Donor: Giving Tuesday

It is giving season, with Giving Tuesday after the long Thanksgiving weekend. Now is the best time of the year to reach into your coffers and give to your favorite charities. Also consider that donations can help reduce your taxes.  #GivingTuesday is an “open source” environment to encourage giving and the philanthropic ecosystem. Find resources for individuals and nonprofits here:

As you consider what charities to support, remember to give a quick review with the assessment organizations to make sure that no issues are surfacing with your favorite charities. Also, consider if there may be better charities to support while you are at it. (Local/small charities require a little different approach.)

Assessment Organizations for Large Nonprofits

The assessment organizations help people review and evaluate large(r) charities. CharityNavigator is always a good place to start. (See, also repeated below.)

Smaller Nonprofits and Local Charities

Smaller charities will not be reviewed by the assessment organizations, but they still should be reviewed every year before giving. If the local charities is a regional/local chapter of a large charity (often called a Non-Governmental Organization, NGO), then check out the parent first; but realize that the parent will typically do different things than local orgs which do the real work of the charitable concept.

Maybe a quick Google search? Check to see if they have ratings on social media, etc. Review their web site for donor information. Check to make sure they are in compliance; that they have been filing with the IRS (informational 990 tax returns). You might actually look at the latest tax filing to see if there are any red flags. If the charity provides financial information, get financial and impact information from the website and brochures. (The IRS information is behind, and the 990 forms are hard to read.)

Best practices for charities are to provide transparency, financial information, impact metrics and privacy policies. This information should be readily available to donors and volunteers one their website and donation materials.

Impact. And, as always, how impactful do you believe this charity is? And how does this charity match with your personal passion for giving?

And Then Give…

Okay. I’m sorry. The spontaneity of the giving – and joy derived from giving – has been interrupted. Ideally, the review process of charities for donations (time & money) should be done at a time during the year when you get the best information (about them) and have plenty of time to review. Remember that donors are essentially the investors in the world of nonprofits. The best causes, and the best charities within those causes, should thrive.

Giving is part science, and part art. Giving will be better as we all become more informed, plus it elevates the entire philanthropic ecosystem.

Virtuous Giving Cycle. Consider giving where you will create, or perpetuate, a virtuous cycle. As it pertains to youth, for example; a little help early with health, wellness, or education might create a lifetime of benefit for the kids… and for the community… and for the economy. Possibly, pay-it-forward giving. I’ll help you build your house this year… you help someone else build their house next year. A parable, with a little modification, is:

Give a kid to fish, feed the kid for a day; teach a kid to fish, feed the adult (and family) for a lifetime.

Check out Hall & Hinkelman’s book on Nonprofit Planning and Impactful Giving for more on fundraising and philanthropic ecosystems.

#GivingTuesday #PhilanthropicEcosystem #TheArtOfGiving #GiveForward #PayItForward #PerpetualInnovation #VirtuousCycle

Hall, E. B. & Hinkelman, R. M. (2022). Perpetual Innovation™: Strategic planning for nonprofits and the art of impactful giving: the gift of giving, the art of caring. ISBN: ‎ 979-8842614615
Retrieved from: (Available on Kindle eBook as well.)

Assessment Organizations

The assessment organizations help people review and evaluate large(r) charities. CharityNavigator is always a good place to start. (See, also repeated.)

  • ranks charities within categories. This is the most important site for someone considering which causes to select for charitable giving. Ranks larger Nonprofits. Encompass® rating to rate governance and transparency on impact. Great starting point.
  • rates many bigger nonprofit organizations. Great starting point.
  • does a deeper dive into the non-profit, reporting, officers and programs. Large organizations including many in US and UK. Good starting point. (Candid is the umbrella organization for the Foundation Center and GuideStar, offering more than 88 years of service related to nonprofits.)
  •, by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, provides a Better Business Bureau type of list Nonprofit organizations. It also provides a BBB-type of environment for reviews and complaints. (As with BBB, use this customer complaint feature carefully. A very large national or international organization might have thousands of complaints but only a tiny fraction of all customers served.)
  • has a searchable database of charities that qualify for charitable tax deductions. Since most people like the added benefit of a tax deduction from their charitable giving, Non-Profits must remain vigilant in maintaining their tax-exempt status as well as their qualifications as a charitable organization. (But, remember, the IRS filings are always a year or more behind. This year’s tax forms are for last year, and organizations can defer filing for months. The IRS takes time, usually 3-years, before removing an organizations tax-exempt status for non-filing. Smaller orgs don’t have to provide as much information.)
  • Canada. Charity Intelligence (Ci) Canada:
    (Wikipedia on Charity Intelligence Canada.)
  • Charity Commission of England & Wales (register and information):
  • United Kingdom Charities: (Candid) UK (and other countries)
  • An overview article of Charity Assessment organizations on Wikipedia (current article, no editorial issues).





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