With the holidays in full-swing, fundraising has kicked into high gear. Those in the fundraising know understand that tax planning and holiday spirit align at this time of year, resulting in increased giving. With so many different options available, here are some tips, resources, and information that will hopefully make your year-end donating a little simpler:
Ways to give
Giving is no longer limited to contributing your pocket change. Many nonprofits employ gift-matching or year end appeals to spur fundraising at this time of year. Many charities continue to use direct mail as part of their year-end strategy, and the "red kettle" will remain a fixture during the holidays; however, new ways to give are cropping up all the time. In fact, the red kettle has recently received a digital makeover with the help of Nadanu.
Digital applications have increased the ways we contribute to charity. A plethora of online giving platforms have sprung up recently; Causes, Fundly, JustGive, Philanthropr, etc. The list goes on. Mashable highlighted the top 12 online giving platforms earlier this year. Online giving is not to be overlooked as The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that is has contributed to giving gains this year. The myriad giving platforms differ somewhat in approach: Causes allows individuals to rally around a cause and raise money using Facebook; Fundly allows users to raise money for charity through online fundraising pages and social networks; JustGive facilitates giving through its informative Web site and gift cards; and similar to "daily deal" sites, Philanthropr is a daily charity site.
With so much to think about this time of year, it is easy to get caught off-guard by illegitimate charities or overwhelmed by too much information. Check out the following resources for tips on donating wisely:
Our Knowledge Base Article "How can I find information about a particular (non-grantmaking) charity?" contains links to organizations that specialize in vetting charities, otherwise known as "watchdog groups." For an article about who is watching the watchdogs, check out today's Chicago Tribune. As well, the IRS Offers Tips for Year-End Giving.
Good luck with your year-end giving and fundraising! Happy Holidays from the gang at Foundation Center-San Francisco.