Before You Give

Whether you are giving $1.00 or $1,000,000, ​​​​​​the evaluation process can be overwhelming. Ideas for thought:

What are your philanthropic goals?

  • Do you want to support a certain city, area or neighborhood?

  • Does the size or age of the organization matter to you?

  • Why are you giving? To create a legacy, to serve a specific population, to combat an issue you care about?

  • What do you hope to accomplish with your gift?

Non-profit's mission and mission statements.

  • Do they clearly communicate their purpose?

  • Do their statements align with your philanthropic goals and values?

Is the Non-profit's IRS classification important?

  • Yes, there are different types of classifications that limit tax deductible/exempt donations. Use the IRS Tax Exempt Charity Search to look up organizations that interest you.

What are the organization's long and short term goals?

  • Their goals will help identify where they put your money to use.

What programs does the Non-profit offer? Search Programs on THE CONNECTION

  • Are their programs of interest to you?

IRS Form 990

  • This form reports finances, mission and programs.

Outside Vetting

Who comprises their Board of Directors?

  • Most Non-profits post their Board and a profile for each member on their website. 

  • Is their board diverse in background, demographics, fields of employment, etc. and does the composition of the board support their mission?

How has the Non-profit used funds in the past?

​​​​​​​Google them​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Are there other organizations doing the same thing in the same area?

  • ​​​​​​​There are many instances of multiple organization's with the same area of focus operating in close proximity.

  • If this is the case, don't hesitate to check out the other Non-profits to see how they do things for comparison, and then choose the best one for your goals and values.

​​​​​​​Understand your gift's impact

  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Don't be afraid to check up on your gift to see how it is being used.

​​​​​​​How does the Non-profit measure impact?

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Don't be afraid to ask questions directly.

  • Reach out to that Non-profit they should be happy to help.

​​​​​​​Consider volunteering

  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​If you want to get a boots on the ground view of the Non-profit you are interested in, Volunteer.

Create a Lasting Impact

  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​If you want to make an impact beyond a one time gift and support the community, cause or population long term, consider opening a charitable fund.