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Topics: Ethical Living, October 2019 | Society

3 things fundraisers wish donors knew

It's wise to communicate any concerns you have before committing to give


1. Think critically before donating

Before deciding where to give your money, David Armour, The United Church of Canada’s head of philanthropy, suggests taking a step back and assessing the situation. He recommends asking yourself the following: Are you donating during a meaningful time? Do the charity’s plans align with your beliefs? Does the organization have a good reputation when it comes to handling its finances? “Considering these three questions will provide donors with confidence that their generosity will be put to very real, meaningful and effective use,” Armour says.

2. Consider committing to a small number of charities

Although thousands of charities are asking potential donors to support their causes, that doesn’t mean that you have to commit to all of them. In fact, doing so could be less efficient for everyone involved. “A few larger donations from committed donors are much preferable than many small ones,” says Steve Thomas, a marketing consultant for fundraisers. The best way for donors to give more, he says, is to send payments monthly. If you have specific causes you’d like to donate to, Thomas says to check both fundraiser websites and the Canada Revenue Agency for more information.

3. Ask lots of questions

Once you find a charity that you’d like to donate to, it’s beneficial to communicate any concerns you have before fully committing. “Ask lots of questions about how your funds will be spent and make sure you set clear expectations about what reporting you wish to receive,” says Ana White, chief development officer for Plan Canada. She also suggests educating yourself on a charity’s giving opportunities to get the most out of your donation, such as small investments that can grow into larger contributions to the charity in the future.

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