Who Deserves My Charitable Support
If you are just starting to give, you may not be sure what organizations you want to support. We suggest the following approach:
Think about issues that affect you or your family and friends. What are you passionate about? It doesnt matter whether its increasing hours at your local library, cleaning up rivers and streams, providing support for people with breast cancer, or saving the world from nuclear destruction.
Find an organization that works on that topic and learn about its activities, financial situation, and reasons it needs support. The Internet is an increasingly good search tool since many nonprofit organizations now have web sites. Nonprofit organizations will also send you literature, such as annual reports. You can visit the organization, if its local, and meet the staff.
Make an initial gift and see how the institution responds. Does it acknowledge your gift quickly and accurately? Does it keep you up-to-date on its activities so that you feel involved and engaged? Does it ask you for another gift (after a decent interval)?
Continue to donate to that organization and even increase your financial commitment if the organization is getting results. Its much less expensive for the organization if it can continue to count on you as a donor because the cost of getting new donors is very high. You help the cause by being an on-going contributor to its financial base.
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