Three Tips to Review Your Giving in the Wake of COVID-19

What a year this has been. Over this past year, many of us have spent time reflecting on our values and priorities. Bringing this thinking to your giving is a critical way to express what you care about and make a difference. (If you’d like to do more structured work on defining values and priorities, your philanthropy advisor has some great tools to help with that.) What does this all mean in terms of our giving?

With the dramatic events of the past twelve months, collectively we are giving more. In 2020, Federation donors gave away over $185 million, up 13% from the previous year. Now is a great time to engage in a review of the organizations you support and how much you give to them. In this way, you can ensure that your support is aligned with your values and current priorities.

Here are three simple tips you can follow to get your giving house in order.

1. Conduct an assessment of the organizations you support based on your values.

Reflect on each of the organizations you contribute to and ask yourself:

  • Why is it important to you to be a supporter of this organization? Does that support align with your values?
  • How did you come to learn about the organization and its work?
  • Which parts of their work do you follow most closely?
  • Might you be interested in engaging more deeply with them? (See tip #3 below.)

2. Learn how each organization is doing and what they might need in light of the past year's challenges.

Each organization will have different needs coming out of the pandemic. Some lost tuition revenue, membership fees, and other sources of income. Others are doing well, based on PPP loans, increased support from donors, and/or an ability to adapt to delivering services virtually.

Read the latest news you’ve received from organizations and check their websites; consider contacting the organizations you care most about to find out how you can best support them through reopening and recovery.

The fiscal year ends on June 30 for many nonprofits. If you are planning to give before the end of June, please be sure to make your grant recommendation no later than June 11. In addition, your employer may offer a matching gift – use our online tool to find out.

3. Consider how you might engage more strategically with the organizations you care about most.

There are many ways to give that will greatly help your favorite organizations. Your gift this year could be a matching challenge grant to help an organization raise more funds. Or, if they have concerns about their long-term stability, consider a multi-year grant, which can provide them with the income they can expect during this recovery period. Plus, that multi-year support allows them to focus more on providing services – and less on raising funds.

Beyond financial support, your most significant contribution to an organization may be your time, expertise, and network. What kind of volunteer help do they need right now? Might they have a need for board members with the skills you offer—or might you help them find a volunteer with the right background?

Philanthropy advisors are available to help conduct an annual organizational review, assist with analyzing an organization's needs, or help you develop strategies to make your giving more effective. Let us know how we can help.

Categories: Philanthropy


April 28, 2021