Caring for the Cause: How to Donate Responsibly
Many of our clients are passionate about making an impact by supporting causes that have touched their own lives. With this year being one accompanied by a variety of new hardships and challenges, charitable giving this season is even more important for those who are able. Read on for more information about donating responsibility from the professional financial advisors at Morris Financial Concepts.
A Charleston Financial Planner’s Guide to Charitable Giving
Find the Right Cause
The first step in charitable giving is evaluating your financial situation, whether that be on your own or with your Charleston financial advisor. If you decide that you can set aside money to donate, then you can make finding the right cause your next priority. You may seek out a personal connection to a specific cause, such as a local pet shelter that you have adopted a pet from or an organization that is doing research that could change a family member’s life.
If you know you are passionate about something, whatever it may be, try to seek out a charity that will be as passionate as you are. Reflect on your overarching mission, as well as what goals are most important to you, then choose organizations that closely align.
If you are struggling to find what cause you are most passionate about supporting, it may be helpful to look at current events, whether it be in your own backyard or across the ocean. Donating to causes that need your help now is a great way to feel like you made an immediate impact on the world. For example, you might choose to help disaster relief and recovery organizations during hurricane season or those supporting families who were laid-off from their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.
Other charities like the Red Cross Organization make continual efforts for multiple causes each year, depending on which needs are most pressing at that time. Whether you are looking to support a cause that is near-and-dear to your heart or one that helps address current problems, the next step in charitable giving is among the most important.
Always Do Your Research
When planning to make a charitable donation, it is important to investigate the organizations you are considering. Given that non-profit organizations are relatively easy to start and promote, with little regulation on their actual spending, it is important to ensure that your donation is going to a responsibly managed group that aligns with your values.
Such financial information is readily available to the public and can be found on the organization’s 990 Form. With other resources such as Charity Navigator, a website with valuable information and rankings for most charitable organizations, the research process is made even more simple.
Alternatively, enlisting the help of a knowledgeable and experienced financial advisor can relieve any worries or concerns you may have when performing these audits. If you are interested in determining whether charitable giving is right for you, speak with Kyra Morris, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional at Morris Financial Concepts, Inc.
See the Impact Your Charitable Contributions Make
Being able to see the positive impact you made through charitable giving is one of the most special and rewarding experiences. After you make your donation, make a reminder to go back and review the organization’s financial statements for the quarter and fiscal year. Reviewing this information can help you determine how the organization allocated its resources and what goals were achieved so that you can adjust your charitable giving strategy for next time.
Many organizations will also provide you with a contribution allocation sheet at your request, which can supply you with information on exactly where your contribution made an impact. Although this financial data is readily available to the public, many charitable givers don’t know what to look for. Our Charleston financial advisors can help you sort through all the information available to you and provide financial recommendations for your charitable giving.
Charitable Giving Without a Financial Contribution
If you are unable to make financial contributions, you can still make a difference with the causes you are passionate about through other methods of charitable giving. The Charities Aid Foundation recommends the following ways to give without donating money:
Random Acts of Kindness
You don’t always need to give financially to help make the world a better place. With just a positive attitude, some encouragement, and a smile, you can do wonderful things for those around you. While it is difficult to brighten someone’s day with a smile as we continue to wear our masks, you can do other simple things to show you care. Offer to help deliver groceries for the elderly in your local community who are unable to safely run their errands during the coronavirus pandemic. If you know others who are considered at risk, such as those with autoimmune diseases or other conditions, ask them how you can help.
Donating Your Time
If you aren’t able to give financially but have some spare time this season, there are many charities that rely on volunteers to continue operating. Donating an extra pair of hands to your local charity is a great way to make a difference, as well as meet new people and develop invaluable life skills. Start your own social trends like “No Shave November” and use the time that you would normally spend shaving to do a good deed. Educate your children and younger members of the family about charitable giving and why it is so important.
Donating Other Readily Available Resources
The next time you are completing household chores or spring cleaning, go through your things and sort out what you no longer need. Consider donating these items to a homeless shelter or charity near you. You can also sell these items on platforms like Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and Amazon, donating the proceeds to a cause you are passionate about. Many children around the world don’t have any toys or games. If you have extra lying around your home or stored in your attic, give them to a local drive to put a smile on their faces this holiday season. Giving blood is another free way to gap the national shortage and potentially help save someone’s life. There are also several organizations that make and provide wigs to those who are losing their natural hair. The next time you go to chop your hair, consider donating it!
Encourage Others to Give Financially
Social media is a wonderful platform to support local charities and small businesses in your community. Writing a positive review on Google or Yelp and engaging with their social posts by liking, sharing, and commenting can help encourage your network to support these organizations. Using hashtags that raise awareness for certain causes are another easy and free way to support organizations in need. Another great way to promote your cause is by organizing a fundraiser at school or work that encourages participants to give. You can encourage your employer to match your contributions or to partner with a local charity.
Have an organization you are passionate about helping? Let us know! Our local Charleston financial advisors enjoy helping support the causes our clients care about.
Make the Most Of Your Current Sending
Rather than spending your money at high-end retail stores, find unique items at a local charity shop. This will help support the cause in addition to being a more eco-friendly, sustainable way to shop. Support brands that donate a portion of their proceeds or products to those in need.
At Morris Financial Concepts, Inc. in Mount Pleasant, we love to celebrate all that’s good about charitable giving. With so many opportunities to contribute, we want to help you accomplish your giving goals. Charitable giving can be done over a lifetime within your estate documents, giving you the peace of mind knowing that your contributions will live on. Our wealth managers help clients across the nation incorporate charitable giving into their personalized legacy living plan. Whether you’re gifting education or fulfilling charitable desires, our Charleston financial advisors can provide financial guidance and direction. Contact us to start your journey to financial freedom today!
The opinions expressed herein are those of Morris Financial Concepts, Inc. (“MFC”) and are subject to change without notice. This material is for informational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice. None of the charitable organizations discussed herein are affiliates of MFC. All investing involves risk, including the possible loss of money you invest, and past performance does not guarantee future results. MFC relies on information from various sources believed to be reliable, including third parties, but cannot guarantee the accuracy and completeness of any third-party information. MFC is an independent investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about MFC including our investment strategies, fees, and objectives can be found in our ADV Part 2, which is available upon request.
The CFP® certification is granted by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board). To attain the certification, the candidate must complete the required educational, examination, and experience requirements set forth by the CFP Board. Certain designations, such as the CPA®, CFA®, and others may satisfy the majority of the education allowing a candidate to sit for the CFP® Certification Examination upon completion of a Capstone Course. The 6-hour exam is administered in a computer-based testing format. At least 3 years of qualifying full-time work experience are required for certification. Qualifying experience includes work in the area of the delivery of the personal financial planning process to clients, the direct support or supervision of others in the personal financial planning process, or teaching all, or any portion, of the personal financial planning process. In order to use the designation, CFP® professionals are required to complete 20 hours of CFP board-certified continuing education annually.