Participating in a Giving Community can support you in exploring the following questions. You may wish to ponder them prior to reaching out to the communities that will be recommended to you when you complete the Find Your Match survey.
Giving can be one of the most meaningful, life-enhancing aspects of our lives. More than a gesture, giving has the potential to help turn around the most serious problems in our troubled world. What we get in return can be invaluable.
The question of how much to give is not frivolous. How do we, individually and as a society, stop hoarding financial abundance, using it as a scorecard, or simply pretending it's not there?
What will help us share our resources wisely?
These are the questions that created Bolder Giving.
As you start your giving journey, the six questions below are a great place to begin. With each one, we’ve offered some suggestions or ideas for reflection to help get you started.
- Fairness: The money belongs to the greater community, not to me personally
- Faith: I want to live in harmony with my religious or spiritual values
- Impact: I want to make the biggest difference I can
- Passion for a Cause: There's a specific cause or constituency I want to help
- Joy & Satisfaction: Giving brings great joy; I want my life to be more meaningful
- Simplicity: I have more than I need; I want to focus on what's most important
- Connection: Our fates are intertwined. Investing in the broader community ultimately helps us all
Keep in mind your priorities may change over time
- Talk with friends and colleagues to see which causes, issues, organizations and/or approaches they support and why
- Volunteer for events and programs
- Ask questions of the staff, beneficiaries, and volunteers of organizations that interest you
Most of us give far below our potential. When you think about the question of "how much," you might want to consider:
- What is your income? What are your financial assets? How do you expect your income and assets to change over time?
- How much do you spend on a monthly or annual basis for your basic needs? How do you define your basic needs? Do you feel like you are just getting by or living luxuriously?
- Does your spending match your values? What might it feel like to spend less and give more?
- How will you use your assets over the long-term – retirement, start a business, travel or hobbies, family care, inheritance for your children, giving, etc.? What balance between these uses would best match your values?
- If you’re planning to give money to charity in your will, could you give some or all of those resources now instead?
Once you have determined the amount you'd like to give and the causes you'd like to support, we recommend dividing your funds into 3 pools;
- 50% to just one or a few organizations that are near and dear to your heart
- 30% for your community/obligatory gifts – places like your church or synagogue, yours or your children's schools, the nonprofit your best friend runs, your local art museum, and the causes your friends and neighbors support
- 20% for impulse gifts – disaster relief, to support a friend in a fundraising drive, items at a fund raising event, or something you've never considered giving to before to see if the organization is a good fit for your major giving category. This fund allows you to just say yes!
Most of us want our giving to count. Here are ways in which you may increase the effectiveness of your generosity:
- Joining with others so your efforts and funds will go further
- Determining if you want to support immediate needs, long term solutions or even endowments which support causes in perpetuity
- Funding nonprofit initiatives that may take their programs to the next level
- Measuring the impact of your gifts and the successes of the organizations, programs or initiatives you've supported
Like gifts, how you invest your money can also achieve positive social or environmental outcomes. Your investments can promote responsible corporate behavior, foster solutions-based social enterprises, or provide capital to undercapitalized markets and regions. For more information visit Bolder Investing.
There are many other Resources to help you get started on your new and exciting journey. This Giving Communities website will help match you with communities of givers who have similar interests and maximize your impact. After your matches are recommended, go to How to Explore Your Matches and the websites of the communities you are matched with. Reach out and see what they have to offer you in the way of guidance and mentorship.