tricks

It’s a new year and we are all getting organized. That means your favorite nonprofits are doing the same thing. Here are a few tips & tricks to help both your philanthropy and your favorite organizations run more smoothly this year.

1. Give Early
Consider the organizations you know you want to support. Why not give to them now? If they operate on a calendar year giving cycle, an early gift gives them the opportunity to focus on doing the great work you love them for, and to help them plan ahead. Plus, it will give you the peace of mind of knowing that you’ve made your annual gift.

Worried that giving early will result in continued solicitations throughout the year? We have a solution. Our giving portal features a 'special instructions' section where we can add any note to the letter that goes with your grant. Examples we’ve used are, “Please consider this as our gift for 2020 and we request you do not solicit us again this year,” or “Thank you for your incredible work. Here is our gift for 2020. We look forward to hearing from you again in 2021.”

2. Set It and Forget It
For organizations that you want to give to for a few years at a time, you can use the portal (or a written grant form) to set a recurring grant. When you make a grant recommendation, choose your timing under the 'regranting schedule' section. You can choose 30 days, 60 days, quarterly, bi-annually, or annually, for up to 6 grants.

Using the special instructions section, you can let the grantee know that they will be receiving a regular grant from you. Examples are, “It is the recommenders' intention that this is the first of four grants totaling XXX dollars over 4 years,” or “It is the recommenders’ intention that this grant of XXX dollars will be made each year for 5 years."

3. Establish Your Intentions for the Year, and Beyond
The beginning of the calendar year is often a time when we take a little brain space to get ourselves organized. We often set goals for financial planning, so why not reflect and plan for your philanthropy as well? Take a little time to look at your grants from last year and think: “Did I make the grants I wanted? Did I have the impact I wanted? Are there things I might want to do differently this year?”

Here are 3 simple approaches:
A. Look at your top three gifts. If these match with the organizations you care about most, think about how you can invest a little more of your time, talent, or treasure to make your gift go even further this year.

B. Write your philanthropic mission statement. A simple one starts with who you are, where you give (either location, issues areas, or both), and what change you hope to see as a result of your giving. Example: The Levy Family Philanthropy Fund gives to Bay Area organizations focused on women's rights, poverty, and Jewish life in order to bring equity, security and the continued vitality of our Jewish community to future generations.

C. Write down an issue area or organization that you would like to learn more about this year and start to sketch out a plan for how you might get more involved.

Our team can help you plan your giving, for this year and beyond. Contact us so we can support you on your journey.

Categories: Philanthropy


January 21, 2020


Debbie Berkowitz